FIVE ISLANDS - Wade Eagles doesn't mind being up at 3:30 a.m. if it means making the community a better place.
Eagles, a member of the Five Islands Athletic Association's board of directors, has been one of many volunteers tirelessly upgrading the community's outdoor rink. Now that the recent upgrades, including creating concrete slabs, erecting boards around the rink and putting in four sets of string lights, have been completed, Eagles is excited to watch the community enjoy the rink.
"We finished it last weekend. We started at 9 p.m. (last) Saturday night with shovelling, snow removal, scraping and clearing the ice. We did four floods that night and stayed until 3:30 a.m.," said Eagles.
And it was worth it, he said, because upwards of 10 children were enjoying the rink first thing Sunday morning and there were "around 20 children at one point" throughout the day.
Eagles said use of the rink went through a "tough stretch" this week because of mild temperatures and snowfall but the facility will be prepped again for use this weekend.
"We will work after dark," Eagles said of the commitment of volunteers to get the work done, day or night.
Eagles believes more people will use the rink throughout winter and he continues to be pleased with community support.
"A few years ago we thought this would be a dream but it's become a reality. Things are tough in the economy but people wanted to see something positive happen," said Eagles, adding some people have even dropped off gear to the site to help others who were lacking.
And more work will be done to the outdoor rink in Five Islands, a community of less than 300 people.
"Next year we want to have a bigger lighting (project), have a new building for people to go in to put their skates on and a small building to keep gear in," said Eagles.
Since last winter, the athletic association was successful securing money from both the provincial government and Colchester County. Nova Scotia contributed $29,000 to the project, while the county's funding came in at $40,000.