COTR Trades construct ice huts for the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraiser

Students in the College of the Rockies' nine-week Trades program are building two ice fishing huts to donate to the the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life, with help and donations from the Home Renovation Centre and Invermere's RONA.

  • Feb. 23, 2011 6:00 p.m.

What had been a simple conversation in his office has now turned into an official project.On February 21, the Introduction to Trades student program at the College of the Rockies (COTR) headed out to the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce to construct two “top-end” ice fishing huts to be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life for use as a fundraiser, with donations and assistance from the Home Renovation Centre and Invermere’s RONA.“[The project] came off a discussion I had in my office last week,” said Doug Clovechok, campus manager at COTR.Introduction to Trades is a COTR program that is open to the public and to high school and other education program students. The nine-week program prepares students for basic trades, with a number of certificates awarded after completion, pertaining to such things as traffic control, forklift operation, transportation, WHIMIS, and many more.“We try to do community projects when we can,” said Colleen Weatherhead, administrative co-ordinator at COTR. “This year we’ve painted the Chamber of Commerce and raised three beds in partnership with greenhouse, which was a carpentry project.”The Introduction to Trades students will not be alone in this ice fishing hut endeavour. The Home Renovation Centre will be donating time and labour to assist with the project, and RONA will be donating materials.The Home Renovation Centre has worked with several COTR program projects over the years. The centre’s owner, David Ridge, was also assisting and teaching students with his team during the chamber painting project.“Young people in the Valley need a good start, and we do what we can to provide and help them get the skills they need,” said Ridge. “We’ve received very positive feedback from the college [for our assistance]. We try to let the students understand that they have the tools and the skills to empower them and create a positive experience. We hope to continue offering help in the future with the program and community.”“We’re supplying lumber, plywood and shingles for the project, among other materials,” said Leo Bukovnik, manager at RONA. “We also donate a forklift for forklift training every year for the college program. The community needs support, I’m a long-time resident, the Valley has treated me well and I love it here,” said Bukovnik of the reasons for RONA’s donation. “Projects are good things.”“There’s got to be a different way to get students out in the community,” said Clovechok. “These projects give them lots of really good opportunity to get out there, but also learn.”