Figure skating club faces uncertain season

Denied grant application leaves group in the lurch.

Members of the Burns Lake Figure Skating Club work with their coach Richelle Wellman in Burns Lake on Oct. 12

Members of the Burns Lake Figure Skating Club work with their coach Richelle Wellman in Burns Lake on Oct. 12

Coach Richelle Wellman was a skater in Burns Lake 30 years ago.  She coaches young skaters today for only a portion of her previous wages as a coach.  She gave up part of her income because of a funding crunch that is facing the Burns Lake Figure Skating Club.

The club faces a financial crisis having been unexpectedly turned down for a Community Gaming Grant from the province.  “We were relying on this money to get us through the season,” said Wellman.

The club, which has been in Burns Lake for almost 50 years, is down to 32 members from 105 members just five years ago.  “Our parents cannot be asked to pay higher fees,” said Kim Wiebe, executive member of the club.  “We [would] need to fund raise $20,000 in order to provide a regular season for our kids.”

Wiebe doesn’t believe that it is possible to raise that kind of money in today’s economy, so the club will focus on offering lessons until Christmas.  The club will not host their annual skating carnival as coach Wellman won’t have the ice time required to work with the skaters to create the show.  “Right now her focus is teaching the required [figure skating] badges,” said Wiebe.

The club still needs to raise money to get through what remains of their season.  T

he Burns Lake Figure Skating Club executive, along with parents of the skaters will be hosting a Halloween Karaoke Sing Song at the Burns Lake Legion on Oct. 27, 2012.

There will be a spaghetti dinner at 6 p.m., a 50/50 draw and silent auction to raise funds for ice rental.

“Your donation toward the silent auction would be greatly appreciated,” said Wiebe.  “dress up, come out and sing along.”

There will be prizes for the best vocalist and the best costume.

The club is hoping to raise $2000.