Ribbon cutting marks opening of Events for Life arena cafe

It didn’t take long for the first rush of lunch orders to come in after the Events for Life Cafe at the Beaver Valley Community Centre officially opened.

Volunteers and staff at the cafe cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark its official opening on Nov. 8. The Blue Mountains Mayor Alar Soever and Mayor-elect Andrea Matrosovs were on hand for the grand opening ceremony.

Soon after, the hot dogs, fries, sausage, sandwiches and other tasty snacks were flying out the window to hungry customers.

“This is a great step forward. The first of many franchises in the community,” Soever said after the ribbon was cut.

Event for Life volunteers and participants were busy taking and preparing orders for the big event.

“It’s such a great opportunity for these guys to get real-life experience,” said Events for Life Board Chair Kevin Whyte. “It’s great, we’ve had an incredibly supportive council. We couldn’t be more excited.”

The cafe will be open at the community centre from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with longer hours on Fridays when the local curling club is on the ice. Over time, Events for Life hopes to open longer hours and provide services at hockey tournaments on the schedule.

“It’s a social enterprise and it’s great experience for our participants,” said Whyte, adding he hopes Events for Life will have another cafe in the future Gateway building.

Whyte said the goal is to run the cafe as a break-even proposition, with any profits earned to be used to support Events for Life events and activities. He said the organization is grateful for the donations of money and supplies from the community that have helped get the enterprise started.

“The community has been very supportive,” said Whyte, who encouraged local residents to visit the cafe for lunch.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca