SUNDRE — For the first time since the start of the pandemic, The Chevelles were back in town last weekend to perform during the return of Rockin’ the Rink.
“It’s been since 2019,” said Kevin Humphrey, volunteer event organizer. “That’s the last one we had.”
In the days leading up to the event, 25 tables had already been sold in advance, translating to an expected turnout of about 200 people, Humphrey said.
While a few people walked in the night of the dance, some tables weren't quite full and the venue could have handled many more. But he was nevertheless pleased by the attendance.
“I’m happy with the turnout," said Humphrey, adding plenty of people he spoke with offered compliments on a tasty meal and a great show.
"It could have been better, but it could have been worse.”
In years past, the fundraiser had drawn out crowds ranging from lows of about 160 to highs around 280.
“So, we’re about middle of the road,” he said. “I thought there would have been more people this year, but that’s the way it is.”
The Chevelles – a Lethbridge-based band known for performing a variety of classic cover songs including pop, rock and country – once again provided on Saturday, Oct. 1 some live musical entertainment at the Sundre Curling Club.
In the eight prior editions of Rockin’ the Rink, organizers raised roughly $80,000 in profit or after expenses, he said.
“So, that’s $10,000 average,” he said, adding the funds are generated almost exclusively through ticket and liquor sales.
The curling club’s financial situation would in the absence of that effort be much tighter, he said.
But asked his thoughts on finally being able to once again host the formerly annual fundraiser, Humphrey said, “I’m actually leaning towards this being the last year for it.”
While organizers are grateful to everyone who has supported and made possible the event – from volunteers who prepared the meal and helped with setup to sponsors from the local business community – the effort and number of hours invested in making arrangements must also be factored in, he said.
“It’s the same amount of work that we have to do for 100 people or 300 people,” he said. “It’s still a good fundraiser for the curling club, but it’s not where it could be.”
Humphrey said organizers put in the time and effort not for the accolades but rather simply to help the curling club while offering a fun night for the community.
“If we had more people – like 350 people in there – well then I would probably stay doing it,” he said. “But it’s a hard thing to get motivated for when there’s only 200 people there.”
That being said, Humphrey expressed appreciation to those who over the years have supported the fundraiser.
He said on Monday morning that he intends to take a breather and reassess in the coming months prior to making any final decision on the fundraiser's fate.