Ryde Co-op cooking up new fundraising ideas
Ryde Community Co-op president Terry Pilger (left) presents a $1,000 cheque to Gravenhurst Couns. Rosemary King and Randy Jorgensen. The money will help offset the town’s costs for operating the Ryde community centre.
January 11, 2012
GRAVENHURST - Ryde Community Co-op president Terry Pilger is issuing two challenges.
For one, he’s reaching out to his community for their ideas to help keep the former school-turned-community hall in Ryde vibrant. The second is to try to beat him at the upcoming chili cook-off event, scheduled for this coming weekend.
“I had retired (from the cook-off) for a while and thought I would throw my hat back in,” said Pilger, who won the culinary competition two years ago. The former Gravenhurst councillor took over the role of interim president for the co-op this past fall after a brief hiatus. “My son (Mike) challenged his dad (at the cook-off) and he seems to think he can’t lose; but I don’t think so.”
The cook-off bubbles up on Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the old Ryde school, located at 1624 Barkway Rd., outside Gravenhurst. People can get more information through the co-op’s website at www.rydecommunityco-op.com or www.facebook.com/RydeCoop.
The event is one of the main fundraisers for the co-op, which is responsible for the former school property and keeping it open as a hall for the community.
With expenses in the $6,000 range annually, the co-op repays the Town of Gravenhurst for the hall’s operation through fundraising. It was recently able to hand over a $1,000 cheque.
Pilger said as the town nears its annual budget time, he hopes to work closely with council and hopefully establish a strong core of volunteers and donors to help keep the co-op’s operating costs down.
“Traffic has been good there over the years; we do get a good turnout at our fundraising events,” he said. “But like many organizations, it can be a challenge to get volunteers.”
“We want to encourage more people to get involved; a lot of them have hidden talents we could always use,” Pilger added. “There’s always more room for people to pitch in and help.”
The co-op has a couple of new fundraising ideas brewing this year, including a photo contest. Pilger explained people are encouraged to take photos in and around the Ryde area and the top 12 photos at the end of 2012 will be chosen to be part of a community calendar.
The group is also in discussions with the town about the possibility of the co-op hosting YMCA programs as a sort of satellite location for the centennial centre in Gravenhurst.
Otherwise, Pilger said he is hopeful people will embrace the Ryde hall and let the co-op decide what sort of things they would like to see happen there.
“For us to really succeed, we need to find out from the community what programs or events they want to see there,” he said.
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