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Curlers hit the ice for first annual Churches of Bradford Bonspiel (15 photos)

The first ever Bradford Bonspiel brought out eight teams from local churches to raise money for the weekly Community Meal at Bradford United Church

Bradford is growing, and so is the need for good meals and social interaction.

That’s why Rev. Dana Dickson of the Bradford Anglican Church and her husband, Stuart Bond, teamed up with the Bradford Curling Club to raise over $1,000 for the BWG Community Meal.

Eight teams of curlers from five Bradford area churches came together, in a friendly competition, to raise money for a good cause in the First Annual Churches of Bradford Bonspiel.

“We have the Roman Catholic Church, Holy Martyrs of Japan. We have the Holland Marsh Christian Reform Church here. We have Trinity Anglican Church here. We have Bradford Baptist and we have St. John’s Presbyterian,” explained Bond.

“It’s a chance for all the churches to have fun with each other, compete against each other, but all the donations from today are going to the Community Meal,” he continued.

The Community Meal, an ongoing project of BWG Community Initiatives since 2004, is hosted every Friday at 5:30 p.m. the Bradford United Church. No registration is required and the meal is free. 

“Cash donations are accepted, as we buy the food each week before we make the meals,” explained Gwen Cottingham, President of BWG Community Initiatives.

The meal is for anyone. Whether it’s someone on a fixed or limited income or someone who might otherwise be alone and doesn’t want to eat by themselves. 

“It’s a good social, as well, for some of the seniors. It gets them out of the house and gives them someone to share a meal with,” said Cottingham.

In addition to meeting people, curling is great exercise, easy to learn and anyone can do it. 

“In Bradford, our ages go from age five to maybe, 95. As long as you’re able to hold a beverage in your hand, you’re able to curl,” explains Robert Ben, team Skip for the Holy Martyrs of Japan Church, whose team won the bonspiel.

“Stuart & Dana are members of the Bradford Curling Club, joined last year, they’ve really driven this bonspiel here today,” said Brian Febel, President of the Bradford Curling Club.

“It’s really to bring the community together among the different churches in town and enjoy something that we all enjoy; to open up and welcome them to a place they may have never been before.”

The Bradford Curling Club is open seven days a week and anyone can come in to spectate, the season typically runs from October to end of March. 

For people wanting to try the sport of curling, the Bradford Curling Club offers curling clinics a few times each year which coincide with the start of the fall and winter seasons.

“The membership here is very open and very friendly. We are open to the community and we welcome them with open arms,” said Febel.

For those who might be inclined to help in the kitchen, the BWG Community Meal is also looking for people to join their team. 

“We need people to help in serving, cooking and there is also a need for more members on the board,” said Cottingham.

To volunteer with the BWG Community Meal contact them through their Facebook page here or call Cottingham directly at 905-775-7792.

About the Author: Dave Kramer

Dave Kramer is a freelance photographer who covers Innisfil and Bradford
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