The Glendon Agricultural Society hopes they’ll be hosting a small town saturday night to remember – but, they need help.
The ag society is currently in the running for the Big Valley Jamboree’s Small Town Saturday Night contest. It pits community groups from across Alberta head-to-head to see who can get the most votes to hold a once in a lifetime country music event.
“There’s two reasons (we entered the contest). The first is that we’re raising money to replace our ice plant in the arena. We’re doing all kinds of things to raise money for that plant because it’s just so expensive,” explainaed Stacey Sandmeyer, chair of the society’s fundraising committee. “The second reason is because we have so many volunteers in Glendon that we just want to give them a big thank you and have a party.”
The contest is being held to celebrate 25 years of the Big Valley Jamboree, a premier country music festival held annually in Camrose. Fans from across North America flock to the event to watch top country superstars.
To thank their supporters in rural Alberta, the winner of Small Town Saturday Night will have the opportunity to host a “mini” Big Valley Jamboree. Names like Gord Bamford will be highlighting the festival in the lucky community.
“It would definitely put us on the map, and bring more awareness to our plight to raise money for the ice plant. Any type of publicity, the people hearing about us and coming to the event, it’s all going to help us,” said Sandmeyer.
She joked, “Gord Bamford would know where we are, he could come back.”
Should they win the contest, Sandmeyer hopes the event could serve as a fundraiser to bring in the at least a portion of the remaining $240,000 needed for the Glendon arena’s ice plant.
After completing a $20,000 repair to the plant last summer, the ag society started in full force trying to raise the necessary funds to replace the aging machine.
The ice plant is a crucial component in running the village’s arena and curling rink. It’s a near $500,000 project to have a new one installed, of which they’ve collected approximately $260,000. However, with the deadline for having a payment plan in place drawing near, the revenue from ticket sales for Small Town Saturday Night, along with a signature pyrogy dinner that goes hand-in-hand with any Glendon event, would give them a major boost.
“We’re putting in our order this spring. We can’t operate the way we need to, it’s costing us too much to fix the problem when we might as well replace the whole plant. So we have to make our down payment this spring, and we have to have a financial plan for payments to get it installed before the new season in the fall.”
There are around 30 community groups across the province competing to host Small Town Saturday Night. Round one of voting ends on Feb. 15, and will narrow competitors down to the top 10. Currently, LaGlace is sitting in first place with eight per cent of the votes, while Glendon is in a six-way tie for the last spot with just one per cent of the votes.
Sandmeyer is asking everyone in the area to cast a vote for the Glendon ag society, and support them in their goal of replacing the ice plant and giving the community a night to remember.
“We’re small but strong. We just know the future of the ice plant and the arena is important to Glendon, and other communities as well because they come in to rent it.”
She continued, “Our ice plant also runs to curling rink, and we can’t afford to lose two facilities. Our children don’t have a place to go in the wintertime in Glendon except these facilities, so we really want to keep them running.”
To vote for Glendon in the Big Valley Jamboree Small Town Saturday Night contest, go to www.bigvalleyjamboree.com/stsn/vote. Voting for round one closes Wednesday, Feb. 15.
“Just please vote for us,” Sandmeyer pleaded. “It would be a good fundraiser, but also a big community hug for all our volunteers do.”