Wilno rink volunteers seek financial help from MV

BARRY’S BAY – After saving the outdoor rink in Wilno, the newly formed Wilno Recreation Corporation is asking the Madawaska Valley Township for some help.
Robert Bersan is a part of the Wilno recreation group and spoke at the January 8 recreation, heritage and community economic development committee meeting. 
He asked if the township would kick in $10,000 so that the group can purchase liability insurance, deal with building issues like the heating system and have a contingency fund.
In 2013, the township was given the opportunity to purchase the outdoor rink from the Polish Canadian Pioneers Society, which was looking to dissolve. In order to do so, the society had to deal with its only asset, the outdoor rink in Wilno.
Council agreed that it would not purchase the rink, which ultimately was free but the township would have to absolve the back taxes and pay to dissolve the Polish society. 
In late December 2013, the Wilno Recreation Corporation formed, consisting of volunteers like Robert Bersan and his wife, Constance. The corporation took over the rink soon after.
“Our focus is getting the rink up and going for at least a couple of months this year,” Bersan said. 
While volunteers are getting ready to flood the rink, liability insurance still needs to be purchased.
“We don’t have any insurance,” he admitted. “We can get liability insurance which we are hoping to do in the next two to three weeks, so we can get ready for our first fundraiser which is the moccasin dance.”
That fundraiser has always been a big fundraiser for the rink, which was operational until two years ago.
“There are a lot of people that want to get this thing going or we wouldn’t have done this, obviously,” he said. “We have a lot of community support already; a lot of people have come out to help us get ready for some ice.”
The problem is, without liability insurance, the volunteers cannot safely hold functions in order to raise money. 
Read more in the January 15, 2014 issue of The Valley Gazette.