Story helps Community Living Chatham-Kent, shuffleboard club team up

Thames Horizon shuffleboard club was looking for help securing a grant to upgrade its lounge and bathrooms, but ended up with an organization to partner with.

Thames Horizon shuffleboard club was looking for help securing a grant to upgrade its lounge and bathrooms, but ended up with an organization to partner with.

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The shuffleboard club told The Daily News in late August it needed to borrow a charity number for its application to the Chatham-Kent Community Foundation to help cover the estimated $15,500 upgrades.

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Not only did Community Living Chatham-Kent (CLCK) step lend its charitable number, but the agency serving people with diverse abilities, also will be bringing some new players to the club.

CLCK’s executive director, Ron Coristine, read the story and recognized great opportunity, saqid community relations manager Nicole Roeszler.

“We thought, ‘What an awesome way we could partner with this shuffleboard club and Community Living Chatham-Kent can help utilize this awesome building,’ ” she said.

Shuffleboard is a great activity for people of all abilities, she added.

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Club member Louis Beausoleil said thanks to Community Living stepping up, the club received a $7,500 grant from the South Kent Wind Fund, a donor-advised community foundation fund.

“We’re very ecstatic” about the grant, he said, adding club members likely do most of the work themselves to save costs.

Club president Al Little said the six courts, on property donated by the Mackness family on Longwoods Road just outside Chatham, are the area’s best. But to bring people in, the club needs good washroom facilities and a nice lounge area.

“I’m just glad to see it continuing on and having an outreach to other people” in the community, said Dennis Mackness, whose late father, Harold Mackness, was a founding club member.

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Without CLCK’s participation, “we may not have been successful in getting the grant,” Beausoleil said. “We’re very happy to have them on board.”

The plan is to have Community Living clients come to the upgraded club next spring and “learn from the professionals. . . how to play shuffleboard,” Roeszler said. “We can have that relationship and they can build friendships with all these great members.”

The club has many volunteers who will be happy to help teach newcomers how to play, Beausoleil said.

“Being a part of the community is such a big thing for Community Living Chatham-Kent, so we’re very grateful to the shuffleboard club and all the members,” Roeszler said.

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