KERROBERT — Wow factors were prominently displayed by Kerrobert Kinsmen this year.
Normally service clubs take a brief summer recess to refresh and renew, but not the Kerrobert Kinsmen. In fact, says member Ashton Tetzlaff, “We are busier than ever, but we are loving it.”
Tetzlaff says, “We really excited to get back to normal. The pandemic has been hard on everyone, including service clubs. Even the events we have been part of last minute lately, everyone is really excited to do it. Our group is all young and it has been tough not to be involved and engaged in our community. This has been a fantastic opportunity to reignite this.
“We were forced into ticket sales and limited activity the past couple of years and even though we had great support, it is hard to sustain. People were craving people interaction and we had great opportunity to do this lately and we have had a great time doing so.”
Following a donation of $25,000 to the Kerrobert Zamboni, the club knew they had to find ways to generate some more funds to help fulfil their Kinsmen motto of “serving the community’s greatest need.”
The Aug. 1storm was one of those moments.
Tetzlaff says, “Around 11 a.m. the day after the storm, the idea was thrown out to cook burgers for all the volunteers and people helping with cleanup. Our guys were all over this and throwing out the idea on our group chat, everyone wanted to do what they could to help. Half of our club quickly got together to arrange the barbecue and we served around 400 burgers that day.”
Tetzlaff maintains the Kinsmen couldn’t do this alone and with the help of community supporters, promoters and donors who all worked collaboratively, the meal was a success, and the club received much support and praise for their efforts.
“We have such dedication and great guys. We even talked about trying to pull that post-storm cleanup barbecue off for both lunch and supper … but ended up with just the evening portion,” says Tetzlaff.
Kerrobert Kinsmen jump in to help create another event
Then, along came another event that was pulled together quickly. The Miles of Mayhem group was quickly combined with a car show, barbecue, beer gardens and live music to create a summer outing for Kerrobert residents and out-of-town visitors to enjoy.
Tetzlaff says he believes they may have had about seven or eight days to pull everything together.
“We were blown away at the turnout we had because it was orchestrated on short notice. We are super happy with the results and once we reconvene in fall, we will be deciding on where to put the proceeds from the event.”
Again, Tetzlaff, deflects acknowledgement often using the phrase “team effort” as he felt the entire community pulled it off together.
He said he helped with organizing the activity and made a number of calls but between the Kinsmen Club, their wives and significant others and volunteers they created the necessary workforce. Tetzlaff also credits community sponsors and donors who provided seating, fencing, prizes, food, discounts on product and other aspects that all contributed to the overall success.
Tetzlaff makes special mention of Ashley Charteris. who provided much assistance with organizing as she is not involved in Kinsmen but was previously part of the car show and wanted to lend her experience and help with the event.
While all of the live musical performances were enjoyed, one performer that residents say was all on Tetzlaff was Tralapa performer, Brayden King. Tetzlaff said it worked out really well as King was on his way back to Edmonton from another. When contacted, he was happy to perform. King offered several concessions to the Kinsmen, likely thanks to Tetzlaff and Tralapa connections, which helped ease the expense of his appearance, and he even stayed overnight.
“Our club did more stuff in the middle of the summer this year than we ever have before. The community was incredibly supportive and appreciative.”
The Kerrobert Kinsmen are always looking for additional Kinsmen to add to their club and they are hoping that the activities people have been praising them for this summer will translate into some new members.
Residents commend the service club for their community involvement and engagement this summer saying, “They are welcoming, and they are an energetic, fun group.” “Clearly these guys are committed to our community and for that we are thankful.”
Tetzlaff has had a remarkably busy summer as he is also one of the founding members (Park Rangers) for the annual Tralapa Summer Festival. He says, “It is a bit of a grind, but I am always happy to help as things like this are important. I believe in giving 110 per cent to everything I do.”
Kerrobert won the “Applause for a Cause” portion of Tralapa meaning the community will soon get to vote on where they want the donation won to go towards.
No one person spoken to in this interview wanted to single out any one person from the Kerrobert Kinsmen Club efforts, acknowledging that the teamwork demonstrated by the Kinsmen Club was essential in what they have been part of in town. However, Ashton Tetzlaff’s name was mentioned often in reference to celebrity Larry the Cable Guy, in that he clearly demonstrates the mandate “get ‘er done.”