Two pianos, one great party: Kinettes host Dueling Pianos fundraiser for playground

A pair of pianos kept the party going well into the wee hours as the Stettler Kinettes hosted another fundraiser

A pair of pianos kept the party going well into the wee hours as the Stettler Kinettes hosted another fundraiser for their playground project earlier this month.

The Kinettes presented Dueling Pianos at the Stettler Community Hall on Saturday, March 14, drawing over 300 people for an evening that also included a catered meal, a 50/50 draw and raffle prizes.

Sara Wengryn, who served as chairperson for the evening, said it was highly successful, with tickets for the event quickly selling out.

“Normally at events we find people going home at 11 (o’clock),” she said, adding that on Saturday, “people were having a good time well past midnight.”

Sitting behind the keyboards were Cal Toth and Anna Vander Heide of Lethbridge, who kept a steady stream of live piano music going through the evening.

Toth invited the audience to submit their requests, saying the pianists would oblige by playing any songs with which they were familiar.

Vander Heide noted that they’d played locally before, adding, “I don’t remember Stettler knowing how to party,” but many attendees hit the dance floor over the course of the evening, attempting to prove her wrong.

The two pianos were situated in the centre of the dancefloor, allowing attendees to walk over with their requests or find plenty of space to demonstrate their moves.

Their repertoire included classics like Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” as well as newer tunes like Eminem’s “The Monster” and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.”

The evening started with Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” and continued with tracks like the theme from the film Footloose, Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69,” and even “Baby Got Back,” by one-hit wonder Sir Mix-a-Lot.

The meal, provided by Teresa’s Catering of Donalda, included a taco bar that was well-received by many event attendees.

The Kinettes are raising funds for a playground to be built in West Stettler Park. The project, designed by Blue Imp Play Ideas of Red Deer, will be targeted at children aged two to 12 and will feature multiple play areas with a colourful design.

Fundraising for the project began last summer; events have included a barbecue in the park in August and the club’s annual rummage sale in September.

The club has set a goal of $215,000, and prior to Saturday’s show, they had already raised around $115,000.

Wengryn said organizers had hoped to bring in roughly $20,000 from the Dueling Pianos event, but couldn’t offer an estimate on the actual total at press time.

She said they are also applying for a federal grant and have reached the latter stages of that process.

“We’ve been in contact with them and it sounds like our application is good,” she said. “Our initial conversations with them have been positive.”

The outcome of the grant application will help determine when the construction of the playground will take place.

Wengryn said they hope to begin installing the equipment in May, but added that will also depend on the town’s schedule.

She expressed her appreciation for the sponsors and others who donated towards the fundraiser and the playground project.