MEADOWVIEW, NS - It costs a lot of money and countless volunteer hours to keep community halls open, especially during colder weather.
This fact isn’t lost on those who regularly make use of the Meadowview Community Centre, including regular jam session performers. They put on a benefit show for the hall on Nov. 5 to raise money for winter expenses including heating oil and upgrades to the basement. There was also a bake sale, an auction and refreshments.
Basil Davidson said he and the other regular jam session performers wanted to put on the benefit for the community centre to show their appreciation to the Meadowview Development Association. Whenever someone in the community is sick or in need, the association allows the performers to use the hall free of charge to hold benefit shows. Association members also volunteer to help out in the kitchen.
“We wanted to give back for them giving to us,” Davidson said.
This is the second year they’ve been holding regular Friday night jam sessions at the Meadowview Community Centre. Davidson said this gives community members, especially those who are elderly, somewhere to go on Friday nights “to get out and forget their troubles for a while.” It costs only $2 to attend.
Meadowview Development Association president Joe Benjamin said it’s very important to the community to keep the hall open and operating.
“If you go by any time during the week, it’s usually full of cars because we have different functions,” Benjamin said. “The centre is really well used, more than it has been in the past.”
They have Chase the Ace on Friday evenings at 6 p.m., leading into the Friday night jam sessions that run from 7 to 10:30 p.m. They have ladies darts on Sunday evenings from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Benjamin said there are 32 players and the group makes a donation to the community association at the end of the year.
There’s bingo on Wednesday evenings, cribbage on Thursday evenings and regular weekend rentals for events like baby showers, birthday parties and wedding receptions.
Benjamin said they’ve been losing a lot of heat through cracks in the basement walls. He anticipates that upgrades to the basement - including insulation and a ventilation system - could cost the association as much as $15,000 or $20,000.
It also costs several thousand dollars to keep the hall heated with an oil furnace over the winter. Benjamin anticipates that they’ll have to hold other fundraising events to cover the expenses. There are also plans to add a deck to the centre once the basement is taken care of.
He said there’s a lot of work involved when it comes to keeping a community hall operating and it’s getting harder to recruit volunteers. Many of their volunteers are getting older but Benjamin said they do what they can. Those who are unable to volunteer at functions help out in other ways, such as donating baked goods or auction items.
Did you know?
Regular Friday night Meadowview jam session performers include:
- Basil Davidson
- Arnie Winston
- Carl Adams
- Albert Barkhouse
- Chris Cleams
- Joan Sheppard
- Carl Coleman
- Wayne Brown
- Sheri Stevens
- Wayne McDonald
- Dougie Wilson