Photo and caption courtesy of Ron Holland
The STAR OF THE SHOW didn't take the stage until Cody Prevost did his encore song. Wetaskiwin Hospital Foundation Board Chair Allan Halter bowed to pressure from the audience and performed a rousing duet of "Cotton Eyed Joe" with Cody Prevost. I have a couple of photos of this stellar performance. Due to the size, I will send them in two separate e-mails. One is attached to this message.
Also, it should be noted that, about four years ago, Cody Prevost approached the Tisdale, SK office of Community Futures as he understood that their mandate was to support the growth of small business in rural Canada. Prevost indicated that his goal was to become a success in the music business. Cody completed a business plan, which was presented to the Community Futures board of directors. I believe the presentation may also have included a song or two. The board approved the loan and Cody's title song from his first album – The Road Ahead – became the feature song in a Community Futures western Canada marketing campaign. And Cody Prevost paid back the loan.
Saturday night October 20th was a busy night in the City of Wetaskiwin. Both the Pumpkin Ball and the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation's Barn Dance and Pie Social took place that night, potentially stretching Wetaskiwin's philanthropists to their limit! But in true Wetaskiwin style, both events were well attended and supported by the generous people from both the City and County.
The WHF's Barn Dance and Pie Social drew approximately 250 people through the doors to feast their eyes, ears and taste buds on some amazing auction items, desserts and tunes.
Judging from all the sweets displayed on the tables lining three entire walls of the Drill Hall, this area has more than it's fair share of incredible bakers! The Pie Social theme meant that every donated item for the live or silent auction was partnered with a delicious homemade treat. A lot of people really took the time to create baked works of art to help support their local hospital. One display was an entirely edible Halloween Haunted landscape, another fantastic frosted confection donated by a local jeweller had a gold necklace and earring set baked right into it! MLA Verlyn Olsen's mother-in-law baked a beautiful Norwegian wedding cake to partner with his auction item, and a dark chocolate tuxedo cake paired with a gourmet dinner for six served at the Wetaskiwin Fire Hall was already bid up to $650.00 just half way through the evening!
Lillian Dykes, Executive Director for the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation was thrilled with the progression of the evening. "The people of Wetaskiwin support us 110%." stated Lillian, "We have a very generous community both in the city and the rural areas."
The Barn Dance and Pie Social raises funds for the WHF to donate toward their Surgical Enhancement Program. "This initiative just began one month ago." shared Lillian, "Our goal is to raise $120,000.00 within a year to put toward the addition of new equipment in the hospital, as well as replacing or enhancing existing equipment as needed. And we are very proud to be able to say that 100% of every dollar raised goes right into the Wetaskiwin Hospital."
President of the WHF Board, Allan Halter, was also very happy with the turn out for the evening. Allan shared, "It was a lot of work to put this together but we have a great team, and it is going extremely well I think."
Even if ooey, gooey, sugary treats weren't your thing, guaranteed there was something on the tables to pique everyone's interest. There was everything from gourmet gift baskets, to original art work, floral creations, jewellery, gift certificates for a seemingly endless variety of goods, and even a football autographed by the Edmonton Eskimos!
Then, if you needed a break from perusing the wealth of items on the tables, you could always grab that special cowgirl (or cowboy) and take a turn on the dance floor. Up and coming country music sensation Codie Prevost was headlining the event, and once he picked up his guitar there was no shortage of people wanting to two step the night away! Playing a mix of original songs and classic cover tunes, Codie had the dance floor packed for most of the evening. It was apparent that Codie and his band appealed to a cross section of ages as well, since everyone from four year olds shaking their little jean bottoms, to teens and twenty something's energetically swinging around, to grandmas and grandpas showing the young ones how to do it, were hitting the floor. One brave (and strong) gentleman bridged the generation gap all on his own as he promenaded to a couple of songs with his wife on one arm and his young grandson snuggled into the other.
It became obvious what a success the evening had been once the confections had been eaten, Codie had packed up his guitars and climbed back on his tour bus, and the pretty vine and gourd centrepieces had been stored away for another year. Once the donations had been roughly tallied, the WHF had brought in between $33-36,000.00 for the night! This means they are well on their way toward reaching their goal of $120,000.00 in a year, thanks to the many generous donors who supported and attended this event.
So even if you missed the Barn Dance and Pie Social there are still many ways you can support the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation. If you go to their website at www.wetaskiwinhealthfoundation.com they have several ideas listed there for ways to donate and help make our community a better, and healthier, place to live. And don't forget, every dollar raised in Wetaskiwin and area stays in Wetaskiwin, so just like the Pipestone Flyer; Keep It Local!