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Unity Western Days celebrates 40 years by donating $40,000 to community

Eight different organizations in Unity were beneficiaries of $5,000 each as part of Unity Western Days 40th anniversary celebrations, presented at June 2 kick-off to UWD weekend.

UNITY — A potential rainy weekend forecast did not dampen the celebration of Unity Western Days’ 40th anniversary.

At the kick-off banquet and social held at the Unity Agroplex, June 2, Terry Smith, UWD committee member related the history of the past 40 years and said the committee chose to give back to the community that supports them to acknowledge the milestone.

Forty thousand dollars was donated to eight different organizations. Unity Gymnastics Club, Unity and District Heritage Museum, Unity 4-H Club, Unity Lions Club and the Town of Unity to be put towards lights on the walking paths, as well as Unity Composite High School, Unity Public School and St. Peter’s School all received $5,000.

This isn’t the first time the UWD committee has given back as they have donated to health care and community programs as well as the Ag Society to help purchase various items to benefit the hall.

Smith invited the former president of the Unity Kin Club to speak, as he partnered with John Gilbert, also a Kinsmen member, who served as the first rodeo committee president.

“The first year, we had snow,” Fewster said. “ We used to barbecue out of the back of a half-ton truck. We hauled in all the bleachers and we brought the chutes from North Battleford. The Kinsmen worked around the clock through rodeo weekend manning the events, the dance, set up and clean up and everything in between.

“The only way for this four-decade event to continue is for new volunteers to come forward,” Fewster said.

Smith reminded those in attendance to look at their event poster and think of those sponsors and support them as they are one of the keys to the longevity of the event.

MLA Ryan Domotor was in attendance and spoke briefly , saying that while a lot has changed over the 40-year history of Unity Western Days, some things remain the same year after year: the spirit of volunteerism, sense of community and celebration of our western heritage.

“Events like this don’t happen without hard-working volunteers like yourselves. This province is known for its volunteerism. In fact, it’s estimated that one in three people in Saskatchewan volunteer in some way, shape or form,” adds Domotor.

Domotor reminded everyone in attendance to enjoy the weekend and take the opportunity to reflect upon the positive impact the event has had on the community.

Following the program, people were invited to stay and enjoy the local musical talents of Dan Wilgenbusch, Dave Weber, Jason Keller and Owen Keller.

Two more days of activity include a community parade, two rodeo performances, a pancake breakfast and a cowboy church service as well as a fly-in event at the airport.

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