HITCHCOCK — The small community of Hitchcock keeps its heart beating at the Hitchcock Community Recreation Centre.
A beautiful facility surrounded by trees, it has an over 100-year history and continues to provide events and entertainment for residents and people from the area.
Hitchcock Community Recreation Centre board president Mindy Schoff said the original part of the hall was initially a school that was moved into the area back in 1905. It was used as a school house until the 1950s, when it was turned into a community building for dances and other events. The addition with a kitchen, eating and bathroom areas was put up in 1987.
"There's a lot of history in it. It's a very old building and we're hoping to keep it open," Schoff said.
Nowadays, the Hitchcock Community Recreation Centre is the only public building in Hitchcock. It's a non-profit organization and is used for community events such as potlucks, musical entertainment, sports, movie nights and kids’ events.
The pandemic years were slower for them, but they are starting to pick up again.
The facility is also available year-round for rentals for people in and outside the community.
"We have some people that come down from as far as Alberta to use our building for family reunions, weddings, anniversary parties, birthday parties, Christmas suppers, business events. It gets used quite well for those kinds of things," said Schoff.
The building consists of a wooden dance floor area. The kitchen is equipped with three sinks, two stoves, two fridges and everything else needed for food preparation. There is an eating area and bathrooms. The spacious yard is surrounded by trees and has a fire pit and a lot of room, where guests can host bigger gatherings in a private setting. Schoff said that sometimes people bring their tents and stay overnight for longer events.
Currently, their rental rate is staying at $200 a day, Schoff said, and there is also the possibility for making arrangements for half days.
They also run fundraisers such as community-wide trade shows, garage sales and kids’ fundraisers. This fall the Hitchcock Community Recreation Centre is selling 50/50 tickets to raise some funds to ensure they can keep on with the operation. Fundraising helps them to maintain the building and the property around it, pay the bills and put on community events.
"We just want to keep it going so that we could do our events and keep the community going and all together and doing live things," Schoff said.
They plan on having a Halloween-themed movie night in October for the kids and then host their annual Christmas potluck to bring everybody together.
The centre's 50/50 tickets are $10 and are available at the RM of Estevan, Murray GM and via e-transfer (for details message Michelle Howard or Schoff on Facebook). The draw is Oct. 22, and one lucky winner will take home 50 per cent of ticket sales, up to $2,500.