Respect, Honour, Gratitude. The Curlers Care logo explains everything you need to know about what they do for the military community. Simple, yet straight to the point.
“For us, that says it all. When people see it, it explains it all,” said Ray Pavlove, Curlers Care co-founder.
Pavlove and his Curlers Care partner, Tom Traversy are both Royal Canadian Armed Forces (RCAF) Veterans. Pavlove served three years to the RCAF in ammunition and weapons, while Traversy served eight years and completed two United Nations tours. Needless to say, the Canadian Armed Forces are very near and dear to their hearts.
Pavlove and Traversy started Curlers Care in March 2015. They were inspired when they heard the statistic of the suicide rates among Veterans returning from Afghanistan.
“There were more who returned and (died by) suicide than were killed in action. That, to me, was just an absolutely horrific statistic,” said Pavlove.
“I think we’re both versed in how Veterans were treated, and it’s not just the suicide, although that’s the most horrific case, it’s the other issues they have to deal with both physically and mentally. Not just the individuals, but their families, (spouses) and children,” Traversy added.
The two men decided because they were both Veterans and both loved to curl, they would create the first-ever Curlers Care bonspiel. In that first year, they were able to raise over $10,000 through pledges and online donations.
One hundred per cent of the proceeds went to support the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS).
Traversy said Curlers Care is open to any Canadian curling club looking to support their military community. Traversy and Pavlove provide them with the outline, and the individual curling club can organize how they see fit and donate to the military program or service of their choice.
“What we found was that people understood what the Veterans were going through and the challenges they were facing, but they didn’t know how to express their support. Who do I support? Where do I send my funds so that I know it’s going to do the best good? This was a way to allow them to do that,” Traversy added.
“I think one of the important things in the message is that it’s an invitation for curling clubs and curlers to get involved and a way to support our troops, Veterans, and their families,” Pavlove added.
Both have agreed the beauty of their organization, is that it can translate well into other sports and activities as well, like Golfers Care, Canadians Care, Bikers Care or Runners Care.
“The important thing is to run an event and have the money go to where the best thing is going to happen from it,” said Traversy.
Pavlove added that the more traction and publicity they gain each year, slowly more and more people are getting involved. This year alone, Richmond Hill, Ont., Guelph, Ont., and Dalmeny, Sask., have all jumped on board with their local curling clubs. Traversy said even if you’re a non-curler, it’s straightforward to catch on.
“It’s two members on a team, each throwing four rocks in four ends. It takes less than an hour to curl. No sweeping or very little sweeping, so that attracts new curlers, plus it moves along very rapidly,” he said.
Pavlove said they’re always looking for new curling clubs to join in and host their bonspiel, whether it’s a new event, or using a previously created bonspiel to raise money for the military community.
If you are interested in creating your Curlers Care event or how you can use it in your preferred sport, visit the Curlers Care website here.