Lesley Hill, mission accomplished

CON GRIWKOWSKYSUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:16 AM ET

SYLVAN LAKE -- Lesley Hill has declared mission accomplished on this year's Alberta Scotties.

This town of 11,000 is better known as a summer resort and Hill wanted to create some positive buzz during the slower winter months.

Part of the idea was to celebrate the local curling club's 80th anniversary by holding a major championship. Part was to convince the town council the curling community was willing to do its bit to get a new multi-use facility built.

The local five-sheet rink, located across the street from the Medican Multiplex, has seen better days.

'CLUB EVENTS'

"We have never hosted anything other than zone playdowns because we've never had a facility that could handle anything beyond club events," said Hill.

Many of the club members volunteered for the 2004 Scott Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer. When the Alberta Curling Federation agreed to the arena experiment, the club put in a bid and got the event.

The committee set out modest financial goals and would have been happy just breaking even in the arena.

The curling club has been turned into a Scotties version of the Patch and that's the place they're making gravy.

"It turned out really, really well," said Hill. "We'll make some money. We're in the black, so that's a good thing."

A lion's share of the proceeds would help in the construction of a proposed multi-sport facility, which could include a six-sheet curling rink.

'BEEN CONDEMNED'

"If we make $20,000, that's not going to put much of a dint in an $11 million building, but it shows that we, as curling club members are dedicated to working with the town," said Hill. "We're going to work our tails off to make it a reality because our old one is not going to last that much longer. It's been condemned once (in 2000) and was shut down for a year."

Hill said it's been worth the effort to hold the event.

"Who we really cared about were the teams and the spectators," she said. "We've done the best we can with the facility."


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