Friday , 3 December 2021
Image credit: Village of Dewberry.

As rural community halls struggle, Dewberry tries tile fundraiser

The Dewberry Hall Society kicked off a new style of fundraiser last month, selling ‘floor tiles’ to cover the cost of their ongoing operating costs.

Board president, Rick Rewuski, said their largest expense is their loan payment and at the end of January their debt retirement was $169,860.17.

“Because of COVID we have no income,” said Rewuski.

“We’re reaching out for whatever we can do to try and generate some revenue.”

The new hall project began in 2014 and has been in use since 2018.

Aside from no current fundraising or rental activities at the hall, he said the reduction in oilfield activity in the area has directly affected their campground income creating another hit they can’t afford.

Normally the hall is used for funerals, weddings, a fall supper, Christmas craft sale, New Year’s Eve dance, dinner theatre, and a variety of other community events.

“We can’t gather enough people to have those events – even selling tickets is hard to do because we cant see people. Eventually this pandemic will end and we will be able to use these facilities again,” said Rewuski.

This fundraiser is looking at using square spaces representing floor tiles in the main seating area.

Fifty-seven tiles in each direction make up nine blocks, with 361 tiles in each block. After each block is sold, they will hold a $500 draw.

“So far we have raised about $4,300, which will be applied on the debt because the expenses continue – power, heat, and insurance. This is one way to possibly generate enough money to make those payments,” said Rewuski.

Tiles are $30 each, and bundles of more than three are $25 per tile. If they sell all the tiles (minus the funds for the draws) they will raise $76,725.

“I know every community group and even businesses are having the same problem, so we look forward to the future when we can have events again and keep this hall alive,” said Rewuski.

He said the society is not a charitable donation but will issue receipts so that businesses or farmers can write off their contributions as donations or advertising. If you wish to purchase a tile, you can contact Rick from Dewberry Data Service at 780-847-4166.

About Angela Mouly

Angela comes to Lakeland Connect after leaving traditional newspaper where she spent the past four years reporting on community events. Her repertoire includes writing about history, politics, agriculture, sports, entertainment and art. She was the third place recipient of an AWNA General Excellence Award for “Best Front Page” during their 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. Angela has lived in rural Alberta all her life and in Vermilion for the past 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve and inform the Lakeland community by joining in people's many adventures and sharing their stories.