Over 150 people were in attendance to support an October fundraiser to help the Val Marie Elevator Committee preserve the landmark elevator in Val Marie.
On a Saturday night in October this year, the community of Val Marie, official population 97, came together to support the preservation of a village landmark. They raised almost $14,000.
There were over 150 people in attendance, including many children. Over 60 items were donated to the silent auction and almost 30 were auctioned off live, including accommodation, art, beef, books, events, food, furniture, handmade treasures of all kinds, hay, photographs, and more. Most of the supper was donated and all its preparation. Before and after the auction, wonderful musicians and dancers performed. They too donated their time and talents. So did the auctioneer, the organizers, the bartenders working in shifts, the 4-H kids who pitched in as busboys and busgirls and dishwashers, the set-up and clean-up crew, and the committee that made it all happen.
And it wasn’t just an opportunity to raise funds. It was an opportunity to gather in community. Residents and visitors alike, everyone who attended was there to support Val Marie, its heritage and future, and each other. Not everyone already knew each other, but they seemed to believe in each other anyway. Laughter. Music. Dancing. Joining in. Cooperation. Encouragement. Gratitude.
There is still a small amount of money to be raised, only three or four thousand dollars. Donations can be sent to Village of Val Marie, c/o Maurice Lemire, Elevator Committee, Val Marie SK, S0N 2T0. To receive a tax-deductible receipt, donors can make cheques out to the Village and marked for the elevator project.
Because of that amazing night, the Elevator Committee has been able to commit to and book the construction company who will roof, paint, and put siding on the elevator. The workers will be on the job in May or June, and the Val Marie Heritage Elevator will be able to safely stand as a symbol of the life it created and that created it.