The Ronald McDonald House Freeze the House Charity Bonspiel is returning to the Pidherney Curling Centre for the seventh year in a row.
From Jan. 26th to 28th, curlers will come together to help raise funds for the house which last year housed 307 out-of-town families with children in the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
“It is a three-day bonspiel and it is a funspiel, so we have curlers of all skill levels,” Cassandra Galenzoski, event coordinator, said.
The event is one of Ronald McDonald House Southern and Central Alberta’s two largest fundraisers, typically raising $150,000 per year towards the cause.
“It has been a very successful event and it is one of our two signature events that we have for the house,” Galenzoski said. “It is important and helps us keep this house running.”
The bonspiel has three different divisions: junior, beginners and seasoned, each of which offers a fun environment over the course of the three-day bonspiel.
“Seeing the juniors is great because we really enjoy seeing kids at the event,” Galenzoski said.
“The seasoned groups do get a little competitive, but it is a still a funspiel. There is a trophy; you do want to win that but it is really there for everyone to have a fun time and everyone is always a good sport.”
The Ronald McDonald House yearly operating costs are $1.1 million, and these fundraisers go a long way to meeting that cost.
“We really rely on donations and participation at these events to help this house run and to help provide for these children and families that need help,” Galenzoski said.
The bonspiel also features multiple events throughout the weekend for the whole family.
“On Friday night, we have a mixer which is really great,” Galenzoski said.
“We have restaurants like Cilantro and Chive, Browns, Troubled Monk and few others that come in with free appetizers and tasters for all our curlers, media and curling celebrities.
“On Saturday we have more curling, then in the night we have a dinner and dance. We have the KlamDaggers, who will be performing dueling guitars as well as some live pop-up entertainment.”
She added that Central Albertan Paralympic swimmer Tammy Cunnington and two celebrity curlers will also be joining the festivities on Saturday night.
“We also have raffles and silent auctions, all in support of Ronald McDonald House,” Galenzoski said.
Those wishing to compete, volunteer or sponsor the event can get in touch with the Ronald McDonald House either online, in-person or over the phone.
“Our early-bird pricing ends on Dec. 28th, but you can register right up to Jan. 17th. Sponsors can get a hold of me or one of my cohorts and we will help you out. Everything goes towards the house,” Galenzoski said.
She added, “We would like to see everyone out and having a good time.”