They say it takes a community to raise a child but they never said it takes a community to keep an arena open.
The Village of Morrin and area is doing exactly that. The community has come together to raise funds for the ice plant header which is close to breaking down.
“If we don’t have that up and running, we can’t make ice and ... it will close down, and it’s hard,” said Kendra Sommerville, treasurer of the Morrin Agriculture Society and coordinator for the new donation wall which will be displayed in the arena later on. “Usually when it’s closed it’s hard to reopen again and I think the arena is the heart of the community for Morrin and area.”
People or individual businesses with amounts as low as $250 up to as high as $5,000 or more will have a personalized metal plaque. $250 to $500 warrants a plaque of a horse, $500 to $1,000 gets you a cow, $1,000 to $5,000 is a tractor, and the large donations of $5,000 or larger gets you a combine. All plaques will have the donors names engraved.
A local artist will be painting a farming scene and a Drumheller blacksmith will create the plaques at a discount price.
“We’re still trying to support the community at the same time,” said Sommerville.
Donations have come from various events like the Duelling Pianos and Chevelles events held at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) last year. Morrin businesses and the local school have also made noticeable contributions.
“The Morrin School was able to raise $16,025 towards the donation as well,” said Sommerville.
These donations have been pouring in over the last two years in preparation of the replacement. The Ag Society quickly realized over the summer that the header was ‘on its last legs’, needing to raise money at a much faster pace.
The community has now surpassed its initial goal of $50,000 for the replacement of the header and is now sitting at the $65,000 mark. The new goal is $70,000. All of the money raised will go towards the new header and any hidden costs that may arise.
“The community has stepped up all around and I just received notice right before Christmas that we were able to win a community foundation award of $5,000 as well so that definitely put us up to the plate,” continued Sommerville.
The Ag Society plans to either wait until the machine finally fails or wait until the ice is out in the spring to replace the current one.
“Over the past three months we have been able to raise a lot of money really quickly and its thanks to all the community support and their big hearts,” said Sommerville. “It’s all come together when we needed it the most.”