There's been a curling rink in Elkhorn since 1882 when the first club was formed. Over the past 133 years it has seen a few different locations within the village, but was always an active location for bonspiels and equally as popular for social events for the village and for the surrounding communities on both sides of provincial borders.
As reported earlier, the ice machine in this latest rink gave out over last winter, resulting in the cancellation of several popular bonspiels. However, club board members did not let the grass grow under their feet and an active fundraising campaign was begun. Several grants were applied for and recently Mr. Larry Maguire, on behalf of the Government of Canada, made a $48,000 grant under the Canadian government 150 Community Infrastructure Program.
Recently a barbecue steak supper was held along with three auctions at a preharvest fundraiser for the rink. The event held at the Elks Hall prompted a very large crowd from all over the Westman and eastern Saskatchewan area. The items up for auction, whether live, silent or Chinese, offer the cornucopia of items for all ages and interests. For example; household goods, arts and crafts, toys, jewelry, bulk fertilizer, straw and hay bales, loads of gravel, pies, farm services and even a certificate for training and testing to get one's Class 1 drivers license.
The live auction was carried out by Ward Cutler, a Canadian National Auctioneering Champion who, with the help of Matt Ross and other curling rink volunteers, got high bids for every item. In fact, for some of the items the final price was very high, given its actual value. But, it was really the bidders’ efforts to make a special donation to the curling rink.
Mr. Larry Maguire was on hand to support the event and do a bit of support-seeking for the upcoming federal election. Darren Johnston, head of the curling club, said, “We raised over $48,000, which is a big help in our overall goal because of the auction and the donations from the area oil companies and other sources. The oil companies’ donations of money and auction items were very appreciated given the recent setbacks and layoffs in the oil exploration industry. However their donation and the many donations from businesses and individuals in the Westman and eastern Saskatchewan area have made this fundraiser a huge success for the Elkorn Curling Club. Appreciation goes out to them and all the volunteers that help make this evening a success.”