O’LEARY -- The Maple Leaf Curling Club in O’Leary is holding a special fun spiel this Sunday in memory of a popular junior curler from the club.
Kevin Gallant was just 18 years old when he was killed in a snowmobile collision on December 18.
Kevin had joined the club’s after school program when he was nine and made a quick ascent to junior competitive curling, winning several provincial championships, most of them as second stone on the Matthew MacLean rink.
His mother Rennie Gallant of Bloomfield, is touched that the club is organizing a fun spiel in his honour. She said her son had two main sports, curling in winter and drag racing in summer. He got involved in junior dragsters when he was eight and raced in the adult classes the last two years.
In all the conversations she’s had since her son’s death, with people who knew him, she said what stands out is how many people have mentioned his willingness to lend a helping hand. “Whoever needed help,” she said, “he was there.”
Kevin had stepped away from competitive curling this year to commit more time to his work at Johnston’s Tire where he was working towards his red seal as a heavy equipment mechanic. He had previously held jobs with O’Leary Farmers Co-op in the gas bar, feed mill and building supplies departments.
As a curler he was well respected with junior and adult curlers. He enjoyed joking around with his friends, his mother noted, and he was relaxed and confident with adult curlers.
John Martin, who has headed up O’Leary’s after school curling program for many years, enjoyed Kevin’s involvement in the sport. “He always exhibited a very calm demeanour,” Martin said.
“He was just a sweetheart and I thought the world of him,” said Maple Leaf Curling Club manager Janet Hardy who is organizing the all-day fun spiel. She is encouraged by the interest the fun spiel is generating.
All proceeds from Sunday’s fun spiel will go to the Gallant family. Bids are already been accepted for a silent auction, and there will be a bake sale during the fun spiel.
Kevin’s photo will be permanently displayed in the curling club, and a journal will be available for people to share their thoughts and memories about the popular young curler.
Team and individual entries are being accepted, $100 peer team or $25 per person. All ages are welcome. Individuals will be grouped in teams. Teams and names can be entered by dropping in to or phoning the Maple Leaf Curling Club. Entries will be accepted until noon Friday. Standings in the fun spiel will be decided based on a points system.