Out-of-the-box thinking to raise funds

By Kassidy Christensen

March 14, 2017 12:00 AM

NAME THAT PONTOON The Marwayne Agricultural Society plans to raffle a pontoon boat to raise funds for an arena expansion and upgrade, including some roof repairs. The raffle will be drawn next year during the 2018 Professional Bull Riders at the arena. On the left is the Marwayne Community Hall built with local fundraising. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

The Marwayne Agricultural Society is thinking out of the box to fund the estimated $400,000 cost of arena upgrades.
Work will begin in May to update and expand dressing rooms and rebuild and enlarge the room for the Zamboni and mechanicals along with a fundraising twist.
“We are going to do fundraising a little different, partly because the economy—it’s a little hard to ask for money,” said Ag Society president, Todd Hames.
He said they have applied for a licence to raffle off a pontoon boat with the raffle draw to take place at the 2018 Professional Bull Riders rodeo (PBR) at the arena. 
The Ag Society has received a $75,000 grant from the federal government’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and $75,000 from Alberta’s Community Initiative Program.
The Ag Society is also applying for additional grants.
“We need to raise at least $200,000 —probably we’ll do that over the course of a couple of years,” said Hames.
“We also have the use of some crop land donated to raise some crops to fundraise.”
Project bids from tradespeople are due by March 27 based on blueprints drawn up by Universal Consulting Group in Lloydminster.
Successful bidders will be notified by April 10 after this year’s’ PBR on April 8
The drawings aim to square up the building and add an additional dressing room.
“The main arena had dressing rooms built on the side previously; we are kind of going the rest of the length of the building,” said Hames
He noted all of the dressing rooms will get some more footage and heating and ventilation upgrades.
Plans call for the installation of an air makeup unit to supply fresh air to the dressing rooms.
“By upgrading the heating and ventilation system, we’ll get fresh air into the dressing rooms and get rid of that moist, dead air,” explained Hames.
Crews will also repair some of the roof of the arena that dates back to the early 70s.
Last year, the Ag Society did some foundation repairs to the curling rink.
Significant upgrades to the arena were made a few years ago when the Ag Society raised $3.5 to $3.7 million for a new community hall.
“When we finished that project, we actually had over $100,000 in surplus cash,” said Hames.
“We still have some funds from that project going to this project.”
Hames said the Ag Society also has a casino job for the summer through Alberta Lottery where you can work the lottery for a couple of days to raise money.
“We’ve been gathering up money for the last couple of years,” he said.

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