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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Future of Skate Essex grim

- Volunteers, funding, and registrants needed for survival -

by Sylene Argent

After being used as a mechanism to teach youth how to skate and advanced athletes how to perfect their figure skating skills for over 50 years, Skate Essex may not be able to return to its regular scheduled programming as planned in the fall.

  Christine Dunmore, Skate Essex President, said the local on-ice organization may have to officially disband after over half-of-a-century of operation, due to lack of youth registration, volunteers, and funding.

  She is turning to the community to see if anyone would be able to volunteer to help the organization. She said individuals are also needed to help secure corporate funding and who have extensive fundraising experience.

  Skate Essex programming was put on hiatus for the 2017-2018 season for the same reasons. Dunmore hoped that the break would rejuvenate the program and give time for the organization to garner more volunteers.

  Another one of the challenges, Dunmore said, is that there are other beginner skate programs in town, offering ice time, instruction, and, in some cases, equipment.

  “If we don’t continue, we would like to thank the service groups, community members, and businesses who have supported us in the past,” Dunmore said, who is hopeful, however, that individuals will come forward to show the long-running organization some support through volunteer time.

  “It’s a shame,” she said of the potential end of Skate Essex, which has offered learn to skate program for beginners, figure skating testing through the STARskate program, and advanced lessons for youth up to 18 years of age.

To allow participants a chance to show off their on-ice skills, Skate Essex also offered the annual carnival, with this past season being the only year it wasn’t held. Each year, a new theme was selected and the youth participants showed off their skating skills to music.

Anyone who would like to volunteer, or would like to find out more information about Skate Essex, can contact Dunmore at

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