It is hard to hold an event without food at some time becoming a necessary topic of conversation. Most meetings have a minimum standard of at least coffee, tea and a goodie or two to keep their mob happy. The longer the meeting, workshop or event, the more important fortification becomes. It is a simple formula of common sense.
For the Riverside Centre, there is only one problem. The desire to serve nice meals and tasty treats is easier said than done. The kitchen in the centre while adequate for its previous life as a school staff kitchen is less than adequate as a community centre kitchen. The sparse room is spacious, but virtually empty of the necessities that make the kitchen commercial grade and community friendly. This is where Princeton’s very own Rotary Club has stepped in.
The Riverside Centre kitchen project is expected to cost somewhere in the ballpark of $100,000. “We are hoping to follow a three year plan,” said Rotary president Ken Blower. “We have to have electrical and plumbing work done, as well as, a venting as part of the renovation.”
“For our first year, we anticipate expenses to be around $35,000,” added Rotarian Judy Short. “This renovation project would be good for the whole community.”
Blower concurred. “I think the theatre could get a lot more activity if it had a good kitchen.”
“We could have a healthy cafeteria,” stated Recreation Coordinator Nadine McEwen. “I am excited that the Rotary has taken this on because it will benefit the community and we can book new programs that we couldn’t offer before. Also, it will give people another site in the community to prepare for events at.”
McEwen also noted that up to now, people have had to bring in their own coolers and ice and that they have had to bbq outside. “A new commercial grade kitchen would really ad to the community,” McEwen said.
Councillor Marilyn Harkness was up at Riverside Center with the rest of the crew and said that “we really hope that once this project gets started that we might get some deals from tradespeople and possibly donations. This is a wonderful project that the Rotary has taken on and I’m sure that lots of people in the community will support and embrace it. It will ad to our community assets.”
Short noted that Rotary is “hoping to be able to give tax deductions for any donations and really hopes that other groups will support their efforts.”
The first fundraiser the Rotary is holding for the kitchen project is their annual WIne Fest. The Rotary Winter Wine Fest for 2011 will take place on Saturday March 12 from 7-10 p.m. at the Riverside Centre and feature Okanagan and Similkameen wines and hors d’oeuvres. There will be raffles, a silent auction and lots of fun. “We hope to see you there,” welcomed Blower.