Red Willow Ag Society board welcomes new members

The Red Willow Agricultural Society board got an infusion of new blood as it welcomed several new members

The Red Willow Agricultural Society board got an infusion of new blood as it welcomed several new members at its annual general meeting on Monday, Jan. 5.

The board has sometimes struggled in recent years to maintain its numbers, even as they’ve seen increasing attendance at the events they organize, said treasurer Heather Fletcher.

However, the meeting saw the board’s membership swell to a total of 14, as several new members agreed to join.

“I’m happy that we got new members, and that young people are joining the board,” said Fletcher, while her husband Brian, also a board member, added that people are often reluctant to get involved, as “everybody thinks someone else will do it.”

Outgoing president Linda Haner, who resigned after completing a board term of four years, said she’s happy to see people interested in taking part, especially recent arrivals to the community.

“There’s so much to offer for families here,” she said. “We’re a growing community again.”

The ag society is responsible for maintaining the community hall and ball diamonds, which are used for a variety of events and can also be rented for private use.

The board held the meeting at the Community Hall, beginning with a potluck meal attended by about 25 people, most of whom stayed for the meeting that followed.

Heather Fletcher read the minutes from the previous annual general meeting, held Dec. 8, 2013, and presented the financial statements, which showed a surplus of $6,790 and net assets of $58,369.

Major expenses for the past year included several purchases by the maintenance crew, including an air compressor, pressure washer and weed whip. The society also spent $4,422 on insurance and $6,449 on utilities and telephone service.

Heather Fletcher presented her summary of the ag society’s formal business plan, identifying four main goals: maintaining a viable organization, enhancing community leadership, completing upgrades to the hall and ball park, and creating programs to involve families and youth.

She stated that the overarching goal for the society is “to keep the doors open to the facilities” and to keep the events running each year, noting that a recent community survey had indicated a desire to continue supporting the society events.

“Everyone who completed the survey wanted the hall to stay open and for events to continue,” said Fletcher.

The new executive consists of president Edward J. Fletcher, vice-president Brad C. Dahl, secretary Angela Stormoen and treasurer Heather Fletcher. Penny Dahl agreed to serve as representative on the county recreation board.

The Red Willow Agricultural Society was incorporated on June 18, 1974. The bulk of the society’s funding currently comes through grants from the government of Alberta and the County of Stettler, at a combined total of $24,812 for the year 2014.