Jan. 22, 2019 - (Frome left) Lee Kieley, Vona Guiler, Denise View and Mindy Hamill are shown at the Starbuck Recreation Centre's canteen that is completely operated by volunteers. (ANDREA GEARY/CANSTAR COMMUNITY NEWS)

Starbuck Recreation Association staffs canteen with volunteers

As Appeared In Winnipeg Free Press https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/headliner/Volunteers-keep-burgers-coffee-hot-504977912.html

Volunteers get the coffee brewing and grill fired up every day at the Starbuck Sports Centre’s canteen (60 Arena Blvd.) from September to March.

Vona Guiler, past president of the Starbuck Recreation Association, is in charge of scheduling the approximately 120 adults and teens on the canteen volunteer list. The canteen’s profits help pay for operating costs of the sports centre that houses a hockey and curling rink and classrooms used by Starbuck School’s Hockey Academy program.

The canteen offers burgers, fries, baked items and hot and cold beverages. Guiler said they try to keep their prices low, with a chicken burger platter costing $6.50, a burger $4 and cinnamon bun $2.

Guiler said, as far as she knows, the Starbuck canteen is the only one of its type in the area that’s completely managed and run by volunteers.

“It’s not just for hockey and ringette players. It’s for the community,” she said.
Mindy Hamill is a longtime volunteer who remembers when her parents June and Bryan Norton worked shifts in the canteen.

Denise Vier, who calculates that she’s volunteered with the recreation association for about 50 years, said some of the volunteers like her no longer have children involved in the sports activities played in the complex, but remain on the volunteer list to support the community.

“They want to be in the canteen,” she said.

She added that she’s served customers who come out from Winnipeg to have breakfast on the weekend.

“That’s a treat for people who come to Starbuck,” she said.

Guiler said some volunteers are parents of children registered in Macdonald hockey and ringette leagues as they can get a fee discount of $100 per child if they are willing to work three or four three-hour shifts through the fall and winter months.

While she won’t change the schedule if someone isn’t able to work, that person can call a local teen and pay them to take their shift.

“It’s a self-managing system,” she said, adding that local youth get valuable work experience in food preparation, money handling and customer service at the canteen.

“I’d like to see more families come here,” said canteen stocker Lee Kiely. He said people are welcome to watch a Jets game on the TV in the lobby area while they have dinner.

Adults can take their food into the curling club lounge and order alcohol as the lounge is licensed.

Guiler said they try to use as many local ingredients as possible in their menu items and the baked goods come from a Winkler bakery. The cooking oil is donated by agri-food company Richardson Pioneer which operates a grain elevator and agri-business in Starbuck.

Guiler said people are welcome to share ideas for new menu items.

The canteen is open from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sundays.

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