Despite accidentally scheduling its Vegas Night fundraiser on the same night as two other charity events in Stettler and Delburne, the Big Valley Historical Society said its event was a success.
“We did OK,” said society treasurer Bob Boswell. “We had about 190 people show up.”
Though the numbers were lower than hoped for, the event broke even and raised a good chunk of money towards the organization’s fundraising goal.
The money is being raised to build a tool museum to house the hundreds of hand tools donated to the society, some dating back to the 1800s.
“We didn’t realize, when we picked the date, that there were conflicting events,” Boswell admitted.
The people who chose to come to the event enjoyed an evening of food and music, though, and it was great fun, Boswell said.
“Dan Welter, who used to own the hotel here in town, donated his time to cater the event,” Boswell said. Welter, who has moved away from Big Valley, “stuck around” to help out with the event.
Other local businesses and community members donated items that were auctioned off live or in silent auctions, bringing in money to help the organization reach its goal.
Currently, the society has purchased the land for the new museum, and hopes to break ground later this summer or in early fall. Even though the group is a few thousand short of its fundraising goal, they have enough to complete a good deal of work.
Currently, the tools are housed by the person who donated them, something the society wants to see change sooner rather than later. For the past three years, the society has been raising money for the new museum, and will begin its next fundraising campaign after a brief break for members to relax.
Music was provided by Alberta country band Cat Country, who provided a mix of traditional country-western and and the popular rock-country mix that’s prevalent on today’s radio stations.
Despite its name, the Vegas Night event had no gambling, not even a 50/50 draw, since the organization didn’t acquire a licence for gambling. Even without the casino activities, the event was fun for everyone, Boswell said.