Wednesday, 20 November 2013 14:23

Manyberries raises many dollars for HALO

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Manyberries appreciates the Helicopter Air Lift Operation (HALO) which operates out of Medicine Hat’s airport.

The community’s third fundraiser, which is held about every 18 to 24 months, is a spaghetti supper coupled with a live auction which generates a pile of money.
Nearly 200 people crammed into the Manyberries Community Hall Nov. 8 and raised $25,000, with every dime going to HALO. Manyberries’ population is fewer than 50 people.
Dale Mack, one of the event’s organizers was thrilled and proud of the effort put forth by the area residents to not only be so generous, but to make it there in the first place. The weather and the highway conditions were not good Nov. 8.
“There was a couple of hundred people who came and they were determined to come (no matter what the roads were like),” explains Mack who adds three people from the Manyberries’ area who were HALO passengers were also there. “It speaks to the fact how important that helicopter is to the community. It was pretty much a mad house, but they all had fun.”
The auction items were popular this year with $115 being paid for a dozen cinnamon buns baked by local resident Brenda Heidinger, two loaves of whole wheat bread baked by Marilyn Weeks went for $90 and nine individual hamburger buns were sold for $50.
Mack also indicated the fire departments of both Etzikom and Manyberries made significant donations as well.
She says in the case of the Manyberries’ fire department they donated $3,000 to the HALO cause. Every time they get called out to a fire, accident etc., they get paid and that money in turn goes into an account. The volunteer emergency personnel saved that money and then turned around and gave it to HALO.
“That’s hard-earned money,” says Mack. “To turn  around and give it back, that speaks volumes to the generosity and character of them.”
HALO’s Medevac helicopter covers southeast Alberta and a small chunk of southwest Saskatchewan. Mack says the community appreciates having access to such a valuable emergency aircraft.
“Anyone who was there know they helped save a life or their neighbour’s or just someone in the (HALO coverage area),” explains Mack.
The plan is for the next one to be held 18 to 24 months from now so as to not monetarily fatigue the small community. Mack adds it helps maintain the enthusiasm for the spaghetti dinner event.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor