Simon Chamberlain and Guy Ruggieri, the coolest guys in Mount Dennis (they’re ice cold), got a nice mention in the House of Commons this week. Mike Sullivan said:
In York South—Weston, this cold, harsh season was made warmer and brighter by a dedicated group of volunteers who for the third year ran the Mount Dennis outdoor community skating rink in Pearen Park.
I was delighted to host a Family Day skating party there. Over four hundred individuals learned to skate at the rink this past season. Nearly nine hundred used the free skate loan program. The rink continued its fine tradition of making a positive difference in the community — one smile and one skating lesson at a time!
With a tip of my toque, I’d like to congratulate rink coordinator Simon Chamberlain, who received a Volunteer Toronto Award for his outstanding efforts, and ice master Guy Ruggieri and his over 40 volunteers who gave generously of their time to make this grassroots initiative a smashing success.
When I sell this dot-com of mine for a quarter billion, I know where I’m going to put it. In the meantime, if you should find a fiver (or a twenty) in a laundry pocket, might I make a suggestion? The good people at the Mount Dennis outdoor skating rink could use a few bucks.
I spoke to Simon Chamberlain; he told me how they are lending out skates–and even gloves and socks–to people in the neighbourhood to help them learn to skate and to give them something to do after school. All the money is coming out of the volunteers’ own pockets, yet they have somehow cobbled together 80 pairs of skates and done a bang-up job of running a shoestring operation. Despite (or even because) of their unofficial, low-rent, under-the-radar status, I trust them.
While I was there, I saw a dozen or so people skating, some of whom were obviously not people of substantial means. One young man borrowed a pair of skates and a shovel and set about cleaning his own area of the rink of snow so that he could practice hockey. This is the sort of thing that makes a difference.
If you can spare a buck or a few hours of your time, you can get in touch with the good people in charge of this at skates (circle-a) mountdennis.ca.
Before watching the video, turn down your speakers. The wind played havoc with my little camera.