OLDS — Larry Flessatti is the latest person to receive a lifetime membership from the Olds Curling Club (OCC).
Flessatti received that honour during the club’s annual general meeting, held Oct. 3 in the curling club.
He joins a long list of others who’ve been so named. The club’s website lists 18 honourary life members.
“This honour is bestowed upon individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the club over a number of years,” says Tammy Schwass, a member of the club’s communications team.
Flessatti, 65, has been curling since an uncle recruited him for his team when Larry was only 14 or 15 years old, living in rural Olds.
Since then, he’s been involved with the club in a myriad of ways. He sat on the executive many times, serving in roles such as president or vice-president.
He brought the World Curling Tour to the town and chaired the committee that held the 2010 Alberta men’s provincials in Olds.
He was also a member of the Southern Alberta Curling Association and served as a member of the Curling Alberta Federation for three years.
Flessatti has also been on the Olds Farmers’ Bonspiel organizing committee for more than 40 years.
“Thanks to Larry and congratulations on your lifetime membership with the club,” Schwass wrote in an email.
During an interview with the Albertan, Flessatti said it felt “very good” to receive the lifetime membership, but quickly added that several people have received it.
He remembers the night his uncle persuaded him to help him out.
“We only lived a mile apart and he needed a spare one night so he asked me if I’d like to curl and so I did,” he said.
Flessatti was asked what he enjoys about curling.
“Just being with people and stuff like that; meeting different people,” he said.
He added that he likes the strategy in the game too.
Unfortunately though, Flessatti has decided not to curl this season.
He was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) back in about 1999. It attacks the central nervous system, disrupting communication between nerve cells.
In Flessatti’s case, it’s got to the point where it’s affecting one of his legs.
“I don’t walk that good anymore, so I’m not curling this year, especially out on ice,” he said.
He’s hoping he won’t have to give up curling permanently.
In the meantime, Flessatti is confident he can still help out the club in some way.
As of this year, he’s no longer on the executive and says he’s now “just a member” but can still contribute.
The club is holding its Sheets and Beats event Nov. 3. It will offer curling at all levels and live live music from Dustin Farr in the Hack and Hammer Lounge.
The club will hold the men’s bonspiel Nov. 17-19.
“We're excited to be back on the ice,” Schwass wrote.