Sister Lakes Lions Club to host fundraiser

SISTER LAKES — The Sister Lakes Lions Club is hosting a fundraiser to keep the area’s oldest business alive.

The Sister Lakes Lions Club will host a chili dinner fundraiser for the Ramona Roller Rink from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the rink, 93103 County Road 690, Dowagiac. The fundraiser will feature chili, cornbread, dessert and beverages. Admission is by donation. Carryout options will be available. Ramona Roller Rink T-shirts will also be available for purchase at the event.

“We hope people will come out, get some good chili and maybe see the rink for the first time in a long time and appreciate it,” said Sister Lakes Lions Club President Judy Pullins.

Money raised from the fundraiser will go toward repairs necessary to the Ramona Roller Rink, including roof work. In August, the rink asked the community for help funding the project by opening a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $150,000, half the cost of repairs. As of press time Wednesday, the page had raised $3,276 of its goal, with work scheduled to begin on the rink in the next few weeks.

Pullins said that the Sister Lakes Lions Club does not typically raise money for businesses, but instead raises money for community projects and organizations. However, the club made an exception for the Ramona Roller Rink, saying that the rink, which is the oldest continuously running business in Sister Lakes, offers one of few low cost, child-friendly activities in the area.

“This is an institution in Sister Lakes,” she said. “We felt this was a good thing to support.”

On a personal level, members of the Sister Lakes Lions Club said they wanted to help keep the roller rink alive and fund its repairs due to their own personal memories of business that they either skated at themselves when they were younger or brought their children and grandchildren to as adults.

“This has been here generation after generation and we want to keep it around for more generations,” said Lions Club Secretary Robin Gulliver said. “Places like this are part of Sister Lakes. If we keep losing places like this, it is like we will lose Sister Lakes.”

Owner of Ramona Roller Rink Harold Schaus said he was grateful for the support of the Lions Club.

“I love that they are doing this,” he said. “It is a step in the right direction and every little bit helps.”

Schaus and the members of the Sister Lakes Lions Club said they are hoping the community will come out to the chili dinner Saturday and support the roller rink.

“We want to welcome everyone,” Pullins said. “We want to raise as much as we can to support the roller rink.”

To donate to the Ramona Roller Rink campaign, go to gofundme.com/restoring-ramona-roller-rink or visit the Ramona Roller Rink on Facebook.

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