The Togo Centennial Committee focusing on Togo arena roof

A volunteer-based organization in the Village of Togo, which acts as the recreation board and a community fundraising organization, has taken up the cause for the Togo Centennial Arena.

The Togo Centennial Committee (TCC) is fully focused on the “Raise the Rink Roof” project.

article continues below

Amanda Burback, once the Togo mayor and now village’s recreation director, said in a newsletter recently sent out to village residents, “Over the last couple of years, we have been turning our focus back to the rink, specifically the roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof.”

The Togo arena has been in need of a new roof for “quite some time,” according to Rita Brock, village administrator for the past three years.

“Although the Village is responsible for maintenance of the arena, there was no funding available to tackle a new roof,” she said. “When the Togo Centennial Committee approached council with the idea to fundraise, it was enthusiastically approved.”

Togo currently has around 90 residents. Loretta Erhardt is the mayor and Mike Ruf and Doug Laviolette are council members.

“Togo is a great community for volunteers, and since the formation of the TCC it has made some major funding contributions to various projects in the community,” Brock said.

The newsletter goes on to state, “We (TCC) have raised approximately $21,000. In the fall of 2019, we applied for money from a few grants. So far we have been awarded $15,000 from Richardson Pioneer.”

Recently, Burback spoke with the Kamsack Times about the fundraising efforts.

“Altogether we have around $30,000 to put toward the cost of the new roof for all three sections of the arena, including the skating, curling and kitchen areas,” she said. “We will be applying for additional grant funding, but will still need to raise the majority of the money ourselves.”

As indicated in the newsletter, the TCC is currently operating the rink kitchen, has plans to host a poker night and is intending to bring back Togo Ladies Night and more, all of which will be fundraisers for the Raise the Rink Roof project. All funds raised at the recently held annual snowmobile derby on February 16 went directly to the project.

The arena is utilized to host various community activities and events, and is home to the Togo Figure Skating Club which can boast 35 members this year. The Club hosts an annual Ice Carnival on the first weekend of March.

The Togo Terriers call the arena home, and it is the venue for the annual Togo Bonspiel, which again was held earlier this month from February 11 to 15, the Togo Snowmobile and Irondog Vintage Derby and an annual town garage sale scheduled for the fall.

The arena has been home for an afterschool program for Togo youngsters in the past years and the TCC sponsors Family Free Skate days when families utilize the rink free of charge. The most recent was held on February 16.

“In 2007 to 2008 the TCC undertook an ambitious renovation project at the rink,” Burback said. “The original entrance was removed and replaced with an area double in size, and larger, more easily accessible washrooms were created.

“For the Raise the Rink Roof project, our committee has entered into an arrangement with a local contractor, Airriess Construction of Togo, and we have been given an estimate of $115,000 for the cost. Our committee is happy to support a local business from our community,” she said.

“The TCC was created in 2006 in preparation for the Togo Centennial which was celebrated that year. Since then the TCC has continued to raise funds for community projects such as renovations at the Togo Hall, rink renovations and the new playground. Altogether we have raised and invested around $200,000 in our community.

“Every dollar we raise goes back to the community of Togo,” Burback continued. “But we can’t do it without assistance. If you can volunteer to help our cause, or if you have a fundraising idea to share, please contact myself, Loretta Erhardt, Tiffany Stone, Cherie Harper, Trudy Lockhart, or Ebony Stillborn; leave a comment on the Togo Facebook page; or email Amanda.burback@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!”