ESTEVAN - "They have given without restraint to their community, and now it is our opportunity to give back."
With this phrase, the Estevan Kinsmen Club invited the community to a fundraiser they are organizing for the family of one of their own. Keith Wakely passed away in mid-March, leaving behind his wife Branda and their children Aaron, Jared, Thomas, Brielle and Nevaeh.
A Dutch auction, with a $7,000 prize package to be won, will be held at the Wylie-Mitchell Hall on May 14 starting at 7 p.m.
Kinsmen member Phil Zajac, who is assisting with the fundraiser, said it was important for the club to help during times of great need.
"Kinsmen Estevan is a group of fellows that always helps out during a time of a need," said Zajac. "Keith Wakely … was an Estevan Kinsman, and he was deeply involved in the community. He has a really large family with kids and a wife. I know that the community of Estevan, when people need help, they come out and help."
He added that the Estevan Kinsmen puts these fundraisers together when there is a need. They've helped a few families that have come to them before and had great success. And they also try to help in other ways.
"We try to help anytime we get asked, whether it's a big or small need. And we do all different types of things … This is just a chance for us to give back to the community again," Zajac said.
The main attraction of the fundraiser for the Wakely family will be a Dutch auction. For it, several local businesses have given donations of $7,000 worth of services or products. And the top bidder will get to choose from four vendors including Brand Source Estevan, Thunder City Power and Leisure, 306 Tools and Rosalie's SK Travel Deals.
The night will also see a live auction. There will be music and some entertainment. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Entry tickets are $20. They are available in advance at Henders Drugs, the Ice Factory or at the door on the night of the event.
All proceeds will support the Wakely family.
Wakely passed away at St. Joseph's Hospital on March 14 at the age of 56. He worked at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam for 21 years, first as a millwright, and then a safety co-ordinator and a planner. Wakely was always there to lend a hand to his community, be it as a club leader or just a helpful neighbour , but was always someone you could count on.
Wakely's son Thomas, at 16 years of age, was awarded the Challenger Coin, normally reserved for police officers, for his part in rescuing victims of a road accident in Estevan in October 2015. Thomas was recently pursuing military training when he was stricken with serious medical complications, a battle he continues today.