Since it opened in 1963, Ryder Lake Hall has been in the middle of the action in the small Chilliwack community of Ryder Lake. (Facebook photo)

Since it opened in 1963, Ryder Lake Hall has been in the middle of the action in the small Chilliwack community of Ryder Lake. (Facebook photo)

GoFundMe fundraiser created to save Ryder Lake Hall

The financially troubled 58-year-old hall is the center of life in the small Chilliwack community

The centerpiece of the Chilliwack community of Ryder Lake is in financial trouble, and a GoFundMe has been created to keep it running.

It costs $7,000 to keep the doors of Ryder Lake Hall open, and GoFundMe organizer Andy Harrington said that is normally covered by rental fees and fundraising, two sources of income that have dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite great effort from volunteers, the reserves have dwindled,” Harrington wrote. “And, due to the ongoing pandemic, we have no timeline as to when we can begin normal operations again.”

Ryder Lake Hall opened in 1963 and is jointly owned by the local Women’s and Farmers’ Institutes. The GoFundMe goal is $11,000 which will cover the costs of running the hall for one year and pay for some badly needed maintenance.

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Harrington said it’s hard to imagine Ryder Lake without the hall and painful to think of how much the community would suffer if it had to close for good.

Countless memories have been made at the hall over the years through weddings, dances, potlucks, and concerts,” he wrote. “Our children have been served breakfast by Santa and his elves, watched movies and played games at Kid’s Night. We’ve raced dew worms, named the tunes, crafted and gifted, remembered dearly departed friends and celebrated milestones by the hundreds.

“The Ryder Lake Hall is a unique and magical place, where the very walls drip with history, memories, and laughter.”

As of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning (June 2), $3,900 had been raised.

Any amount is deeply appreciated, large or small, as we try to save this cornerstone of our community,” Harrington said.

Learn more about Ryder Lake Hall on Facebook at facebook.com/RyderLakeHall/

Find the GoFundMe online at https://ca.gofundme.com/f/help-keep-ryder-lake-hall-open


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eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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