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Curlers invited to sweep in to Back the Build

By Sharon Harrison
The Prince Edward Curling Club is opening its rink to curlers who will “hurraaay” in to help raise funds for the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Back the Build campaign.

Plans for a friendly 24-hour Curl-A-Thon competition March 18th and wrap up at noon on Sunday March 19th are under way. Organizers hope to attract people who curl, and those who are willing to give the sport a try in two-hour time slots.

Pam Piercey, a member of the Curl-A-Thon organizing committee said the club is holding this event for a couple of reasons.

“This is the last stage of the winter when people are looking for things to do, and we are trying to do some community building, as well as contributing to the hospital,” said Piercey.

She said this event will also be good exposure for the curling club, the only curling club in the County, as a lot of people aren’t aware of the club’s existence.

“The Prince Edward Curling Club is a well-kept secret for sure.”

Last year, members began to raise their exposure in the community, especially with a Learn to Curl program where experienced club members take folks through the basics of curling.

While the sport typically attracts older members of the community, usually retirees, the new six-to-seven week Learn to Curl program has attracted some younger folks and is a market the club hopes to continue to tap into.

“We have around 30 new curlers as a result of that last year, so certainly the desire to have winter sports is out there, so we thought we would turn it into something positive for the community as well.”

Piercey said one of the challenges is the limited amount of ice time available in the evenings when younger curlers, who are working during the day, can come to the club.

With just under 200 members –which includes newer as well as long-standing members – Piercey describes the club as a vibrant one and a “full-fledged curling facility” with eight teams playing at any particular time through the season, which runs from November to March.

She says curling is a fantastic way to meet people and is a very social sport.

“It’s got a lot of stuff going for it, particularly in winter when we can’t always be outside,” she said.

While COVID-19 affected scheduling as they were unable to participate in out-of-town bonspiels, members were able to have inter-club play.

“The bonspiels started up again last year, so people are coming from Trenton, Ottawa, Napanee and so on to play against us, and likewise, our club members go to those clubs.”

For the upcoming Curl-A-Thon, the club seeks curlers from the community, or those interested in giving it a try as any level of expertise is welcome for the 24-hour Curl-A-Thon.

The only caveat is participants must be at least 18 years of age.

The goal is to have at least 96 participating curlers in the Curl-A-Thon, and hopefully a lot more. With four sheets of ice at the facility, they are able to accommodate more than 96 curlers as they are able to have four games going on at the same time.

“Those new to curling will be given a brief introduction and use of the club’s equipment, such as a broom, gripper and slider, as needed,” said Piercey.

The Curl-A-Thon is to begin at noon Saturday, March 18, running through to noon Sunday, March 19 at the Prince Edward Curling Club located at the fairgrounds (375 Main Street, Picton).

The event will be a continuous curling game, spanning 24 hours and will be open to the public, “in the spirit of community fundraising to support the new hospital”.

“A running score will be kept for the 24 hours, and prizes will be awarded to the top three fundraisers,” said Piercey.

Players will register for a two-hour time slot (typically eight ends of curling) and will be provided with an official pledge form.

All players must collect a minimum of $100 each in pledges. Pledge forms and money (cash or cheque only) will be collected before each time slot on the day of the event.

Participants are also welcome to sign-up as an individual and be placed on a team by the event organizer. Alternatively, participants can sign up as a team of four players (minimum $400 in pledges) or sign up two teams of four players (minimum $800 in pledges) who want to play together in their two-hour time slot.

Plans are also in the works to hold a silent auction during the event where there will be items donated by local businesses. Soup, chili, snacks and beverages will be available for purchase at the event.

Additionally, Piercey notes the club is pleased to offer local businesses a chance to challenge another business to a game in a “Corporate Challenge”.

“Businesses would put together their own team, solicit pledges (minimum team pledge of $400) and have the opportunity to battle it out for two hours for bragging rights on their team’s performance and for soliciting more pledge money than their opponents,” she explained.

She said the Corporate Challenge is intended as a friendly competition and is a great team-building opportunity for businesses.

“Participants will be asked for their first, second and third choice of time slots,” she explained. “Early registration is recommended to secure a preferred slot, as playing times will be awarded on a first-come, requested basis.”

Footwear can be either curling shoes or clean indoor footwear, such as running shoes. Head protection, such as helmets, are recommended, but not required.

Members of the public who would like to watch the event (all of it or any part of it), can simply drop by the Curling Club at no cost to watch anytime during the 24 hours, or stay for the entire 24 hours to cheer on friends, colleagues and family members.

Registration opened on-line on Jan. 9 at For those who prefer to register in-person, they may do so at McDougall Insurance at 268 Picton Main Street, during office hours. Questions can be directed to Ron Stakes at or Tom Dmytar at

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesSports & Recreation

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