The teams fof Val Sweeting ( Tier 1 winner, centre right) and Jacqueline Harrison (Tier 2 winner, centre left) are pictured after the Womens’ Final at SportsNet’s Grand Slam of Curling hosted by the Cranbrook Curling Club in November, 2016. The Cranbrook Curling Club and volunteer Donna Butler are among the recipients of Curl BC’s annual awards. (Barry Coulter photo)

Cranbrook’s great curling season noted

Cranbrook Curling Club, volunteer Donna Butler among recipients of Curl BC’s annual awards

The winter now passed has been a great one for Cranbrook Curling.

This sentiment is echoed in the announcement of the annual Curl BC awards. Donna Butler, a Cranbrook volunteer, and the Cranbrook Curling Club are among the athletes, organizations and volunteers who will be honoured at an awards ceremony in June.

A press release from Curl BC said the Cranbrook Curling Club had a “fantastic season,” opening its doors to the Junior Optimist, Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge and 2017 BC Masters Curling Championships.

“The club has an excellent volunteer base who do not hesitate to step up to get the job done right.”

“When we were granted the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge, I was really impressed by the support from the communit,” said General Manager Chris Medford, who nominated the club. “We had over 200 volunteers who worked roughly 25 hours, that’s 5,000 volunteer hours.”

The club’s recent success comes on the heels of what seemed like a gloomy future. Because of low participation in curling, a 2007 proposal was for the club to be turned into a indoor tennis or badminton courts. But that proposal was turned down and the community has rallied behind the rink. The club is now growing every year, including a junior program. Chris describes the sport as having done a “U turn in the past decade”. “We want to continue the growth of the sport we so love.”

Donna Butler of Cranbrook got the Wally M’Lot Award for Official of the Year

‘Donna is highly respected as an official not only in the province of BC but across Canada and at the World level,” the Curl BC press release said. “Donna is always available for events including regional events. She has travelled the Kootenay pass many times to help out at varying events. She is quick to mentor others and share her knowledge. She is a steady, reliable official who thinks on her feet and ensures that events are officiated with the competitors in mind.

“She keeps up-to-date on all the rule changes and is always encouraging others to achieve the highest standard of officiating.”

A total of 14 awards will be handed out at the event which recognizes the vital contribution that volunteers, coaches, insiders and athletes have made to the sport of curling in BC over the past year.

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