A Skater’s Thanksgiving
For most Canadians, Thanksgiving occurs in October to celebrate a successful harvest. For skaters in Minden, our Thanksgiving comes in April, when we celebrate a successful skating season with our year end carnival.
Although a successful season for a skating club can be defined by the individual accomplishments of its skaters; participation in competitions, passing tests, personal bests, the Minden Skating Club fully recognizes that its success is also the result of the people who support it.
We give thanks to our coaching staff, Jane Symons, Calista Hunter, Guy Gordon and Lisa Carr. We continue to be grateful for their commitment to the sport and willingness to share their passion with our skaters. In fact, this year we are privileged to honour Guy in his 50th year of coaching. Although he hasn’t spent his entire career with Minden, this is where he started and likely where he will finish…but not yet. Also deserving of special recognition is our lead coach, Jane Symons. So much of what she does for our skaters and the club is voluntary. This year she has been working tirelessly for an entire year, planning, choreographing and creating for our “Beauty and the Beast” skating carnival. (Most of our lead costumes are designed and created by Jane!) For Jane, preparation for this year’s show has been a project of passion to honour her mother who passed in the spring of last year.
We give thanks to our community helpers like Dan Fockler and his creative Senior Manufacturing Class at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School as well as Sonja Marx and John Teljeur, organizers and hosts of the annual Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships. In addition to inviting us to sell our maple syrup during their event (and buying a significant amount to share with their players), Sonja and John generously donated club jackets to our contingent of CANskaters that participated in a competition in February. John and Sonja wanted there to be little doubt where these young, up-and-coming members of the club, called home. The contributions of Dan and his crew started with a “simple” request: We need a horse that will be movable with the skater and can stand on its own. What we received, is beyond our wildest expectation – you truly need to see it to believe it. It is a functional work of art. Life sized and light weight; made of 1/4-inch metal rod and fabric. The attention to detail and shape is exceptional. With pucks for feet it can move with the skater and has been designed so the skater can get up inside it. Although Dan has said, “We don’t like attention,” when his students create with this level of skill, attention is inevitable.
We give thanks to our skating parents and families, giving up countless hours at the rink and behind the scenes doing all that is needed to make this year’s “The Beauty and the Beast” skating carnival the success it is sure to be. Earning special recognition are the nine parents that serve on the club’s board of directors that, in addition to the rink time, meet regularly to coordinate fundraisers, competitions, test days and of course shows: Kelly Allaire, Andrea Bull, Amber Card, Audrey Collins, Angie Garot, Nicole Mee, Aynlsey Robinson and Jessica Tomlinson. Many of these individuals work double time in the months leading up to carnival and our annual general meeting.
We give thanks to you for joining the Minden Skating Club on Sunday, April 14 as we celebrate with “Beauty and the Beast.” The show will also include performances by Kurt Browning; a four-time World Champion figure skater. As you can see, we have much to be grateful for and much to celebrate.
Submitted by Carolyn Lewis