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Fiddlers raise two top hats of cash for Innisfail food bank

Olds-based Foothills Centennial Fiddlers host concert at Innisfail legion to help the needy
The Foothills Centennial Fiddlers on the stage at the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion Branch #104 on Jan. 25 for a fundraiser for the Innisfail & Area Food Bank. The legion's clubroom was packed for the event, which raised $505 and 55 pounds of non-perishable items for the food bank. Submitted photo

INNISFAIL – Fiddlers from around the region came to town to once again play old-time music at the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion Branch #104 but there was a special twist.

Yes, the Olds-based Foothills Centennial Fiddlers wanted to offer time-honoured tunes for the two step, jive and schottische partnered dances but there was a higher cause.

The Jan. 25 afternoon performance from 1 to 4 p.m. in the legion’s clubroom was the fiddlers first ever fundraiser for the Innisfail & Area Food Bank.

“Last fall I spoke with Val Davies from the Innisfail food bank about doing a fundraiser and with her blessing we proceeded,” said Murray Cameron, an Innisfailian fiddler who is the musical director of the fiddlers group.

“The fiddlers volunteered their time and musical talent. Our style of fiddle music is perfect for dancing and the dancers came as far away as Calgary, Stettler, Edmonton and all over Central Alberta." 

Throughout the afternoon the packed house of dancing attendees brought a total of 55 pounds of non-perishable food items that filled two big, heavy boxes of food.

As well, the dancers filled two top hats with cash that totalled $505.

 All the donated cash and food then went to the food bank.

“Thank you to the fiddlers,” said Heather Taylor, coordinator of the food bank. “I’ve had the opportunity to listen to them a few times and they make your heart feel light. I enjoy their music.”

Cameron, meanwhile, was grateful to everyone who attended and “generously” supported the event. He said the fiddlers just might to it again.

“We have had many inquiries as to when we are going to do this again and we will discuss this at our next rehearsal in early February,” said Cameron. 

“The Thursday afternoon format seems to work out well when many come early for lunch, dance all afternoon, and are home before dark.”

The Foothills Centennial Fiddlers were formed 19 years ago. Several of the founding members are still with the group today. 

Doug Thibodeau, Betty Belenky, Art Dixon and Linda Bogaert have been fiddling with the group since its first day.

Performing at the Innisfail legion on Jan 25 were Janice Beaudry (Didsbury), Barry Beaudry (Didsbury), Linda Brandson (Olds), Brian Jackson (Innisfail), Arnold Jones (Innisfail), Betty Belenky (Raven), Lawrie Hignell (Airdrie), Murray Cameron (Innisfail),  Doug Thibodeau (Olds), Eve MacMillan (Sundre), Reid Thompson (Olds), Thelma Cameron (Airdrie), Art Dickson (Sundre), Joe Mink (Didsbury), and Ann Howes (Innisfail). 


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