The first long weekend out at Duck Mountain Provincial Park was a time to enjoy the great outdoors, as visitors flocked to the park, but another reason brought around 200 people to the Madge Lake Rec Hall on a Saturday night.
The Friends of Madge Lake fundraiser event, Rock the Summer @ Madge Lake Ladies Night Out was a sold-out success, according to organizers of the event held on May 18.
“Everything came together really well,” said Terri Podovinnikoff, a primary organizer. “It’s been a lot of work, and a team effort, and we have been very pleased with the donations we have received for our major raffle prizes and the Chinese Auction table.”
The evening began with socializing and a supper of chicken, baby potatoes, salads, and a scrumptious dessert bar.
“I’d like to acknowledge the Iron Grill for supplying the chicken and potatoes,” Podovinnikoff said. “The remainder of the meal was provided by members of the organizing committee.”
Comments heard from those in attendance included, “Terrific meal, the chicken was delicious,” “Everything tasted so good,” “The desserts were so yummy.”
Emcee for the evening was Patti Hack, chair of the Friends of Madge Lake (FOML) organization. All proceeds will go to FOML, and the entire event was organized by an independent volunteer committee comprised of Terri Podovinnikoff, Glady Achtymichuk, Nancy Klempp, Penny Bugera and Tammi Vanin with the help of many other volunteers.
The Rec Hall was decorated with an 80’s Rock n’ Roll theme, with vinyl records as the table centre pieces, lolly-pops, feather boas and musical notes.
“Good evening and welcome to the Friends of Madge Lake Ladies Night,” said Hack. “Madge has a pretty special place in my heart and soul as it does in many of yours, and it is great to see the excitement and drive to make Madge as good as it can be.
“Friends of Madge Lake is a wonderful organization that is rapidly growing in numbers but its success is because of people like the five ladies and their friends that planned and worked so hard to make tonight possible and the group that planned the Rider tailgate party this past fall that was such a success.
“We have had another group come forward, planning a family bingo in July. It is pretty amazing when you have individuals come forward and say, ‘We want to help, and we will organize and work at events and channel the profits through the Friends organization to go toward projects at the lake.’ That's what makes our Madge community so special. Tonight is about fundraising but it is also about having fun, visiting, eating a great dinner, having a few drinks, listening to a wonderful speaker and then relaxing and enjoying some karaoke.”
She encouraged everyone to take time to enjoy their families, and enjoy some “healing laughter” during their busy days, and try not to “take ourselves too seriously.”
Hack continued by thanking all those who had “generously donated prizes and funding” for the event.
The guest speaker for the evening was Joan McCusker, Olympic Gold Medallist for curling in Nagano in 1998, and a member of the Madge Lake community, who not only spoke, but also donated her speaking fee to the event.
Hack listed McCusker’s athletic accomplishments which began at an early age while still in school. In addition to the Olympic Gold Medal, McCusker’s accomplishments include having won the Canadian and World Women’s Curling Championship three times.
“Her athletic prowess and accomplishments fill a page with one amazing accomplishment after the other. At Madge you might find Joan cycling, walking, jogging, reading, golfing or working at the Friends of Madge Lake Cabin. With a big smile, plenty of humour and tons of Olympic examples, Joan talks about the type of attitude and teamwork that builds success in every aspect of life.
“We are blessed to have her as part of our Madge Lake community and tonight as our guest speaker.”
McCusker delivered her message with both humour and sincerity, telling the crowd that “Olympians are just the people that you grew up with; the people you grew up with that refused to give up their dreams, even when obstacles got in their way.
“And I really feel that the members of the Friends of Madge Lake organization have those qualities. They have a dream, and they are going to make that dream happen. They are going to enhance our community.”
McCusker then brought out her Olympic Gold medal, saying she brought it out of “retirement,” telling her audience that right after she had won the medal in Nagano, she knew she was going to share it. She spoke about how sharing the medal brought back memories of the day she won it, and the amazing feeling of pride she felt.
She then allowed the medal to be passed around the room for everyone to have a close look at it, or take a photo with it. It is only one of 10 like it in the world, making it a unique item.
“It’s amazing what people can accomplish when they work together as a team, when a group of people are better when they are together, because they are striving towards the same goal,” McCusker continued, wishing everyone a great summer.
Draws for the raffle prizes were made later in the evening as attendees enjoyed socializing and participating in karaoke with music provided by Saddles and Steel of Yorkton.