On the eve of the 28th Annual Kurl for Kids Celebrity Charityspiel, I am pleased to add a piece of the story of how this great event began. Special thanks to Gene Glaze for reaching out and writing this piece.
Founded in 1989 by: Ed Werenich, Neil Harrison, John Brockest, Gene Glaze, Alison Goring at the Avonlea CC.
Committee: John Brockest, Neil Harrison, Paul Savage Gene Glaze, Alison Goring (and eventually Susan Brower)
John Brockest volunteered to Chair the planning etc.. BUT, in his negotiating with the Avonlea owner Mr. Lou Detzki, he lost his patience when it came to the $$$ and he became very frustrated and resigned. That’s when I took over to Chair the meetings.
Neil Harrison and Paul Savage were the real driving force to make this event a success by lining up the celebrity skips across Canada.
Initially we didn’t have a charity lined up. Surprisingly THAT turned out to be a problem as we tried asking several charity’s to accept what money we would raise. I had previously worked with Whipper Billy Watson and his “March of Dimes” fund raising events. His main assistant Susan Brower was a friend of mine and I asked her for help. She immediately accepted and Whipper’s fund raising efforts at the time were for the Crippled Children’s Hospital in Scarborough. Later to be known as the Hugh McMillan Center. She worked super hard for us and attended ALL of our meetings from then on and for years afterwards, untill her passing in I think 2009. She was solely responsible for persuading Air Canada to donate 12 FREE airline tickets from anywhere in Canada to fly in celebrity skips. That lasted for 3 of the years I was involved with the 3rd year they cut it back to 10 tickets.
Alison Goring’s appearance and Werenich winning at the worlds in 1990 added a Major part to the 1st event. BUT Ed. Didn’t want any part in the organizing, period. In our 2nd. year Alison Goring became a big part in the arranging for the women’s celebrity skips. While Paul Savage and Neil Harrison continued arranging for the men’s celebrity skips. Sixty four celebrity curlers from all over Canada representing a total of over 125 purple hearts. I wish a complete list was available but to name a few…. Sam Richardson, Garnet and Don Campbell, Al Hackner, Rick Lang, Russ and Glenn Howard. Wayne Middaugh, Gould, Ian Tetley, Pat Perroud, John Kawaga, Don Bartlett, Pat Ryan, Art Lobel, Jack MacDuff, Alf Phillips, Bernie Sparks, Mike Harris.
That first years event raised $120,000.00, all funds going to the Crippled Children’s Hospital later re-named The Hugh MacMillan Hospital.
Tony Wagner took over from me after the third year’s event.
Signed…. Gene Glaze.