Skip to Equip surpasses $500,000
Tim Brody - Editor
“This is a remarkable community. There’s not too much to say, eight years, half a million dollars, that’s just incredible. Thank you so much to all the participants, all the volunteers, everybody who comes back every year.”
Those were Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) Foundation vice-chair Klaus Knorz’s words after the total from this year’s 8th Annual Bearskin Airlines Skip to Equip Classic was revealed last Sunday evening.
Twenty-six teams took part in the women’s curling fundraiser and with the support of the community, raised $75,000. Just over $53,000 was hoped for to put the event’s eight year fundraising total over the half a million dollar mark. A goal which was achieved, leading to a standing ovation for the event’s organizing committee.
“This weekend was a fundraising, fun event, and a chance to show why our town is a great place to live,” Skip to Equip organizing committee chair Laurel Hakala shared.
She added, “It takes a lot of people to make this event a success and we should all be proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
Hakala thanked members of the organizing committee for the countless hours of work they put into the event.
She further thanked businesses, both local and out of town, who supported the event.
“A huge thank you to the curlers!” she added.
Muriel Anderson, event participant and organizing committee member, agreed stating she was overwhelmed by the support from the community.
Funds raised through the event were donated to the SLMHC Foundation, the fundraising branch of the local hospital.
Monies raised will finish paying for a new “c-arm” for the hospital, which is used in the operating room to assist surgeons, allowing patients to receive certain surgical services locally, rather than having to travel to Thunder Bay or Winnipeg.
Additional funds will go into a long-term care facility trust fund.
Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance attended the wrap-up for the event, congratulating all involved in the event’s success and encouraging them to continue fundraising for a new long-term care facility in the community.
Cindy Davies, representing title sponsor Bearskin Airlines, commented at the event’s conclusion, “Congratulations to the volunteers and participants who make this event a reality. The money that is being raised with this event will enhance the quality of health care in Sioux Lookout for many years to come.”
Taking place at the Sioux Lookout Golf and Curling Club from November 9 to 11, the event highlighted friendship, fun, and fundraising.
The event followed a skins format with the Natalie Popovic rink, skipped by Kristen Howie, finishing in first place with 19 skins. Michelle Diston and Laurie Breton rounded out the winning team.
Two teams finished in second place with 18 skins, the Andrea Dick team and the Laurel Hakala team.
Finishing in third place, with 17 skins, was the Karen McGoldrick team.
This year’s event featured a storybook theme, and teams were encouraged to dress accordingly with prizes awarded to best dressed teams.
Top pledge earners at this year’s event were: Muriel Anderson - $3335, Kelli Baker - $1055, Cherie Coulombe - $1030, Laurel Hakala - $1020, Bev Carson - $1090, and Marlene MacDonald - $6275.
Popovic, who is also a member of the event’s organizing committee, said the event is a great way to give back to the community and recruit new women into the sport of curling, while raising money for a great cause.
Cherie Coulombe, one of the event’s participants, commented, “Wow! I'm still learning, so it's a fun place to learn the sport and raise monies for our medical care here! Sioux Lookout is a giving community and we are blessed to be a part of it! We had fun, and played hard.”
Sue Anderson, another event participant, shared, “It’s so much fun. It’s so well organized. The ladies who have been doing it have perfected it and maximized the fun.” She called the event a highlight of the social scene in town.
Jackie Toms, a participant and member of the organizing committee, said she had a great time.
Toms, an employee of Fresh Market Foods, said the business was represented by no less than four teams this year.
“There’s so much excitement and it helps the community in such a great way,” she said.
This was Dori Hopko’s fourth year participating in the event.
“I thought it was awesome! I think this year was amazing in the sense that the girls really put a huge effort into the costumes.”
“Just a great weekend. The community coming together as one, that’s what a small community is about; we’re here to back each other up,” she concluded.