As a past president of the Centre Wakefield La Pêche (CWLP), I feel compelled to share my reflections at this time of decision regarding the fate of our beloved institution. Currently our community centre is up and running, with a summer camp, theatre camp, pickleball and more, as well as offering various rentals — all under the care of regular employees, summer students and the board of directors, who are looking after the overall management.
Our centre was initiated, created and financially supported by our community, and many people became lifetime members by purchasing two shares for $20, and who continue to use the centre and have voting rights at the annual general meeting and any special meetings called for specific reasons.
Although there have been many ups and downs, including three years of COVID, the centre has withstood these various challenges, and, after 12 years, the building is in good shape and the centre continues to effectively serve its members as well as the general population of La Pêche. Clearly this is a viable cooperative, which unites our community and remains the jewel of La Pêche and the heart of the village of Wakefield.
The centre offers an opportunity to engage the talents, time and energy of committed volunteers, who can serve on the board of directors or in other capacities, and use their skills to sustain this integral, beloved institution for the good of all.
Do we need dedicated, hardworking, skilled board members? Absolutely! I send out my personal thanks to all those who have served on the board since CWLP’s inception. Though patience, time and hard work are required, this job was most rewarding.
Do we need a transparent, financially-sound budget based on tight fiscal policies?
With proper financial management, using tools such as one or two signature fundraising events; regular rentals, such as the [Farmers’] Market, the Golden Age Club, Peggy Brewin, The Way, Theatre Wakefield; annual $20 activity fee; regular income from pickleball/other sports, special events, rentals, as well as municipal, provincial and federal grant monies; and careful attention to salaries, our centre is financially stable and sustainable.
Do we need a core of loyal, committed volunteers (kudos to the Ming group and others), who can alleviate minor costs, such as gardening, technical skills, kitchen clean-up, caring for plants, bar duties, communication expertise and many other areas that offer a chance to all ages to actively engage in the operation of our community centre? Indeed! What better way to become a part of the health and wealth of your community.
The centre is not just a building, but rather a community hub, in which everyone can participate and take pride and ownership in their contributions.