DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The community of Zephyr got a little richer recently, thanks to a donation from the organizer of this past summer’s motocross event in the hamlet.
Luke Dillon, who hosted the CMX/MRS East-West Shootout at his farm in July in support of the Zephyr Community Centre, appeared at council’s meeting on the morning of Monday, Sept. 9 to provide an update on the event, as well as present a donation of more than $7,000 to improvements at the community park to Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy.
It was the second year for the event at Mr. Dillon’s farm, which drew racers and spectators from across the province to Uxbridge Township.
"The event went off without a hitch," Mr. Dillon said. "Everywhere I go, I hear thanks from residents and business owners, and it all wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors."
According to Mr. Dillon, nearly twice as many racers took part in the event as last year, with just under 600 riders participating in the event.
"Our event brought two associations (CMX and MRS) together for the first time in history, and it was really good for the sport of motocross," added Mr. Dillon.
Responding to a question from Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet concerning future plans for the event, Mr. Dillon responded that while he would like to see some growth at the event, but remains focused on keeping it as community-based as possible.
"We’re not planning to make it into a huge thing, but, we would like to see it continue to grow," Mr. Dillon said.
Councillor Molloy expressed his appreciation for the proceeds of the event, which benefit the entire Zephyr community.
"A big thank you to Luke, his family and all of the volunteers. It was another great day, and we really appreciate the donation to the community," commented Councillor Molloy.
While Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor was also grateful for the extra funds for improvements to the community centre, she did hint at possible changes to the way the event is organized should it proceed in the coming years.
"The $7,000 raised will do a lot of good things for the community park in Zephyr," said Mayor O’Connor. "But, if you want to continue, we’ll need to sit down and talk about rezoning, because, you can’t keep going on temporary permits. And you’re not the only one."
Later in the meeting, Township Clerk Debbie Leroux stated that the long awaited Special Events By-law, which will cover the Zephyr CMX races, as well as other special events in the municipality, is expected to be before council next month.