The Torquay 50 and Over Club organized its first-ever Fall Festival Tradeshow on Sept. 9 at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall in Estevan.
Thirty-three vendors, featuring a wide variety of hand-made and commercial goods, joined the event, attracting many guests on Saturday.
Co-organizers Brittany Reeves and Bonnie Heaslip started working on their first tradeshow about three months ago. Being vendors themselves for a few years, they felt there was a need for a tradeshow that could bring together other entrepreneurs and also help raise funds and awareness about the Torquay 50 and Over Club.
"We are members of the Torquay 50 and Over Club, and they were trying to come up with some fundraising, so we came up with the idea of a tradeshow," shared Heaslip.
"It's the easiest way to get funds essentially outside of doing a supper or something like that," Reeves added.
The club picked the date so that it wouldn't overlap with the beginning of the school year and would happen after it.
"And then we just know the times ourselves from going to tradeshows," Reeves noted. "And we chose the legion for the venue because we wanted to support the legion."
Vendors were coming from Torquay, Estevan, Midale, Arcola, and the Carlyle and Weyburn areas, and were featuring a variety of goods from baking and chocolate bombs to makeup and jewellery, as well as clothes, signs, accessories, crochet, sewing, embroidery, woodworking, spices, essential oils, candles and much more.
The event also attracted the South Sask Border Brawlers Armwrestling Club and Estevan Pottery Club, who were raising awareness about their activities. The legion members were also at the hall selling the truck raffle tickets.
After covering the costs of the tradeshow, the event raised about $1,000 from admission, cotton candy sales and raffle that will go to the Torquay 50 and Over Club and help them with their regular operations for quite a while. Proceeds from the concession went to the legion, and funds raised through candy and popcorn sales were directed to the Estevan Masonic Lodge.
While the Torquay 50 and Over Club has yet to decide if they want to continue with the tradeshows in the future, Reeves and Heaslip already had interest from other groups who'd like them to help organize a similar event.
"We're doing one for the Masons hopefully in the spring," Heaslip added. "We only do it for not-for-profits. We're here to help people and organizations."
"It's not for the profit, it is putting it back into the community," Reeves concluded.
The event was not only raising funds for the Torquay 50 and Over Club but also raising awareness about it.
The Torquay 50 and Over Club currently has 18 members from the Torquay area, and they are happy to welcome new ones throughout the year. While it is the local seniors' go-to place, it's open to anyone over 25 years of age and offers many opportunities for socialization. They host guest speakers, birthday parties, bridal showers, potluck supper and Monday coffee row.
"It's just a way to get the community out. There are so many new people living in Torquay so that it's a way to meet the ones that are staying around," Reeves explained.
For more about the club, people can contact President Caroline Bjornson at 306-923-2125.