In 2004 our curling club began its expansion/renovation. We needed a larger dining area, a new ladies room and locker room, a new bar and a new kitchen. As required with any expansion/renovation of this magnitude, we had to come up to state and local building codes; part of which included a ramp in the front entrance and at lease a lavatory that would be handicap accessible.
After the building committee reviewed the architectural drawings it decided to approach the Board of Directors of the club to seek permission to not have but one handicap lavatory but rather to redesign both the men’s and ladies rooms to encompass handicap facilities in both. Also the committee requested an additional enclosed ramp be constructed that would allow wheelchair curlers direct access to the ice.
The committee encountered some resistance, primarily because we didn’t have any wheelchair curlers at that time nor the funds for such a beautiful dream. The committee then suggested if the Board went along with the idea, we would hold golf tournaments annually until the projected cost of $15k was raised. With this promise not to incur any additional cost to the expansion the Board gave its approval. Three years later and after having three golf tournaments that committee raised $19k net; enough to construct what was needed.
In 2007 the expansion was completed and we now had the task of locating some wheelchair candidates.
Our club frequently holds a Curling for Charity event whereby both the club and the charity chosen work together to get ten to twelve non curler teams from the community to spend a day on the ice in what I’ll call a mini bonspiel. We’ve had groups such as the Police Dept., Teachers, Fire Dept, Town Hall Administrators, just to name a few. Donations from the community and raffle sales bring in the money. All the net proceeds are then given as a Charitable Donation to the charity selected.
In the fall of 2007 the charity selected for our Curling for Charity was CAPEable Adventures. This organization specializes in providing the disabled with sporting equipment to use for a day or a week at no cost. People with disabilities that are coming to the Cape can make arrangement to have equipment such as hand cycles, canoes, kayaks and much more available for them. It was from this event that we found two people in wheelchairs that wanted to pursue curling from the onset; they were: David Palmer and Meghan Lino. The following year three more that attended the Curling for Charity event joined: David Sawyer, Mary Egan and Mike Cameron.
And now you know how wheelchair curling got started at the Cape Cod Curling Club.