Six years ago at the Riverview Community Centre rinks, three friends met up to skate. That was the start of We Are Rougers. This fall, the group donated $3000 to help purchase much-needed new boards and paint to help repair the club’s outdoor rinks.
We Are Rougers organizes fundraising events to help organizations throughout Fort Rouge. Every summer they host a golf tournament, and every winter, a social. The events always come close to selling out, and bring together Rougers from across the country.
Sharing information about the group and their events led to the creation of the We Are Rougers Facebook group; a group open to anyone who has ever lived in Fort Rouge. Besides promoting their events, members of the group regularly reminisce through old photos of local people, events, and places.
The group was founded by Gary Wuirch, who together with Wade Cadger, spearheaded their first event back in 2015. While their online Facebook group boasts over 2400 members, the inner circle responsible for planning and executing their events is much smaller. The original committee members were Terry Orpin, Grant Churchill, Ken Williams, Yussef Hawash, Marlene Buchanan, and Paolo Dicurzio.
One of their most successful events was their 2015 social held in the gym of Churchill High School. They sold over 700 tickets and raised $15,000. They don’t need high school reunions, they have one twice a year.
Their events are full of reunions and hugs between old friends. Organizing these events means being part of that outcome, and giving back to the places that make up their childhood memories.
Fort Rouge is the tightest knit neighbourhood any of them have ever heard of, with people flying in from across western Canada to attend their events.
Most events they host already have a set cause, but luckily for us, this summer, their golf tournament didn’t. This fall we put out a Facebook post asking for donations to support our rinks, and when they saw that, they decided this was the place for the $3000 they had raised over the summer.
The first event they ever planned first came up during the original member’s time on our ice. They had heard that there was a shortfall for our new kitchen renovation and came together to raise $6000.
None of them are professional fundraisers, they all have their own jobs and lives, but they meet up at least four times a year, and between the six of them, are able to put together two big yearly events that touch the lives of hundreds of attendees, and thousands who are impacted through their donations.
Right now they’re working to set up the Art Bryant Scholar-ship for Churchill High School. Mr. Bryant was an incredible teacher and mentor to hundreds of people. If you’re interested in donating you can reach them through the Facebook group, or donations can be sent to Churchill High School, att’n Danielle Gauthier, with cheques addressed to the Children’s Heritage Fund (memo- Art Bryant Scholarship).
Their next event is a concert at the Park Theatre featuring The Mulvey Street Maniacs on January 29th.
You can keep up with them, their events, and the rest of Fort Rouge by joining their Facebook page, ‘We Are Rougers.’