TLC is job one for curling host group

STEVE GREEN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

As a retired nurse, Lorie Hill knows all about TLC.

For the 10 days of the Scott Tournament of Hearts, she'll be making sure everybody -- the curlers, sponsors, fans and yes, even the media -- get plenty of it.

Hill is vice-chair of hosting for the Canadian women's curling championship host committee and she and her directors -- Judy Armstrong, Carol Krell, Gayle George, Don Millar, Marg Sirna, Donna Krotz and Dave Shaw -- are charged with making sure people have as little to worry about as possible.

Their primary focus is on the 12 teams. Among other things, Hill's group looks after the players' dining room at the Hilton Hotel (including any special dietary requests), makes sure the locker rooms at the John Labatt Centre are fully stocked and secure, and provides the team drivers, the plum posts among the 550 or so volunteers.

"The girls are usually so easy to get along with," Hill said of the players. "As long as we have somebody to get them where they want to be and on time."

Millar, a chiropractor, is in charge of the JLC medical centre, which will have massage therapists and chiropractors on hand, as well as physicians, dentists and optometrists on call.

Krell's duties include all media requests for interviews, as well as the media lounge and media bench.

Getting fans to and from the JLC to the HeartStop Lounge at the London Convention Centre is George's bailiwick.

Hill said five buses will be used immediately before and after each draw, with at least one or two in use constantly to handle off-peak traffic, such as in the middle of games.

Sirna and Krotz are in charge of arena decorations, sponsors' lounges and information booths, while Shaw will be the liaison with the 2007 organizing committee from Lethbridge, Alta.

Hill was a volunteer in 1986, the last time the Hearts visited London, and said going to St. John's in 2005 was a huge help.

"We learned a pile out there," she said. "We saw things they did that in hindsight, they would have done differently, and that always makes it easier.

"The biggest challenge has been getting everything to come together and it's coming together nicely now," Hill said, adding Tourism London has been "absolutely fabulous" in helping out.

"We've just got a few little t's to cross and i's to dot and it will be nice to see everyone's efforts finally pay off."

Heart beats

- The London Abused Women's Centre is raffling 12 Champions Weekend packages in the City of London suite at the JLC. The package covers the final three round-robin games on March 2 plus all playoff games. Two T-shirts autographed by Canada's Olympic teams will also be up for grabs. Tickets are $20 each or three for $50. Call the women's centre at 432-2204 for tickets. The draw will be made Feb. 27 at 10:30 a.m.

- The Sandra Schmirler Breakfast is Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. at the convention centre. Tickets are $12 and available at the tournament office at 100 Wellington St., Suite 302, at local curling clubs, or at the door.


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