By Darren Lum
The opportunity for people to play arcade games and watch movies is coming to the West Guilford Recreation Centre thanks to Families in Motion.
Led by West Guilford cousins, Sue Bridge, Lynne Stamp and Cheryl Cooper, the Families in Motion Corporation is a non-profit organization with a purpose to provide recreational programs for residents and cottagers of all ages.
They are welcoming people to come to The DropZone! Games Arcade and Movie program on Friday nights where families can play a variety of games from pinball machines, floor curling, foosball, air hockey to board games together and watch a movie at 7:15 p.m. (with capacity for 200).
Bridge said this initiative is about meeting the needs of families today.
“I see that the family dynamic has changed a little bit to parents and children doing more things together, as opposed to in the 70s when we grew up where the kids did one thing and the parents did another. Now it seems a lot of the younger families, the parents do things, more things with their kids, and that’s what we’re trying to encourage is [provide] somewhere that families can go together,” she said.
The opening night is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 8 and the cost is $5 per person with in and out privileges, including door prizes and giveaways. Snack bar food will be available. Children requiring supervision must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information see www.thedropzone.xyz or their Facebook page @TheDropZoneWestGuilford for updates and for when The DropZone! is available Saturday.
Families in Motion is also opening up the arcade to the public to book the space for special events and is calling it The Celebration Station.
The origin of all of this is steeped in nostalgia for the cousins.
Growing up, the three cousins spent most of their free time engaged with recreational activities at the West Guilford Recreation Centre (or nearby such as Pine Lake where they swam). Weekly dances were also held at the centre located at 1061 Kennisis Lake Road.
From a prepared written statement, “The three of us have been nostalgic about our time spent at the WGRC and began to develop ideas that would utilize all that the WGRC has to offer. This led to our commitment to incorporate as a not-for-profit and set up programs for this generation that would create the same fond memories we have about growing up in West Guilford.”
Bridge and Stamp said the value of growing up in a small town where a centre could be the hub of all their lives was important for them in their development, and they’re looking to enhance what is already available.
Cooper raised her family in West Guilford and was instrumental to many past Canada Day celebrations while Bridge has returned to live in West Guilford after owning and operating a horse boarding facility in Jerseyville, Ontario for 25 years and Stamp, who is a full time elementary school teacher in the Peel District School Board, plans to return to her family home for retirement in West Guilford by 2024.
Families in Motion, who have invested their own money and received partial funding from the Haliburton County Development Corporation, hopes to add more offerings such as camps related to holiday periods such as March Break, Christmas and summer months, an adult casino game night, magic show or children’s entertainers for children, comedy/open mic night for adults, and a “Transformation Station” where local businesses offer manicures, massage and hair cuts. The non-profit, who welcomes sponsors and any support for this endeavour, wants to be able to offer gift certificates, improve the centre with new paint and add to the arcade collection.
After her time away living in different places in Canada, Stamp said it was time to come home to her family and Pine Lake, and looks forward to returning to live in West Guilford full time, but until then she wants to contribute.
“So, I started to make my way back and I was just a couple years away form retirement and can’t wait to get back here and when I do I want the three of us to be together, work together and contribute to the community,” she said.