Last Saturday, the night of the Rimbey Christian School fundraiser, the weather outside was cold and miserable, but inside the community centre the temperature was truly balmy.
The warm atmosphere was due, at least in part, to the evening’s star performer and Canadian country music legend, George Canyon.
The amiable singer was definitely a hit.
“The evening turned out really well,” said Harold Grinde, chairman of the Rimbey Christian School Board.
Grinde said the weather was a concern and their feature performer was anxious to get on stage so he could return to Calgary as soon as possible. But despite the concern about travelling safely, Canyon managed to wow the audience with a combination of great musical talent and story telling.
“He was amazing, he told stories and his talent is very high caliber.”
Canyon autographed a guitar, which was donated by 53rd Street Music in Red Deer for the silent auction. The autographed guitar brought in a bid of $2,000.
The price of the instrument doubled to an almost unheard bid of $4,000 when the singer decided to throw in a couple of VIP tickets to the Big Valley Jamboree to be held this summer.
The person who bought the guitar wishes to remain anonymous.
As well as entertainment from the star performer, Nathan Vaartstra, a student at the Rimbey Christian School played the piano and a couple of the parents performed with their musical instruments, as well.
Grinde believes the sold-out fundraiser is an indication that the school is on the brink of a promising future.
He noted that the students from the Christian School receive less than half of the dollars students attending a public school receive so fundraisers are very necessary to keep the school financially viable.
He added that students are not turned away from the school, which houses students from playschool to Grade 9, regardless of their financial situation.
“We don’t turn anybody away,” he said.
This year the school had a low enrolment of 40 students and operates with only one bus, but Grinde sees that changing in the future.
“We’ve been doing renovations and the future does look exciting,” he said.