Matthew Liebenberg

Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

Bull riders from across the world were in Swift Current for the 6th annual Cody Snyder Professional Bull Riders Inc. (PBR) Invitational, May 28. Chase Outlaw of Hamburg, Arkansas, was at the top of the leader board after the first round with 84.5 points. He received the trophy buckle after the short-go rides by the top 10 competitors, when not a single bull rider was able to hold on for the required eight seconds to score more points. Outlaw became the first American in the history of the Swift Current PBR to win the event. The five previous events have been won by Canadian bull riders, with two of them winning the event twice.

 

The Canadian Cancer Society's 2016 Relay for Life in Swift Current had a new format at a different venue. The May 28 event was held indoors at Kinetic Exhibition Park's Stockade to avoid any weather disruptions and the relay took place for six hours instead of 12. The event raised a total of $26,227.45 for the fight against cancer, of which $17,567 was raised by the five participating teams. Over 50 cancer survivors in their bright yellow t-shirts participated in the honour lap during the opening ceremony and 242 luminaries were sold for the luminary ceremony to remember cancer survivors and those who have lost the battle against cancer. People still have an opportunity to donate online to Swift Current Relay for Life at www.relayforlife.ca/sk. Donations will be accepted until November. The Calgary hard rock band Fighting our Last Days was among the musical performers at the event.

 

Award-winning Saskatchewan born author Sharon Butala read from her latest novel Wild Rose during a fundraising event hosted by the Swift Current Branch Library, May 27. The book, which has been released in September 2015, is a story about the early years of the settlement era on the prairies. The musical entertainment during the evening was provided by Swift Current folk roots and country music singer Paula McGuigan. She performed with Liza Holder and Michelle Voisin, who have previously played with McGuigan in the folk-bluegrass band Barley Wik. Funds raised from the event will be used to purchase iPads for the library's digital literacy program.

 

 

Generous support from the community helped the Swift Current SPCA to raise over $21,000 during the 3rd annual John Mueller Memorial SPCA Radiothon, May 27. People were able to make their pledges by phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or they could show their support by going downtown to the BMO courtyard and Market Square area, where a variety of activities took place during the day. A total of $21,361 was raised by the end of the Radiothon, but money raised from the concession, barbeque and activities must still be added and it will take the grand total close to the $25,000 fundraising goal for this event. The SPCA relies on public support to cover 80 per cent of the shelter's annual expenses to take care of stray or abandoned animals and to find new homes for them.

 

Swift Current resident Ray Stroeder had his hair cut on May 27 to support his team’s efforts to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in the city. Gene Prokop, who has been a colon cancer survivor for almost 11 years, made the first cut on Ray's hair. Daniel Stroeder, Ray's father, also assisted and local barber Herb Butz completed the hair cut. The Walking Warriors was one of the participating teams at the 2016 Relay for Life in Swift Current, May 28. The team was made up of Pharmasave staff members along with their relatives and friends. They raised over $1,000 for Relay for Life through a cupcake sale, pledges towards Ray’s hair cut and donations from family and friends. Ray’s hair locks will be donated for making wigs for cancer patients.

 

A total of 191 Grade 3 students from four Swift Current schools – Centennial, Central, O.M. Irwin and Fairview – learned more about agriculture and food production during the two-day Burger Ranch event at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Swift Current Research and Development Centre, May 24 and 25. The event was hosted by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Regional Services Branch in cooperation with Agriculture in the Classroom. The student groups from the different schools learned in an interactive and hands-on way about where food comes from. The activities included information about the importance of watersheds and wetlands, the farming practices for beef cattle and dairy cows, and the planting of crops and vegetables. Due to wet conditions the students were unable to go out to the Burger Ranch demonstration plots to participate in planting and seeding. However, students will have an opportunity to return to the Burger Ranch demonstration plots in September to see how the plants have grown and matured during the summer. These plots are located at the Wheatland Conservation Area plots just east of Swift Current.

 

Anthony Drake, the designer of the Saskatchewan flag, was a guest of the City of Swift Current during a regular council meeting, May 24. Drake, who is from England, spoke about how he entered his flag design for a provincial competition while he was working as a teacher in Hodgeville in the late 1960s. He has been visiting various communities in the province with his wife Joan since May 10 and they returned to England on May 31. Their visit to the province was the result of an initiative by Gail and Mirek Hapanowicz, the owners of the  Hodgeville Skool Inn & Hub, to give more prominence to Hodgeville as the home of Saskatchewan's flag.

 

The Swift Current Redneck Betties had a convincing 255-130 victory against the Moose Jaw roller derby team, the Lil Chicago Jaw Breakers, at the Credit Union iPlex, May 21. The Redneck Betties junior team, the Ra Ra Riots, also had a good night on the track with a 240-230 win over Moose Jaw's Most Wanted. It was the second home game of the season for the Redneck Betties. Their next home game will take place on June 11.

 

The Saskatchewan High School Rodeo Association's (SHSRA) final rodeo of the regular season took place at Kinetic Exhibition Park's Magnus Newland Arena in Swift Current over the Victoria Day long weekend, May 21-23. It was the final opportunity for the 105 contestants to score points and improve their standings before the provincial finals, which will take place in Swift Current from June 2-5. Pictured are photographs from three events on the first day of the rodeo: goat tying, pole bending, and bareback.

Winners included: High school division
Bareback Liam Marshall
Saddlebronc  Chance Sjogren
Barrels amy bowditch
Tied down Tee Mcleod
Break away Fayth Panchuk
Steer wrestling Tee Mcleod
Goats Jayne Keeley
Bulls Matt Leippi
Team roping header Zane Marcenko
Heeler Tee Mcleod
High point buckle champions winning their 1st buckles are Keaton Anderson and Bayley Farr
Jr division buckle winners Kegan Kmita and Brooke Lee
Provincial finals are in Swift Current: June 2 -5

 

The Swift Current & District Drug Task Force recognized the positive contributions of individuals and organizations to the community and to youth during an awards luncheon at the Great Plains College campus, May 19. Pictured are the award recipients in the order they received their award certificates: Standard Motors, represented by Ryan Plewis (Business Award), KidSport Swift Current, represented by Richard Bissonnette and Craig Menzies (Community Organization Award), Peter Gallagher (Youth Award), Kaitlin Olmsted (Youth Leadership Award), Griffin Funk (Youth Positive Lifestyle Award), and Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer (Community Leadership Award). Afterwards RCMP Constable Tony Curti handed out positive tickets to the award recipients.

 

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