Old Dog Run raises more than $12,000 for nursing home outdoor patio project

            More than $12,000 was raised for the Horizon Project at the Kamsack nursing home last week during the 10th annual Old Dog Run.

            Pledges and donations for the 14 persons who rode their bikes from Kamsack to Yorkton and back on August 6 totalled $11,000, while the home-coming reception at the Trackside Garden caboose raised another $1,200.

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            “This year we had one of the nicest days to ride than we’ve ever had,” said Joe Kozakewich, who with Tom Campbell had originated the ride, restricted to cyclists aged 50 years and over, 10 years ago. “The weather was perfect. We had a beautiful mix of sun and clouds. And it was not too hot.”

            Kozakewich, who has been on all 10 rides, said that this year’s group, which included five rookies, was on the road by 6:30 a.m.

            “Because of a lack of wind to fight, we were into Yorkton by 11:30 a.m.,” he said. “The staff of Quality Tire provided us with a free lunch and we left at 12:30 p.m.

            A number of motorists passing by the group had stopped and donated money out of their windows, he said. “Many of them honked and cheered and a cavalcade of bikers that we met had waved.

            “Generally, the vehicular traffic was respectful,” he said, explaining that the cyclists were fortunate to have had a Duck Mountain Ambulance Care EMT vehicle operated by Alex Tetoff at the lead of the group and Stephen Kozakewich, who had operated a large Quality Tire truck the entire distance of the route.

            “Alex worked with us very well. He did an excellent job. We thank him and Jim Pollock for the vehicle. It is critical to have them along on the ride.

            The rookies were impressed with how well everyone was kept filled and refreshed with beverages and energy food, he said, adding that he and his wife Debbie provided the on-route refreshments, and Maureen Maksymetz had accompanied Debbie in a support vehicle.

“We had lots of food.

            “All of us enjoyed ourselves and we had no serious issues to deal with. The one flat tire was quickly fixed.

            “We go faster or slower, depending on the riders,” he said. “Generally, our pace is as fast as the slowest riders.

            “There’s lots of laughter and cheering on the road. A dog-gone good time was had by all. The camaraderie was super.

            “And our reception back at Kamsack; that was huge. It means a lot to the riders driving down Nykolaishen Drive to arrive at the reception. It makes it all worthwhile.

            “Working this year with the nursing home auxiliary and administration was incredibly good,” Kozakewich said. “We met with them a number of times and it made the organizing easier.

            Kozakewich also praised the various sponsors who were “just wonderful.”

            “We would ask and they gave,” he said, describing an incident in which a request for water was made at a Kamsack business, and water and ice were both immediately donated.

            Cyclists participating in the 10th annual Old Dog Run were: Ken Achtymichuk of Outlook; Warren and Brenda Andrews of Cote Siding; Rob Hardwick of Regina; Ric Janzen of Outlook; Mary-Ann Ketchemonia of Keeseekoose First Nation; Mary Konkin-Eruera and Philip Eruera of Vancouver;Joe Kozakewich of Kamsack; Harold Maksymetz of Kamsack; Greg Nichol of Kamsack;Warren Popick of Yorkton; Terry Ross of Yorkton, and Anne Stupak of Yorkton.

            At the reception, Maria Nahnybida, on behalf of Affinity Credit Union, presented the riders with a cheque of $2,500, marking the third consecutive year that the credit union has presented that amount to the Old Dog Run.

            “We are here to celebrate the Old Dog Run riders,” said Karen Rubletz, who had organized the reception on behalf of the nursing home auxiliary. “This 10th annual run reflects their hard work, commitment and generosity. You riders make our community proud. It’s a job well done.”

            Rubletz told the people assembled at the caboose that this year’s pledges to the run are being donated to the nursing home auxiliary which is a diligent group with which she enjoys working. She said that a pipe dream of a large, fenced patio for the nursing home residents was taken on by Myrna Dey, a member of the auxiliary and the Horizon Project was put into action.

“The project will definitely enrich our residents’ lives,” she said. “The residents and staff of the Kamsack nursing home wish to thank the Old Dog Run riders, members of the nursing home auxiliary and all supporters and extended a special thank-you to the sponsors of the reception for their donations.

The reception began at 4 p.m. when burgers, drinks and 50/50 tickets were sold. Among the persons volunteering with Rubletz at the reception were: Patty and Ivan Witzko, Maryanne Francis and Kim Kelly, Melody and Sid Slivenski, Sally Haydaman and Donny Paziora. Mayor Rod Gardner and Dr. Murray Davies operated the barbecue, Fritz Herbster helped in the beer garden and Vera Battams and Allan Konkin helped with the cleaning up.

Entertaining during the reception were: Kerry Jones of Canora; Kamsack’s Polka Pals; Katrina (Nadia Reibin) and a trio of Zennovia Duch, Susan Bear and Marilyn Marsh.

“It was amazing,” Rubletz said.

Rubletz said that the auxiliary is planning to raise about $75,000 to construct the patio, and about 75 per cent of that amount has already been raised. Construction is expected to begin in the spring.

“We’re going to start planning for the 11th annual run,” Kozakewich said. It will be held the first Saturday following the August long weekend.