A desire to add to the beautification of Madge and to enhance the Madge Lake experiencehas resulted in theformation of Friends of Madge Lake, a non-profit group which was set up at the end of the summer of 2017.
There are 12 people on the board of Directors representing all cabin subdivisions and the camping community. Patti Hack acts as chair; Anne MacLellan,vice chair; Leesa Haslund, secretary, and Kim Schindler, treasurer. Kevin Streat, Stephanie Hudye, Lorraine Schnieder, Gillian Culham, Nancy Welykholowa, Pat Hladun, Lance Gussie, and Lisa Placatka are all members at large. Greg Podovinikoff acts as liaison to the board.
“There are a lot of amenities and projects that Madge Lakers would like to see that are outside budget possibilities of Park Administration and there is grant money that is not available to the Park that is available for groups like this,” said Hack. “A group of friends thought it was a shame that they weren’t capitalizing on those grants at Madge, and an idea was born.
“Of course, it is not that easy. First, we had to establish the group, structure the organization and set policy and by-laws. We had to increase the membership numbers and then plan projects, budget and raise money toward that project and then and only then, could we begin to apply for grants.
“One of the first projects was to set up a Friends of Madge Lake home base. The Park is allowing Friends to use the last of the 1930s log cabins that were such a big part of Madge’s history. The cabin up the east hill from Ministik beach had been deserted and looking pretty sad for many years.
“The park put new shingles on the cabin and did a restoration that brought it into shape for the Friends board to take over, scrub and clean and open as a specialty store and beach concession.
“It is such a nice addition to the park,” she said.
“Another Friends project was to print a Madge Lake Favorites cookbook, which is now available for purchase. Included are favourite lake recipes and history, stories and pictures. It’s a great little book that is a wonderful gift or souvenir of Madge Lake. Those book sales will help us begin the process of Friends of Madge Lake.
“Our biggest and most important thrust right now is to increase the membership. An annual membership is $20 and three years is $50. Lifetime is $500, and an annual corporate membership is $250. Those memberships prove the organizational growth, and give members a say prioritizing projects. Memberships can be purchased at the cottage, or online at friendsofmadgelake.ca
“Since the formation of Friends, we have had many requests for improvements at the park. People would like to see a good ball diamond again, play structures in the subdivisions, an off-leash dog park and new signage on the highway made of logs and stones and that fit with the forest feel of the park instead of metal signs. We believe all of these are possibilities if this initiative is a success and we continue to have the support of Madge Lakers, and anyone who has a love of the area and the Park.
“We feel this is an exciting initiative for the area. Madge Lake is a beautiful spot and a very important place to many people. This group is hoping to add more beauty and value,” said Hack. Friends of Madge Lake encourages individuals and corporate sponsors to show support by purchasing a membership. Visit them at the cabin and buy a cookbook or some beautiful or tasty handcrafted items from local vendors.
“If you are interested in putting in some volunteer hours with this group, we invite you to call one of the directors, contact any one of us on social media or sign up on the volunteer sheet at the cabin,” said Hack.
Friends of Madge Lake will be holding a grand opening on August 5, when a ribbon will be cut and cake served. For more information contact Hack or any board members.
“You can shake the Madge Lake sand from your shoes, but it will never leave your soul!”