The President of the Friedensfeld Community Centre says they took a beating the last two years.

Branden Freund says if you were in the business of hosting large scale gatherings including weddings, socials and birthdays, the pandemic was not kind to you. In fact, he says it got pretty ugly.

"We've lost pretty much about $140,000 to $160,000 worth of revenue each year in 2020 and 2021," explains Freund. "So we're really, really hoping here that we can kick things off in 2022 and get back to a little bit more of normality."

Then, on top of that, Freund says over the last two years their grounds have seen the worst vandalism in probably 20 years. He notes their maintenance shed was broken into multiple times in 2020, with thieves walking away with a number of tools. Then, last year the hall had lights shot out, windows smashed and doors kicked in.

"Hard to see stuff like that happen," admits Freund.

He says so many people in their community put in volunteer time, including blood, sweat and tears and this vandalism not only takes away funds they do not have but also wastes their time and energy.

But, having said all that, Freund says they are optimistic for what lies ahead.

"We are just walking on our tiptoes with excitement," he says. "The community is just buzzing of sorts and just feeling really good, really optimistic."

First of all, he says the municipality last year paved Hespeler Road running past the Community Centre. He notes this is a big deal for those visiting the Centre, particularly wedding vehicles that before were driving down a beaten-up road. But, also, Freund says they are hosting wedding socials again for the first time in almost exactly two years.

The Friedensfeld Community Centre will be hosting a Back In Business Bash fundraising social on April 9th. Freund says this social should help raise some revenue in order to continue keeping their lights on.