Fundraiser helps support new building project

Comedians Jody Peters and Dani Albert, and The Matt Davis Band entertained at the West Central Abilities event



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St Patrick's Day

People fill up their plates at the Elks Hall on St. Patrick’s Day at a fundraiser for the day program building project for West Central Abilities Inc. (Below) Saskatchewan comedian Jody Peters entertains the crowd at the fundraiser. The entertainment included two comedians and two live bands.

Kenneth Brown
of The Clarion

People attending a fundraiser on Saint Patrick’s Day didn’t need the luck of the Irish to enjoy themselves thanks to a pair of comedians and live music.

Approximately 140 people attended a fundraiser on March 17 at the Elks Hall. The event was hosted by West Central Abilities (WCA) Inc., an agency that provides services to adults with developmental disabilities. The agency is raising money for an important project.

Kim Edmunds, the executive director for WCA, was the mistress of ceremonies for the evening. The event included a supper, lots of live entertainment, a raffle and Booze Pull draw. The room was decked out in green for the occasion.

Kindersley MLA Ken Francis was one of several dignitaries on hand for the event. People enjoyed a chicken and roast beef supper prepared by volunteers, and Edmunds recognized that the beef was prepared by Kindersley Packers. She delivered an Irish blessing before sending people off to get their food.

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The entertainment for the evening featured comedians Jody Peters and Dani Albert, who opened up for Peters. After the comedians had finished entertaining the audience, it was time for live music by The Matt Davis Band. The band had brought an opening act.

Tickets were sold for a raffle to win a four-piece Marseilles patio set. People also had a chance to leave with a bottle of booze in the Booze Pull. The first 26 people to pay $20 got the opportunity to pick a card.

There were 26 bottles of booze donated to the event and the bottles were hidden in bags on a table. People who paid $20 to draw a card got the bag with the matching card, so the booze was a mystery. Regardless of the booze, everybody was a winner.

Edmunds spoke to the crowd before the comedians hit the stage. She said several volunteers worked hard to make the event happen, so she wanted to thank everyone who helped with supper, decorations and planning. The executive director also thanked the people in attendance.

She noted that there was a special guest in the audience. The purpose of the event was to raise money for a building project and Edmunds said Kim Mah, a local resident, donated $20,000 to the project that she had won in a contest.

The agency’s day program centre is located on Seventh Avenue West in the industrial area, so it is not an idea location for the agency and its clients, she said. The executive director said the location has been overrun by oilfield equipment.

Edmunds said the agency has to consider everything that is needed to empower clients and keep them safe. The agency is going to build its new day program building in a central location on the 100 block of First Avenue West. Edmunds said the location is more suitable for the clients.

After people heard more about the project and the agency’s plans, it was time for the laughter to start. Albert was introduced first and she opened with several jokes about dating and parenthood before the headliner.

Peters, who was raised at Aberdeen, Sask., told several jokes about growing up in rural Saskatchewan. The comedian said he is half Jamaican and half German, so it made for good laughs because it is an unusual combination for kids from small town Saskatchewan. The crowd gave Peters a standing ovation.

Regan Overand, a program administrator for WCA, sits on a fundraising committee for the day program centre. In an interview on Monday, she said people stayed until the live music shut down at about 12:30 a.m. and people even got up to dance.

She noted that the event went really well, and organizers are pleased with the turnout and support from the community. The fundraising total was not available for publication, but she said she believes the fundraising goal was achieved and it is nice to see the progress.

“That’s exciting to have another chunk (raised) for our new day program building,” Overand said, recognizing the fundraising committee is working on other events and the next one is a sign making workshop on May 12.

The agency also has a building committee and WCA is looking for people to sit on both committees. People could contact the centre by calling 306-463-2727 during business hours if they would like to volunteer for the fundraising and building committees.

According to Overand, the project is still in the initial design stage. She added that the design has to be suitable for the staff and for clients with a wide range of needs, so it is going to take time to get the design right. The building project is anticipated to start in 2018.



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