Volunteers came together to organize, plan and build a hall at Brownfield back in 1939 when people in the hamlet and surrounding areas felt the need for a community gathering place.
That same community spirit throughout the years has helped oversee many additions, a rebuild and now the current renovations of the kitchen and curling rink that are taking place today.
In the year 2000 a new Brownfield Recreation (Rec) Centre was built. As with any building there is always the knowledge that there will be upkeep, repairs and eventually renovations will be needed to keep operations running smoothly.
The kitchen in the Brownfield Rec. Centre receives a makeover. Community members volunteering in this photo are Hugh McLarty, Craig Brown, Ken Martin, Chas Barns, Vanessa Johnson, Craig Richardson and Jordon Barnes. ECA Review / J.Brown
Renovations to the curling rink in Brownfield in progress. ECA Review / A. Richardson
The Brownfield Rec Centre board of directors established an account for these occurrences so that when, after consultations with the community, it was decided a new kitchen and curling rink were needed they were able to have some of the money to start the renovations.
Funds from yearly fundraisers, community group donations, private and company donations as well as grants were put in to this account.
Completing the renovations this year consisted of gutting the existing kitchen and curling rink and rebuilding them to the proper standards and codes that are required.
The financial cost to the project is approximately $250,000. The majority of the labour was done by the community and this played a significant part in keeping the costs down.
Many long hours were put in to the renovations and are still being done to finish the project.
All the volunteers from start to finish, whether it was cooking meals for the work bees, writing grant proposals, organizing fundraisers or helping with the actual construction, all played an integral part. It was a real community effort.
One special fundraiser to note was the Steak Supper and Auction that took place at the Rec Centre on June 16, 2017.
Two hundred and fifty supper tickets were sold and countless items were donated from individuals, businesses and groups from both Brownfield and neighbouring communities.
This event raised over $80,000.
The Centre in Brownfield is well utilized, not just for a curling rink but also for a place where people gather to celebrate the birth of a newborn, the marriage of a couple starting their lives together or a place for families and friends to remember and mourn the passing of a loved one.
Retreats, sales and meetings are just a small list of other activities the hall is used for. With all these events, a kitchen in good working condition is needed and appreciated by everyone using the Centre.
Recreation centres or halls are often the heart of a community as it surely is for Brownfield and area.