Annette Peck reads to Grade 1 students Kayden Burt and Jordyn Gully at Bluffton School last week as part of National Literacy Day.

Bentley Ag Society ready for coming year

This year around thirty people attended the Bentley & District Agricultural Society annual general meeting in early January.

This year around thirty people attended the Bentley & District Agricultural Society annual general meeting in early January.

The supper was catered in the Blindman Valley Ag Centre by the local Cross-Eyed Giraffe.

Many annual reports were given.

Bonnie Oliver, manager of the Blindman Valley Ag Centre that is run and operated by the ag society, reported a good year with bookings for 2016 for the peak period of May to September weekends already mostly filled, and some bookings even into 2017.

John Oliver helps with maintenance and the custodian remains Jana Halladay.

The Bentley Farmers’ Market reported getting the number of commercial booths down to within guidelines needed. They reported 127 different vendors this year: some on a regular basis and some just a few times. They donated around $10,000 back to the community. They are in the process of hiring a new manager for next year and have permission to form their own society instead of being under the umbrella of the Ag Society.

The Bentley Rodeo committee reported another successful year. Friday evening saw a capacity crowd and the Saturday performance was standing room only. It takes great support from sponsors and took 60+ volunteers and over 1500 hours of volunteer work to put on the show. Besides upgrading their equipment, the rodeo committee makes donations each year. This year they gave $1,500 to STARS, $2,000 to the Sunset Hills riding club, and $250 for Revmasters fireworks. The raffle saddle was won by Shea Grismer. The junior high point buckle was won by Mikenna Schaver from Halkirk. Volunteers honored this year were Scott Fraser and Lacombe Fertilizer/CPS.

Music at the Saturday evening cabaret and dance was by Jaydee Bixby. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the Bentley Rodeo.

The 18th annual Kroozin’ West Show & Shine hosted by the Revmasters Car Club on Saturday was again a huge success with 200 entries. More parking space was generously donated. Vehicles came from Alberta, BC, the NWT and Montana.

From money raised donations of $1,000 each was made to the Bentley school lunch program, the Bentley Centennial Legacy Fund, and STARS Air Ambulance, and $500 went to the Bentley Care Center entertainment fund, $750 to Community Services, $250 to the Bentley Community Church, $150 to the Bentley Dry Grad committee and $125 to the local Brownies and Guides. The largest amount was used for fireworks, and with stepped up help from the Ag Society and the town of Bentley and many others, the goal of $10,000 for the fireworks funds was reached, making it the biggest display ever to help celebrate the town’s 100th Anniversary centennial year.

There has always been a great crew of volunteers. The organizers for the past five years are stepping back and a new group are stepping up. Rick and Donna Park, Lorne and Donna Greaves, Wendy Park-Ramage, and Justin and Jennifer Peterson are passing the driver’s seat over to Matt and Robyn Macfie.

Bench show convener Joan Dickau reported bench show exhibit entries remain constant despite bad weather at times. The sewing section was back in to make the display area complete again.

The drive-in movie shown on the side of the elevator was changed to Friday night and seemed to work out well. There is never any admission charged but the $500 collected went to the Bentley Dry Grad Fund and to Youth Unlimited.

The horseshoe club acknowledged all their wonderful donors and sponsors and volunteers. There were five classes of Singles play on Saturday and five teams for doubles play on Sunday. The Allan Boettger Memorial VIP award was won by Tammy Christensen from Regina. The award randomly recognizes people who work hard to support and volunteer with horseshoes.

Winners names and sponsors can be viewed on the Ag Society web page under horseshoe tournament thanks to the Ag Society. We will try to host our 2016 tournament on August 6 and 7.