Families with young children will now be able to stop balancing their babies on the bench to change diapers at the Promutual Regional Sports Centre in Hinchinbrooke as the arena is now equipped with a hanging change table thanks to the fundraising efforts of members of the Huntingdon 4-H Club.
Several members of the Huntingdon 4-H Club were on hand at the arena on October 5 to place a commemorative plaque on the new change table that was installed over the summer in the accessible washroom on the main floor in the building.
The funds to purchase the change table were raised during a fundraising activity held at the arena in December, 2016, by members of the 4-H Club’s Citizenship Project, including Sabrina Buskin, Mieke Nieuwenhof, Makayla Chapman, and Nelleke Nieuwenhof. With the goal of sup-porting the collective good the arena provides to Valley residents each season, nearly $300 was raised in one day alone.
“I asked if we could raise the money as a project pf the 4-H Citizenship Project, and it worked,” said Nelleke Nieuwenhof, the President of the Huntingdon 4-H Club, who suggests she had observed her mother changing her younger siblings on the benches inside the arena. “I thought that there were lots of babies and it wasn’t safe to change them on the bench or on the floor while kids were walking around in skates,” she added.
“It was a wonderful project,” said Paula Laroque, the General manager of the arena, who suggests the change table is a compliment to the arena and “certainly something important for the young families who use the facilities.”
With this project now successfully concluded, the hope is that the 4-H Club can be involved in other ways to help the arena, which is badly in need of repairs to the compressors that maintain the ice surface.
A personal project as well
Helping the local arena is something Nelleke Nieuwenhof feels so stringly about, she recently asked friends and family to help her raise money for the building in lieu of purchasing gifts for her 13th birthday. A total of $275 was raised and presented on October 5 to the arena to be added to the funds being collected to replace the ailing compressors.
Nelleke and her siblings have long been requesting donations instead of gifts, with the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the SPCA having benefitted in the past from their generosity. “This year I choose the arena because we lost Hockeyville. Maybe others will do the same and start giving again to the arena to help,” she said, noting how important the arena is to herself and her friends. “I started skating there and fell in love with figure skating. During the winter I spend most of my time there,” she said, while suggesting the arena brings the community together. As for this season, “the ice is perfect now so it would be nice if we could keep it that way.”