After years of fundraising and garnering support from the community, the Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club held a ground breaking ceremony Thursday to usher in construction of a new day lodge at Beatton Park.
"We're standing here on what will be the footprint of the day lodge. It's been a long road of fundraising and putting this project together to get to this point, and it's absolutely incredible that we’re finally here," former club president Eliza Stanford said to the club members, sponsors, dignitaries, and rec community members present at the ceremony. "We're here because you are here."
The ceremony began with Doig River Councillor Gary Oker and Elder Jack Askoty performing a blessing song.
"We are going to do a blessing song for the land, put our best intentions into this idea that it will be a place for people to gather and enjoy the outdoors, and that’s beautiful," Oker said.
New ski club president Becky Grimsrud thanked Stanford for her years of hard work as president and getting to the project across the finish line. She echoed Stanford's sentiment in thanking everyone present for their work over the years.
"From the bottom of our heart, this is an incredible opportunity to put something together that will be valued, used, and loved by our recreational community for many, many years to come. A huge thank you to everyone who's been a part of this," Grimsrud said.
The club received $298,396 in funding on Tuesday from the Northern Development Initiative Trust, which took the fundraising for the project over the finish line. Stanford estimates the 1,500-square-foot building will cost at least $650,000 when it's all said and done.
Excavation is set to begin by the end of the month, and she would like to see the foundation be laid and finished before winter.
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