LAMPMAN — The After Harvest Party fundraiser in Lampman on Oct. 22 allowed the Lampman recreation board to surpass its fundraising goal for a new ice plant at the town’s community complex.
The event was held on Oct. 22 at the Lampman School gymnasium. It featured a live auction led by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, a silent auction that had dozens of items, a catered supper, and live music by the Uncoolas.
Former NHL enforcer Stu Grimson was the guest speaker and prominent Saskatchewan broadcaster Rod Pedersen was the MC.
“To say it went amazing would be an understatement, it was incredible, more than we ever imagined,” said Lampman recreation director Brittany Sutherland. “Our community came together, and everyone had so much fun. The food was yummy, the speakers were great, and Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers were fantastic and helped up surpass our fundraising goal.”
The big-ticket item during the live auction was the naming rights for the arena. Border Insulators purchased it for a total of $41,000 over five years. It will be known as the Border Insulators Community Complex, and will cover both the arena and the curling rink.
The other large item was a pump jack donated by Grimes Sales & Service (2020), which was sold to an undisclosed bidder for $35,000.
“This was the first big fundraiser and gathering we had been able to host for years,” said Sutherland. “I think everyone in the community was eager to have a good time and support the worthy cause. The auctions were very competitive … yet friendly.”
A total of 65 items were available in the silent auction and eight could be had in the live auction.
“We also had great success auctioning off the order to eat, always a crowd favourite at our small-town fundraisers,” said Sutherland.
Pederson and Grimson did a great job of entertaining the audience, Sutherland said. Grimson, who played 729 NHL games for seven different NHL organizations and amassed 2,113 penalty minutes while serving as an enforcer, reflected on his career and the people he encountered.
“They were very entertaining, we loved hearing all their stories [and] would definitely recommend having them at an event,” said Sutherland.
Pederson is the host of the Rod Pedersen Show. He is a former play-by-play announcer for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Regina Pats.
“Rod, being from Milestone, really understood the crowd. He is very genuine, comical and full of wit,” said Sutherland.
“Stu was at one time a force to be reckoned with in the NHL. He has a kind, gentle demeanour with a strong towering presence. He told stories of what it was like being an enforcer in the NHL, the good, the bad and the ugly. Together they were able to give the crowd an inside look at what sports and community have in common and how one cannot survive without the other.”
The money raised will be directed towards the purchase of new thermosiphon ammonia ice plant, which is expected to add to the life span of the complex while lowering the operating costs.
While they don’t have final figure for the amount of money, Sutherland said the event raised well over $150,000, which exceeded their needs for the equipment.
"Our community needed to get together and start bringing that feeling back that COVID hindered,” said Dustin Ferguson, who is a town councillor and recreation board member. “I saw so many people smiling, laughing and joking that night. Just enjoying being together as a community. The level of support and strength was felt by all and to myself as a councillor it said ‘this community wants to thrive.’”
"I was so excited to surpass our goal and know that our project would be covered, I knew that all the hard work and visions that the rec. board had put together had all paid off,” added Sutherland. “But I think it was almost as rewarding seeing everyone together enjoying each other’s company.”
Sutherland said they are grateful to the sponsors, donors, volunteers and everyone who attended the event.
“Because we all came together our community had one heck of a successful event and was a night we will talk about for years.”
The ice is expected to be installed in mid-November.