Bentley library fundraiser well supported

The Bentley library board's latest fundraiser was well supported by financial sponsors, silent auction donors and bidders

Lead vocalist and acoustic guitar strummer for the Boom Chucka Boys is Ryan “Skinny Legs” Langlois

The Bentley library board’s latest fundraiser was well supported by financial sponsors, silent auction donors and bidders, library staff, event attendees, and volunteers who helped in so many areas right from the planning, the set up, to the door opening and printing of the programs, and throughout the whole event.

The Boom Chucka Boys concert held in the Blindman Valley Ag Centre (BVAC) on May 10 saw about 200 enjoy the late lunch (more like a full-fledged meal) catered by Bob Ronnie Catering while keeping the dance floor busy right from the start. It was good to see so many enjoying the music and so many up and actively dancing.

Emcee was Tim Day of KG Country who introduced the band before turning the stage over to them for the evening, along with all the special effects and lighting and sound system they provided.  He also announced door prizes throughout the evening.

With just very few short breaks, front man and lead vocalist and acoustic guitar strummer Ryan “Skinny Legs” Langlois, lead guitarist and background vocalist “Smokey” Joel Rathjen, upright and electric bass player and background vocalist “Smooth” Teddy Roy Michaylow, and new drummer Ben Shillabeer seemed to be able to read their audience very well and keep people entertained and occupied right up to closing time just after midnight with their original songs and western era and rock n’ roll renditions.

The Boom Chucka Boys (BCB) bill themselves as “A WHOLE lot of country, with a splash of rock n’ roll. Sprinkle in some gospel, and little bit of soul.”

When the group took shape in July 2010 the foundational drummer was Dave “Sweet Beats” Grobe. The Boom Chucka Boys have been gaining acclaim ever since.

Their debut album was produced by award winning producer/songwriter Byron Hill who, along with Gord Bamford, won a Canadian Country Music Award in 2013, and is guaranteed to “Make you shake your boogie woogie!” say the boys in the band.

There are many “firsts” for them this year including first time at the Big Valley Jamboree, first time at Dauphin Country Fest, first time performing at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, and performing at the Calgary Stampede, CNE in Toronto, and more.

They have been busy recording their sophomore record at MCC Recording Studios in Calgary.

Some big financial backers including one silver sponsor, five bronze sponsors and many Friends of the Library had a huge impact on the amount of funds raised.

Thirty-two silent auction items brought in about $4,200.00. The more major items included a Ryan Smyth retirement hockey jersey for $1,000.00, a large solar charging panel for an RV brought $275, a deluxe birdhouse went for $125, photos on canvas for $55, $75, and $125, a set of fireside tools for $125, an original oil painting of two young cattle for $110, two hand-made baby quilts for $65 and $110, and flower baskets for $75 to $85.

BVAC donated the one-day rental.

The bar, worked by seemingly tireless volunteers, added another $1,300.00 approximately so was well supported.

The table centerpieces were for sale for $20 each.

One-hundred-eighty tickets were pre-sold with another 21 sold at the door.

“It was really a good event, even for a bunch of amateurs,” stated library board member Joyce Colborne as she explained this event was the board’s first attempt at hosting this kind of fundraiser. “We were all very pleased and would change very little. We have had no negative feedback and lots of positive as well as wishes that we would do it again. We are already talking about next year.”

Some volunteers said they had learned a lot about how to organize this scale of event and now have a better idea what to change and what not to change.

Library board chair and fundraiser committee head Dr. Sandy Jameson said, “Overall we were very happy with the event. We greatly appreciate all the community support. The evening ran smoothly and the BCB’s were a lot of fun! I would like to make it an annual event and I feel that most of the board would agree.”

Says treasurer Sandra Smyth, “It was a great evening and a lot of fun. All the feedback so far is positive.”

The objective of the library board was to raise $7,500.00 and with a lot of hard work and support, in the end, about $8,000.00 was realized.