ASSINIBOIA - To say that Lawson Harkness from Fife Lake was ‘gob-smacked’, when this reporter walked into the Fife Lake Hotel Sunday evening, would be a gross understatement.
“The generosity of Saskatchewan people just astounds me. It completely blows my mind!” blurted out Lawson. “Do you know that four dozen cinnamon buns just sold here today for $1,200? Can you believe that? That’s unbelievable!” he boasted proudly with the biggest grin ever on his face.
Those tasty temptation treats Lawson was referring to were donated by Connie Swanson of Assiniboia. She donates to the Fife Lake Hotel auction and Telemiracle fundraiser every year.
What’s really unbelievable is that even 29 years of fundraising for the Saskatchewan Kinsmen Telemiracle Telethon, Harkness and his lovely wife Gail have not lost their passion or enthusiasm for this great and worthwhile cause. Gail and Lawson have owned and operated the Fife Lake Hotel for more than 48 years.
Over the years they have seen a lot of changes. Two things, however, have not changed - their commitment to supporting Telemiracle, and the generosity of Sakatchewan people.
This year’s attendance at the Fife Lake Hotel’s auction and fundraiser was down considerably by about 50 per cent, but still they managed to raise $27,115.25.
“That’s a record,” stated Lawson proudly. “Not bad for a small town of only 27 people!”
Last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Lawson and Gail managed to raise $16,430. That in itself was pretty amazing, but what’s really amazing, is that - In total, over the past 29 years - they have raised more that $265,000. Think about that. That’s more than a quarter million dollars.
A ton of hard work went into raising that amount of money. Gail begins working early in January to solicit and gather donations of new or used items to be placed up for auction at their hotel just prior to Telemiracle. This year’s auction was held last Sunday afternoon and evening, February 27.
Said Gail, after the miraculous, yet exhausting event: “I would like to thank the Kinsmen Telemiracle organization, Kelly Clarke and Mason Richard - our auctioneers - and everyone who purchased and donated items for this very worthy cause. Without these caring and generous folks, none of this would have happened!”
NEWS FLASH: “Ditto to you, Gail and Lawson Harkness.” Without you, none of this would ever have happened. You’re a shining example of what caring and community are all about.