“This has far exceeded our expectations,” said John Ferguson, main organizer of the Rotary Family Day Winter Activity event held at Granite Pointe Golf Course on Sunday.
The sun was shining and the temperature was just cold enough to keep the snow from melting but not so cold that the kids and families couldn’t enjoy the outdoor winter activities organized for the day.
The Nelson Rotary Club decided to gather families together on the eve of the Family Day statutory holiday to thank the community for all its support for the various fundraising activities they hold throughout the year.
“The community has been so helpful to Nelson Rotary and this is one of our ways to say thank you very much for helping us do our projects,” said Ferguson.
The club funds many community projects like the Lakeside park playground, boat launch, waterfront pathway, and scholarships as well as international contributions such as playing a major role in the worldwide eradication of polio.
More thanks goes to the sponsors who really believed in the first-time event and willingly stepped up. Nelson Ford was a major financial sponsor allowing the club to provide everything at the event free of charge. Sales manager Gerry Cesa attended the event on behalf of the dealership.
“When I came around the corner and I saw all the cars, I thought ‘Oh wow.’ I think it’s just great to see how many young people, how many little people are out here and I’m sure next year they’re going to make it even bigger and better.”
Save-On Foods, another huge Rotary supporter, generously provided hot chocolate, coffee, hot dogs with all the fixings, and Granite Pointe who graciously allowed the club to use the clubhouse and grounds at no charge.
When asked how he thought the day was going, Dave Belling, general manager of the golf club said, “I have one word: Awesome. The community support that Rotary does is absolutely amazing. Whether it’s the family day that is happening today or all the other things that Rotary does to help support the community, is absolutely terrific. The new faces that are up here, the families, the fun…just great for the city of Nelson.”
From tobogganing, sleighing, snow painting, bubble blowing to a beanbag toss in the snow, there was plenty to keep the kids busy and happy. And that made the parents happy too.
“Our family had so much fun! The event felt inviting and offered a variety of activities, all of which we enjoyed. Our children enjoyed the pony ride the most, although snowmobiling to toboggan was a close second,” said Ashley Burns, one of the parents who attended the event.
Many of the Rotary club’s members could be seen around the event cooking hotdogs, making hot chocolate, helping kids up on the horses, loading kids onto the snowmobile to take them to the top of the hill, always ensuring safety was a priority.
One of the highlights of the day was the horseback rides provided by the Weber family, Brian, Naomi and their daughter Korynn who came from Vancouver just for this event. Initially, they were going to bring a horse and sleigh, but discovered that the hard-crusted snow was too difficult for the horse to safely pull the sleigh. They made a last-minute decision to provide horseback rides instead. It turned out to be a hit with the kids, and no one seemed to mind, judging from the long line-up of children waiting patiently for their turn for this rare and special treat.
Ferguson and his team worked hard to put together a great day of fun and weren’t sure what to expect.
“We had no idea how many people we were going to get and we probably have 4 or 500 people from the community here, and this is great… all young kids and families.”
As a first-time event, it seemed like they got their wish — a beautiful day, lots of kids, plenty of food, and most importantly, a lot of fun. It was a great way to celebrate Family Day and no doubt, something to look forward to again next year.