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4-H raises big dollars for Innisfail projects

Fundraiser by Kneehill Valley 4-H Beef Club will support urgently needed upgrades at hospital and heliport
MVT 2022 Charity Calf Jackpot
Members of the Kneehill Valley 4-H Beef Club pose behind a huge steer prior to their 2022 Achievement Day Show and Sale at the Innisfail Auction Market. The May 30 event raised $17,625 for the Innisfail Health Centre and the heliport rehabilitation project. Submitted photo

INNISFAIL — For the second year in a row, the Kneehill Valley 4-H Beef Club has stepped up for the Innisfail and area community with a fundraiser that will support the Innisfail Health Centre and the current heliport rehabilitation project.

On May 30, the club held its 2022 Achievement Day Show and Sale at the Innisfail Auction Market; a year-end wind-up celebration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the club’s 33 full members and five cleaver members had the opportunity to show off their beef projects, and to learn the finer points of marketing.

“It was a full show; bleacher setup show ring setup. The honourable Devin Dreeshen was emceeing for us,” said club leader Brad Hollman.

The sale began at 7 p.m. It started off with the auctioning of this year's charity calf ticket sales.

Each ticket sold for $25, a chance to win a 1,500-pound market steer. That, according to Hollman, will mean 920 pounds of freezer-ready meat to the lucky winner.

The auction raised a total of $17,625, with $8,812.50 going to the Innisfail hospital, and another of the same amount for the heliport upgrade project.

“We didn't quite match what we did last year. We were able to raise about $22,000 for STARS air ambulance last year,” said Hollman, adding half that money raised also went to the Innisfail Ski Hill.

“So, this is their second year of doing it. And this year, the cause was voted on this change. And like I said, we raised a very impressive $17,625 this year.”

The Innisfail heliport project has been a priority for the town since 2020 when it had to be shutdown for being deemed non-compliant with numerous Transport Canada guidelines.

The town has budgeted $641,541 to bring the heliport up to compliance. The rehabilitation project is expected to be completed later this year.

As for the local hospital, Hollman noted there's “seven or eight different areas” within the hospital that are requesting specialized funding.

However, it is known the hospital urgently needs widened bay doors for new ambulances.

Last month, Rose Winters, president of the Innisfail Health Centre Hospital Auxiliary, told the Albertan her group has started a fundraising project to raise at least $50,000 to have the ambulance bay doors widened.

Hollman, who is aware of the ambulance bay door situation, said his 4-H group has tabled a motion that it will decide just before the year-end awards night on June 26 which hospital project will receive support from monies raised at the May 30th fundraiser.