Raises funds for rebuilt tennis court
Norway Bay July 8, 2023
When Brian Booth arrived at the park next to the Centennial Hall in Norway Bay on Saturday afternoon, his first stop was to stick a strip of red adhesive vinyl onto the fundraising thermometer on the poster hanging on the tennis court fence.
Booth is the treasurer of the Norway Bay Municipal Association (NBMA), a volunteer group that makes good things happen in the cottage community. Rebuilding the tennis court is one of them.
Booth says the provincial government kicked in the lion’s share of the cost, leaving the NBMA to raise the $15,000 balance. His addition of another piece of red vinyl was to telegraph to the scores of guests at the community barbecue that evening that the mercury had just moved another thousand dollars closer to the target.
The purpose of the barbecue was really two-fold, said NBMA president Pat Byrne.
“First, it is to sort of kick off the beginning of summer, a community social event, free for parents, grandparents, kids, et cetera, so a bit of a celebration,” said Byrne.
“And then, at the same time, it’s drawing attention to the fact that we’re still about $9,000 short of the total costs that we’ve incurred to get the tennis court rebuilt and resurfaced. So, we’re hoping to drum up a few donations, and draw attention to the fact that it’s finished now, and it’s something that the whole community can enjoy.”
“And we got pickleball lines put on as well, so it’s both tennis and pickleball,” adds Byrne.
The first meeting of the NBMA was 103 years ago, in July 1920. Byrne marvels at the great community spirit that continues to be very much alive in the organization to this day.
“Multiple volunteers from the Norway Bay community just showed up to help,” said Byrne, gesturing over his shoulder toward the small army of people behind him setting up tables and chairs, loading ice into the horse trough doubling as a beverage cooler, firing up the gas barbecues and laying out food.
The feast came together in a most relaxed manner as Beth McGahern and Julia Hardie, who together form the NBMA social committee, worked alongside a squad of volunteers whose pleasant and easy collaboration imbued the event with a certain calm.
When it is not refurbishing a tennis court or hosting a summer barbecue, the major preoccupation of the NBMA seems to be providing programs for kids for six weeks each summer.
“We have swimming lessons both on the beach and on the pier, where kids can go from pure beginner all the way up to Bronze Cross. We have a theater arts program where kids are doing things like photography and arts and theater – they’re doing a play every year. We also have field sports in the evenings. We have basketball and we have tennis,” says Byrne.
“Really what we are is a convoluted funding organization to make sure that the kids’ programs get run every year. And the community comes together wilfully and often, so it can really be quite a lot of fun, actually,” he says.
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