The McGillicky family, through McGillicky Oilfield Construction, has been one of the biggest donors to the roaring game and a major part of the sport’s resurgence in the Estevan area.
Their donation and support of the McGillicky Lounge at the Power Dodge Curling Clubhas helped turn the lounge into a facility where people can go for post-curling socializing as well as it being used by non-curlers.
“We started curling about 12 years ago and we enjoyed it, and got into it,” said Randy McGillicky, president of McGillicky Oilfield Construction from the lounge that bears his company’s name. “We started curling with a couple of friends here, at the Oilmen’s (bonspiel) and did a couple of other bonspiels. We just thought it would be great for the community to help out.
“It’s helped with the improvement of this place quite a bit. You see more people now, and a lot younger people joining too.”
That help has been much appreciated by the curling club.
“This was a game-changer for us, upstairs, without a doubt,” said club manager Pauline Ziehl Grimsrud. “When the McGillicky’s came on, we’ve had the opportunity with their support to redo the lounge upstairs, and with the granting programs we’ve put all new furniture up here, the Cool Curling tables, we’ve refitted the bar because the original bar is still in here. New coolers, new glassware, you name it.
“We’ve touched pretty much every surface in this area, and it’s due to the support that we’ve received.
“The support we’ve received from McGillicky is a huge reason why we were able to make this a more appealing room, I would say, for people to come up and spend their time.”
Now that the improvements have been made, Ziehl Grimsrud said the membership can enjoy coming up not just on the nights they curl but to use the facility for other evenings.
“I think it’s appealing for young people too,” said McGillicky. “They see the couches and the Cool Curling tables, there’s something to do if they’re not curling.”
“The atmosphere is really good up here now,” said curling club president Devon Fornwald. “You come up here and there’s more socializing going on and everybody that comes up here now likes to say how much it’s really changed.”
People stick around longer, Ziehl Grimsrud said.
“And sometimes when you see something every day you forget how much of a change this is, but we have a team that comes up from Williston (North Dakota) and when they came up on Tuesday they were just blown away with a beautiful lounge.”
There is a whole lot of new furniture, including replacing the old long tables.
Of course, the lounge still also has a great view of the on-ice action at the Power Dodge Curling Centre.
“It was something we started doing as our kids got older and we didn’t have to be there with our kids,” said Sheila McGillicky. “This is something we took up later on in our years. We really enjoyed it and enjoyed the social aspect of it.”
“It’s something we can do together, instead of just sitting at home on the couch,” said Randy McGillicky.
In addition to the donations the family company have made, Randy and Sheila have volunteered at the SaskTel Tankard, which took place last January and February at Affinity Place, and will also be volunteering at December’s Home Hardware Canada Cup, Fornwald said.
“It’s been a great addition to the club just to even have them as members,” Fornwald said.
It’s probably fair to say that the additional people at the curling lounge have helped steer the club into helping host events like the Tankard and Canada Cup, but there’s also been a benefit to the club for those who want to rent the facility for Christmas parties.
“People come up here because it’s a nice place to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere,” said Fornwald. “The sponsorship money that they’ve put forward helps us but there’s been an uptick in lounge rentals. That’s helped the bottom line for the curling club a lot. Without it, we’d be struggling a little bit…
“It definitely helps everything.”