Matthew Liebenberg

Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

The 2014 Five Days for Change by 17 students from Swift Current Comprehensive High School raised a total of $16,615.45 for a local youth shelter. During the five days and four nights the students slept outside and ate only one meal a day to raise awareness about homelessness in southwest Saskatchewan. The campaign started on May 27 with a barbeque and family friendly activities on Market Square. On May 28 the students had their meal of the day at the Fresh Start soup kitchen in downtown Swift Current. On May 29 the group received a visit from former Swift Current Broncos player and current Ottawa Senators forward Zack Smith, who was accompanied by Southwest Street Culture Foundation Committee (SWSCFC) member Melinda Baum. The group also listened to a presentation by Swift Current United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz spoke to the students about her work as an outreach worker in Regina. The cheque presentation to SWSCFC was done during halftime at the Redneck Betties game on May 31.

 

The Swift Current Redneck Betties played their second home game of the roller derby season against the Regina Sugar Skulls at the Credit Union iPlex, May 31. The Betties battled hard during a very physical game, but were defeated 267-136 as they struggled to contain the fleet-footed jammers from Regina. The Betties will play their next home game against the Lil Chicago Jaw Breakers on June 21.

 

Swift Current's newest band, the five-member Lady and the Tramps, used their debut performance at the Legion Hall on May 31 to raise funds for the Swift Current Legion's building renovation fund. The band's high-energy performance of cover songs was well received by an enthusiastic crowd of around 200 people who attended the “Light up the Legion” concert. The band members are guitarist Justin Fehr, lead vocalist Erin Oman, lead guitar player Gord Cave, bass player Brent Patoine and drummer Jamie Fortney.

 

A dedication ceremony for Canadian emergency medical service (EMS) workers who lost their lives in the line of duty was held at the Swift Current and District Ambulance Service building on May 25. Guest speakers were Paramedic Chiefs of Canada Director Ken Luciak, Saskatchewan Emergency Medical Services Association President Gerry Schriemer, City of Swift Current Deputy Mayor Pat Friesen and RCMP Chaplain Jonathon Hoskins. Salvation Army Captain Michael Ramsay officiated during prayers and benediction and the event emcee was Swift Current EMS Manager Nelson Pompu. The event was hosted by Swift Current EMS as part of the local celebrations of EMS Week in Canada from May 25 to 31. The memorial dedication was followed by a family barbeque and a teddy bear clinic, where children could bring their favourite teddy bear for treatment on some specialized medical equipment and receive an ambulance tour. There was also a display of modern ambulance and emergency vehicles along with two vintage vehicles, a 1974 Pontiac ambulance and a 1955 Dodge military ambulance that is owned by EMS manager Bob Dyke.

 

Wrestlers Joey Vendetta (in blue outfit) and Billy Bones clashed in the main bout of the Ringside Wrestling tournament in Swift Current, May 24. Local organizer Dennis Hamm arranged the event at the Salvation Army gymnasium to bring professional wrestling back to Swift Current and to also provide support for two local charities, with $200 from ticket sales donated towards the SPCA and 20 pounds of food collected for the Salvation Army food bank.

 

A large crowd enjoyed the spectacle of professional bull riding at the Credit Union i-plex in Swift Current on May 24 during the 4th annual Cody Snyder PBR Invitational. Meadow Lake bull rider Cody Coverchuk became the first Saskatchewan rider in the four-year history of the Cody Snyder PBR Invitational in Swift Current to win the event. Coverchuk scored 82.5 points during his initial ride on the bull Forget Me Not and held on during his championship ride on the bull Pop Evil to score another 87 points for a grand total of 169.5 points and over $5,000 in prize money. Scott Schiffner from Strathmore, Alberta, who won the inaugural event in 2011, was the only other rider to score during both rounds (85.5 and 79 for a total of 163.5 points). The bulls presented a tough challenge and only seven bull riders were able to stay on for the required eight seconds during the initial round.

 

The “Reasons 2 Race” breast cancer fundraiser took place at the Speedy Creek Raceway on May 23. Participants in the men’s pink speedo race sprinted down the main straight during a relay race carrying balloons filled with water. Andy Johnson, one of the speedo racers, raised $1,500.00 in pledges. The event also included a silent auction of pink body panels from Davidson Racing’s IMCA stock car and together with the Speedy Racing Association’s 50/50 donations it raised close to $3,000. Terry Davidson (#T2) won both Street Stocks heats in his pink race car, but Stefan Klym won the Street Stocks feature race. Other feature race winners were Bob Heffer (Modifieds), Tyson Crowe (Hobby Stocks) and Rene Panasiuk, who also won both heats in the Thunder Trucks division.

 

The official unveiling of Central School's centennial song took place during a special assembly on May 23 and students had the opportunity to wear their centennial t-shirts for the first time. Singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker performed during the event. He spent two days at the Swift Current school in February to assist students with the creation of a centennial song and returned to perform a concert at the school on Thursday evening, May 22, and to participate in the song's unveiling the next morning. Central School students and staff posed for a group photograph in their centennial t-shirts at the end of the assembly.

 

 

A celebration concert took place at the Alpine Church of God in Swift Current on May 18 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the production and hosting of the gospel music radio show Nite Watch with Brother John by J.D. “Jack” Peters. The evening of entertainment included performances by the youthful Swift Current music group, The Sundrops, and the popular Lloydminster family gospel group, the Amundruds, as well as messages of congratulations from a variety of individuals. Peters performed a gospel song with his wife Sarah and Sharon Penny. Peters received the Canadian Gospel Music Association's Best Gospel Radio Show Award in 1992 and in 2012 he was presented with the Nashville-based Singing News magazine's Golden Mic Award. His show airs on CKSW 570 in Swift Current and CJSN 1490 in Shaunavon.

 

Around 30 cyclists of all ages participated in the Swift Current Cycling Club's Big Ride along the Chinook Parkway on May 18. The club organized the bike ride in support of the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative and six-time Olympian Clara Hughes' Big Ride for Mental Health, a 110-day bicycle journey covering 12,000 km through every province and territory. All proceeds from the Swift Current Big Ride will be donated to the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

 

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