Hello Friends and Neighbours;
Well, it has definitely been a different year for all of us. As a Board we started our year at our February meeting; plans were underway for the Volunteer Night, Western Dance, Canada Day Breakfast, Ghoulfest and the Christmas Craft Fair. The Casino fundraiser was set to go. There was a full slate of Hall Rentals for the spring, summer and Fall. Everyone was very excited! Then COVID struck and things changed.

The Hall and Playground had to close, all rentals had to be cancelled, the casino was postponed indefinitely, User Groups could no longer attend, the Volunteer Appreciation Night, Western Dance, and Canada Day Breakfast that we all so look forward to were cancelled. Board and committee meetings now had to be virtual.

The financial impact of not having rental events or a Casino fundraiser has been significant. We have had to make some hard decisions and also look for ways to save money on little things. Greg, our facility manager for the last 15 years, has accepted a reduction to his hours. Any non-essential expenditures have been halted.

As a community, we worried about our neighbours and friends. Our Membership Director called all members, current and past, to ensure that everyone was managing. It was so good to talk to everyone and see the resilience in our community!

When the Government announced in late June that Community Centres could begin to reopen if they met very specific Guidelines we undertook a huge job of sifting through the Guidelines, creating and implementing a plan for the Hall that met the Guidelines and was as safe as possible. This was not done lightly. The safety of our members was always foremost on our minds.

In August, the Government announced that Preschools could open, again with very stringent guidelines. Our Preschool Director, spent much of her summer, along with the Parent Committee, going through the Guidelines, meeting with Alberta Health Services, and implementing a plan for our Preschool. Again the safety of the children and teachers was foremost on our minds.

We have gradually added User Groups and classes to the Hall and now have 2 Stretching classes, 2 Fitness Class, 2 Quilting groups, 4H, Pony Club, and Book Club. We have started to look at rental groups with less than 50 attendees. All of this means we have implemented stringent COVID enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces and cleaning between each group. Coming to the Hall is a little different than in the past. While we enter through the usual door, the exit is through the balcony doors, there are 2m markings on the foyer floor, a table in the foyer with hand sanitizer, the Health Checklist and sign-in forms, and signage about safe COVID practices.

Beyond COVID we have completed a “To Do” list at the Hall, looked toward updating our website and communication tools (when financially feasible), continued with the day to day operations and started some new initiatives. The latest initiative is to welcome new families to our wonderful community. If you have any new neighbours that we can welcome, please let us know.

As mentioned earlier, the financial impact of not having rental events or a Casino fundraiser has been significant. Your membership has always been valued and is now more important than ever.

Thank you to all of you for your patience and support!