Residents rally to save Rockport Rec Hall

·2 min read

The future seems brighter for the Rockport Recreation Hall as community members rallied this week to help the hall stay afloat.

“The community support has been phenomenal,” said Meg Mallory, president of the Rec Hall Committee.

Because of the pandemic, the rec hall was not able to do its regular rentals resulting in financial woes from a dwindling bank account and $15,000 of looming costs. The Rec Hall Committee took to the community asking for the public’s help to ensure the future of the hall.

Dozens of community members attended Wednesday’s meeting in hopes to keep the rec hall going. They shared fundraising ideas that are actually attainable, said Mallory.

A myriad of ideas were discussed, from selling homemade fridge magnets, yard sales, craft shows and farmers markets in the summer to euchre tournaments, bake sales and more.

After the meeting, the Rec Hall Committee felt completely supported and encouraged, said Mallory. “There’s nothing more unstoppable than when people come together,” she added.

The rec hall is “a really important part of our village,” said Wendy Merkley, chair of the Rockport Development Group, adding that it would be sad to see the community without the hall.

The RDG volunteered to organize a drive-thru pasta dinner fundraiser with proceeds going to the rec hall to help keep the heat and water on throughout the winter, said Merkley.

The takeout dinner is planned for Feb. 4, 2022.

Mallory said that the committee would need to raise $4,000 to $5,000 to keep operations going, and from the Wednesday night meeting they received a donation of $5,000.

The total money raised is unknown as donations are still coming in, said Mallory.

The rec hall has been near and dear to many Rockport residents’ hearts, as many people attended classes when the school house was still in operation or have attended some of the many actives and events the rec hall has hosted in the past. According to the rec hall website, the hall is four years away from turning 100 years old and has been a hub for the community for most of that time.

Now the red brick rec hall is community-owned and run by volunteers. Fundraising ideas and donations are welcome and can be made to rockportrechall@gmail.com.

Jessica Munro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times

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