The two-sheet Holland Curling Club located in southwest Manitoba is this year’s $10,000 grand prize winner of Monsanto Canada’s “Imagine a Better House” Community Curling Club program.
The 40-member curling club, established in 1892, came out on top after sharing their compelling story about the need for a facelift to their 116-year-old club that is the cornerstone of social activity in this 1,200-person farming community.
“This is just fantastic news for a small, struggling club such as ours,” said Tamara Greenlay from the Holland Curling Club executive. “The Monsanto prize gives us access to much needed outside funding and now we can move ahead with some renovations that will make our club more attractive and hopefully bring back former curlers and attract more junior curlers. Our heads have been whirling since we got the news!”
Four other finalists, one in Alberta and three in Saskatchewan, were awarded secondary prize money of $5,000.
In addition to the five finalists, another 25 rural curling clubs from across Western Canada were awarded $2,000 in prize money to assist them with improvement projects at their clubs. The Manitoba winners included: Baldur, McCreary, Russell and Strathclair.
All applications received were reviewed by an independent panel of judges.
“It is incredibly difficult to go through all the applications and select an overall winner,” said Trish Jordan, public affairs director with Monsanto Canada. “All the entries we received had compelling stories, but our judging panel was influenced by the dedication and commitment of the Holland Curling Club membership and the efforts they are making to keep curling alive in their community. They have some great ideas to make their house greener and hopefully the contribution from Monsanto will help make those dreams a reality.”
Monsanto launched its “Imagine a Better House” Community Curling Club program in November 2008 to assist 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. In the past two years, $160,000 in cash awards has assisted 60 different rural community clubs across the Prairies.