The Midcoast Recreation Center was built using private funds in 2001 to provide local communities a unique facility that would support winter youth and adult sports, daycare services and general health opportunities, as well as serve as a community center. Members of the families that provided the private funds and have run MRC since its creation recently established a nonprofit organization to further the mission of MRC.

“In 2001, the local communities had limited opportunities and virtually no access to several wintertime sports such as ice hockey and indoor tennis,” said Stuart Smith, one of the founders, in a news release. “Several years prior to construction, a local group called Think Rink was searching for ways to build an ice arena and gathered several people to discuss its proposal. The idea of an expanded facility took off from there.”

Today, the 64,000-square-foot facility supports learn-to-skate and learn-to-play hockey programs, boys and girls youth hockey ice teams, two high school ice hockey teams, multiple youth and adult tennis teams, and tournaments. MRC also includes a child daycare facility, martial arts, and dance and personal training studios. It has also become a destination for public skate, birthday parties and other groups who rent one of its general purpose rooms.

“The mission of MRC has always been youth and community oriented,” said Rick Bresnahan, a founding family member. “After nine years of operations, the founding families felt it was now time to turn over the facility to a nonprofit group that can continue the mission of MRC with a sustainable business operation.”

On Sunday, Dec. 19 at 1 p.m., the founding families will transfer ownership of MRC to the board of directors of the new nonprofit MRC organization.

“We are grateful to the founding families for their vision to build MRC in 2001 and for their generosity in establishing a financially viable organization dedicated to the community,” said Barrett Brown, a member of the MRC Board of Directors. “The building is an amazing gift, but also turning over a sustainable operation means that the nonprofit MRC will be able to maintain the building and the vision created by the founding families.”

“The founding family members are always pleased to see the facility being used and we can typically be found as spectators at one of the many events that are held at MRC,” Bresnahan said. “But what thrills us the most is seeing children and adults who may never have had an opportunity to experience some of the programming offered at MRC become active in sports and other activities.”

“When my family moved here in 2001, I was eight years old and already a youth hockey player so being able to skate at MRC was very important to me,” said Ben Dufour, a senior on the Camden Hills Regional High School ice hockey team. “It’s one of the best facilities in New England, but I most appreciate the opportunity I was provided to build friendships with teammates and friends. It has also been great that Rick, Stuart and other members of the founding families have taken a personal interest in all of the kids who use the facility.”

The founding families in 2001 were the Ann and Rick Bresnahan family, Caroline and Wayne Morong family, Marianne and Stuart Smith family, and Ms. Nancy Symington. They provided the private funds for the construction of MRC as well as the donation of the facility to the nonprofit MRC. In addition to Brown, the board of directors of the nonprofit MRC includes members of the founding families, Rick Bresnahan, Caroline Morong and Stuart Smith, as well as community members, representing the users of the facility, Alleson Bixler, Doreen Dufour and Michael Roy.

The public and all people who have visited MRC over the years are invited to the Turning Over Ceremony, which will be held in the lobby of MRC on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. After the brief ceremony a small reception will be held to honor the founding families and the community organization they helped create.