John and Donna Caldwell

Inducted March 2019 Nominated by Murray Pearson

John and Donna Caldwell were instrumental to the successful start up and development of HCC. As Founding Members, they took on a significant personal financial commitment, along with 10 other families that helped establish the needed line of credit to move from planning to the building phase. As a building contractor by trade, John assumed a leadership role in planning and organizing the construction of the building, contracting trades and organizing volunteers to manage the construction of the lounge area, kitchen, bathrooms and ice shed, where pipes had to be laid in the concrete floor to exacting measurements. His leadership and expertise were a key contribution that moved us past the vision of a curling facility in Carp to the thriving facility we enjoy today.

Donna will attest to the many long days and evening John spent at the club as the facility gradually evolved. She and John were major contributors during those early, anxious days when we struggled to build membership in a community unfamiliar with the sport. Both took on leadership roles as members and as Presidents during those formative days, using their considerable influence in the community to stir up interest and encourage local farm and town families to become Founding Members and build the membership base to a viable level. When it came time to expand to four sheets, John again stepped up to assist with the construction phase.

Both contributed in many ways to the development and enrichment of the club’s operations and culture. For example, Donna took the lead to organize a committee for fundraising with the “Gidday Gidday” cookbooks – four cookbooks in all that featured Carp Fair prize-winning recipes – that raised significant funding for the club. She worked on the fundraising project “House Tour in Carp” that also raised money and helped promote the club locally. She supported the concept of a Business Women’s Curling Bonspiel that was eventually held at the club that raised the profile of the club locally and attracted new members.

Within the club, she promoted the idea of a ladies curling league, securing ice time and organizing ladies curling schedules. Donna was always ready and willing to help whatever the occasion, working bonspiels, tending bar and helping with the Carp Fair breakfasts.

John and Donna both curled in HCC leagues and outside the club in spiels where they were both well known as goodwill ambassadors for HCC.  If you play Friday nights, you will know about appetizer night – that was Donna’s idea to help bring members together to re-enforce the social benefits of membership and foster a sense of HCC community. John and Donna were true ambassadors for the club, showing strong leadership in their commitments and contributions as members, as members of the Board of Directors and ultimately, both as HCC Presidents. They were instrumental in building the recognition the club now enjoys in the community, especially in the early, anxious days when success turned on strong membership drives.