In spite of threatening clouds in the sky, the July 28 fundraiser in memory of Rayna Korte was a resounding success, bringing in a total of $4,316 for the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan.
About 40 close friends and family of the Kortes came to the Uniplex grounds in Humboldt at 5 p.m. to witness the culmination of a project that began with a page created on Facebook to honour the young girl who died of cancer earlier this year.
Amy Jurgens, friend and co-worker of Rayna's mom, Cindy Plascko-Korte, and her husband Tyler Dies, initiated the idea to raise money by holding an event, "Let's Go Fly a Kite" on July 28, which would have been Rayna's seventh birthday.
It was Rayna's wish that everyone would fly a kite and wear pink and purple on her birthday. They posted challenges on Facebook when the page was created and had raised $3,140 in pledges before the event began.
Several of Dies co-workers at the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) participated by agreeing to shave off facial hair if the total reached a specific goal by July 28.
In the end, Dies grew a moustache and three co-workers shaved off their moustaches and a goatee.
Lawrence Classen shaved off his moustache for the first time in 30 years:
"It feels good and I've been getting lots of compliments," Classen said with a laugh, "so it's staying off!"
Larry Jorgenson, who promised to shave off his goatee if the total reached $1,500, posted a photo of his shaven face on the Facebook event page, and said at the fundraiser, "I've been wanting to do this for years!"
The third employee, Ted Bay, shaved off his moustache for the first time in 40 years, and posted his new look on Facebook as well.
Several other local businesses contributed to the event either with a cash donation or with items for door prizes.
Donations were still coming in at the event. Maurina Kimmen and Laurie Szautner were busy keeping people fed with hotdogs while Ashley and Shelby Jorgenson had prepared pink lemonade and purple grape juice for the occasion. The proceeds from both were added to the total.
But the main attraction was seeing the kids, young and old, flying kites. The windy afternoon made it the perfect weather for keeping them up in the air, and the dark, stormy clouds made a dramatic backdrop for the unique occasion.