Paintball field rebounds with local support
Participants came from as far as Owen Sound and $800 was raised
BRACEBRIDGE — Things are looking brighter for a local paintball business, which lost its main office in a devastating fire earlier this month.
On Saturday, April 21, area residents and local businesses came together to support Back Country Paintball owner Tony Armstrong in a fundraising shootout for the Parkinson Society Canada.
The Saturday fundraiser raised $800 and drew about 50 players. Many other visitors also attended simply to show their support for the charitable cause and for Armstrong.
“People volunteered to barbecue, we had a few people come over to drop off cheques,” said Armstrong. “I’m telling you, we’ve got a great community here.”
Players in the event came from all walks of life and from a variety of age groups. One group of adult players made a three-hour drive from Owen Sound to take part in the event, while another featured a group of youths from a church group.
“They were a little nervous, so the older fellas showed the younger guys the rules and mentored them through it, and they had so much fun,” said Armstrong.
Two local businesses — Wes Finch & Sons and Muskoka Party Rentals — also donated a freight container and a tent to serve as a temporary office and shelter for attendees.
In the aftermath of the shootout, Armstrong said the visitors from Owen Sound were particularly impressed at the dramatic outpouring of support showed by locals and area businesses.
“In a lot of places, (paintball) is sort of a fringe group, the towns don’t always support their paintball fields,” he said. “They said ‘you’ve got a great community here, we’re going to tell everyone about this little gem.’”
Spurred by the success of the past week, Armstrong is already working with partners in the community for another charitable event. Slated for mid-May, a fundraiser is being planned to benefit Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School student Nic Paterson, who suffered a spinal cord injury in a February ski hill accident at Horseshoe Valley Resort in Barrie.