Great Falls Community Hall gets creative with fundraising

Scroll down for Silent Auction and Fall Sale info

By Don Norman

The Great Falls Community Club is one of many community organizations feeling the pinch from COVID. In addition to lost revenue because events that had been scheduled for the facility have been cancelled, none of their fund raising functions that they normally would have done could take place either.

In an email sent to the Advocate on Monday, signed by Pat Hueston (President and Hall Manager) and Rayette Gurski (1st Vice President), the organizers had the following message, “With our deepest regrets we have made the difficult decision to cancel our annual Fall Supper. Due to the ongoing Pandemic we feel that we will not be able to safely continue this tradition this year. The Fall Supper is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and with the lack of bookings due to COVID-19 also the loss of revenue of having to cancel all events, we are in desperate need of help to keep our hall functioning into the future.”

In a conversation with the Advocate on Tuesday with Hueston and Gurski, as well as Board President, Heather Softley, Hueston explained that they usually we have scheduled craft sales and events throughout the year. “We try to do something every month, but we’ve missed two sales so far in the spring,” she said. “The last thing we did was February.”

Heather Softly noted that these fund raisers are an important part of the revenue stream for the organization. “The Great Falls Community Hall is the centre of the community,” she said. “One of the biggest problems we encounter here is keeping up with operations. Hydro bills and water bills add up,” she said.

In recent weeks, the group running the facility has started up the bowling program again, but while it’s great that the hall is at least being used, bowling isn’t a big money-maker for the organization.

Realizing that they have to come up with creative ways to fund-raise during this pandemic, they landed on a silent auction as an alternative. “We then decided that maybe we could have a sale too,” said Hueston. The plan is to hold the sale outdoors to allow for easier social distancing. “Hopefully the weather is in our favour but we may get a shelter,” she said. Softley also pointed out that the vendors have been hurting as well, from the pandemic, “so it’s an opportunity to help them out too,” she said.

So far, they have had some very generous donations for the silent auction. “We’ve seen incredibly generous donations coming in from supporters,” said Softley. At this time, they don’t have the list of prizes that will be auctioned, but they did say that one of the donations was a carving by local chainsaw carving celebrity, James Niedermeyer.

“The show of support indicates the value of the event to the community,” said Softley.

The Sale and Silent Auction are being held at the Great Falls Hall on the weekend of October 3rd and 4th. Tickets will be available to purchase between 12am & 8pm Saturday and 11am-3pm on Sunday. Draws will be held on October 4th @ 4pm and will be drawn live on Facebook. For more information about ticket prices or any other questions, contact Pat Hueston (204) 367-4467 or Rayette Gurski (204) 367-4487.

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