The sports world is losing a good friend: Curtis Prosko is leaving the Yukon in July. And curling, in particular, is losing one of its most loyal and passionate members. Even though he has only travelled to the Briaronce, as the fifth player, and never won in league play, Proskofound a second home at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre.“The curling rink is a great place to hang around; but not all memories should be about winning.“I’m the king of second place,”says Prosko. “In no other sport can you be a marginal player and stilldream of the Briar.”
And not all sporting achievements are about victories. Prosko has managed a company that has contributed greatly to the infrastructure of sport in the Yukon … literally.Skookum Asphalt donated the road that leads to the Mountainview Golf Club and, every year afterward, paves a gravel path. It donated $100,000 to the Millenium Trail and has paved every outdoor rink in Whitehorse at, orbelow, cost.Helping curling went beyond money or services. Prosko has saton the board of both the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre andthe Whitehorse Curling Club, never as president, but he has always been in the background.
“Curling is my passion, so anything I can do to help out, I’ll do it.”The books in his office, in the picturesque log cabin just off Robert Service Way, contain such titles as International Business, Introduction to Information Services and Quantitative Methods for Management. But none say it is good business to give away hundreds of thousands of dollars of profit.“I feel that it is part of the private sector’s responsibility to make a community a better place to live,” Prosko explains.“For a number of years, myson partook in hockey and I like to curl.” If Prosko really needs to convince head office, he could try this other explanation: “If you make the community a better place to live, more people will move here and you make more money.”Darrell Stone, a Yukoner of one year, will be replacing Prosko asmanager of Skookum Asphalt.“He’s a curler, but I don’t think he’s as passionate.” Even so,Prosko suspects he will maintain the same level of support.
When Prosko leaves to manage a sister company to Skookum. Lafrentz Road Marking in Edmonton, Stone will take over an office that now has most of one wall filled with appreciation awards— “It’s my favourite wall” — and there is a clock that was awarded to Prosko for being the Yukon Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year. He is leaving the Yukon to allow his wife, Sandra, to be closer to horse activities. She is an accountant with Skookum, but horses are her passion.Nathan, their youngest son, is going with them while Trevor, the oldest, is staying for a year before heading to Edmonton to attend college.“We’ve been here 20 years,” says Prosko. “It’s time to try something different.”
He came to the Yukon in 1983 for just one job and, “One thing led to another.“It was quite a treat when I go there with the beautiful scenery and mild weather.”But Prosko says he will be back often. For one thing, he is a major proponent to bring a cluster of National Research Centre facilities to the Yukon.“Most people who know me know I spend most of my time on airplanes.”