By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Thanks to a revamped clubhouse – with a lot of help from local businesses – the Chatham Minor Girls’ Softball Association will be hitting it out of the park for many years to come.
Some serious renovations have taken place at the Tweedsmuir Avenue clubhouse as of late, including a modern kitchen and a brand-new ductless heat pump.
Recently, Handy Bros. Home Comfort employees were on scene installing the heating and cooling system that comes to the association through the Handy Bros. Heroes Fund.
Handy Bros. employee Julie Normandin, the former long-time vice-president of the softball association, said she knew the need for the system was there, so she approached company owner Mitch White about a possible donation.
“When the association called for a quote, I knew they couldn’t afford it,” Normandin explained, “So I went to Mitch to see if we could help. It’s important to me, the association was my life for 14 years.
“This looks awesome,” she said as she watched the installation.
Paul Praill, treasurer for the association, concurred.
“Things are coming together,” Praill said. “We rely on our sponsors and this is very helpful. This is a win-win.”
Along with Handy Bros., other local companies have stepped forward to help. New high-end kitchen cabinets were donated by LP Wood Ltd. owner Laird Vanderende, which will enable the club to operate a canteen after not having one for a long time.
Belfor is also in on the act. The company donated the labour to put in new stairs at the front and back of the building last year and they’re doing the same thing this year, by building the deck for the canteen.
TKC Construction donated the labour to put a new roof and siding on the building four years ago.
According to Praill, the association serves girls age four to 19 years, with about 90 playing on house league teams. The association is home to the Chatham Golden Eagles rep and travel teams.
The Under 15 Chatham Golden Eagles team travelled to the East Coast last year and clinched the Eastern Canadian championship title.