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Hard Luck Story Draws In The Cash

Monsanto Canada has chosen the Manitou Curling Club as this year’s $10,000 grand prizewinner of its “Imagine a Better House” Community Curling Club Improvement contest.

The 170-member, four-sheet curling club located in southwestern Manitoba has a long history dating back to its year of establishment in 1890. The current facility is approaching 50 years old and is host to six different leagues. It regularly stages a variety of bonspiels for curlers of all ages and genders.

The club was chosen as this year’s big winner due to members’ commitment to keeping it going through a broken ice plant, an unanticipated hike in their insurance bill and a broken pipe that resulted in a hefty water bill. They were able to overcome all these problems by pulling together to fund-raise within their own membership and seeking additional support from neighbouring communities.

“Being selected as the grand prizewinner in Monsanto’s Imagine a Better House contest is like winning the Brier for us,” said Shelley Krassman who sits on the executive of the Manitou Curling Club. “Keeping our club viable in a community of less than 800 people has not been without a number of challenges, particularly in the last few years. The money will allow our club to move forward with some essential and long-overdue upgrades to our facility.”

Fourteen curling clubs from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were awarded cash grants to improve their curling clubs. The curling club in Steinbach received a $5,000 grant after judges said they were wowed by its YouTube video “Imagine there’s no curling,” sung to the tune of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Clubs in Balmoral, Niverville and Westbourne each received $2,000 for facility improvements.

Monsanto launched its “Imagine a Better House” Community Curling Club program in November 2007 with the aim of assisting small-town curling clubs in Western Canada with local improvement projects. Applicants were required to provide information about their club, the community in which it resides and why the curling club was in need of assistance. When this year’s funding of $45,000 is combined with cash awards given out since 2008, Monsanto has provided $235,000 in cash awards to 84 different rural community clubs across the Prairies.

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