Bar Harbour Camp on Buffalo Lake has been serving Stettler and area residents since the 1920’s, and on Saturday, May 6, the community came out to support the continued growth of the camp and their facilities.
The Bar Harbour Camp Society held their second major fundraiser at Stettler Community Hall on Saturday, with live entertainment, dancing, and dinner by Teresa’s catering, plus a silent auction and live auction, all based around a 1960’s theme.
Last year’s fundraiser used the 1950’s as its theme, and raised almost $30,000, which was used to create an addition on the main camp building containing washrooms, showers and laundry facilities as well as a second storey addition for staff residences.
These fundraisers began because a group of community members decided they wanted to give the camp some extra help.
“We just needed help, so a group of people from the Stettler area came out,” said Helen Reed, secretary for the Bar Harbour Society.
The society also plans to direct the money from this year’s fundraiser towards facilities improvements.
“This is helping us to refurbish buildings, and also do a new addition,” Reed said.
Reed noted that most of the camp’s regular budget goes towards operating costs, which is why fundraisers like this one are important for the Bar Harbour Society.
“We’ve worked so hard to keep the camp inexpensive that we haven’t spent money on infrastructure,” Reed added.
This year’s fundraising event came with a special surprise – a Beatles tribute performance by some of the camp staff and volunteers.
Bar Harbour Society President Ryan Koehli played bass in the band, along with Todd Yarmecio and Matthew Fifield on guitars and vocals and Andrew Roy on drums.
Although the performance was a surprise for most people in attendance, it was not out of the ordinary for Bar Harbour.
“That sort of thing happens at camp all the time in the summer,” Koehli commented.
Their performance was followed by an auction which included such prizes as Adirondack chairs adorned with Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames team logos – each of which was sold to a different bidder.
Afterwards, the Aftermath band led by Town Councillor Malcolm Fischer took to the stage for more music and dancing.
Bar Harbour’s summer camp schedule begins this summer with Rookie Camp from July 26 to 28 for children aged six to nine.
Throughout the summer, the camp will provide various camping getaways for kids between the ages of six and 17 with activities such as archery, canoeing, swimming, campfires and games.
Bar Harbour Camp is a Christian-based youth camp built on close to 100 acres of lakeshore property owned by the United Church of Canada.
The camp society also rents out the facilities for events such as family reunions, youth groups, and other gatherings throughout the year.