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    Categories: Local News

Attendance down at cancer fundraiser

Maybe it was because the sunny weather made more people want to stay outdoors, do some gardening or catch the last day of the Rainmaker Rodeo – whatever the case, this year’s edition of Strikes for Cancer saw a noticeably reduced participation.

That doesn’t faze organizer Marvin Babiuk. As the father of the kingpin of the event (Jaden, a six-year-old child at the time he created the fundraiser), Babiuk is thrilled to have any number of people come out to support the cause.

“It was a little bit lighter but we’re still happy with the turnout though,” he said. “We’re very happy. We’re not disappointed.”

The Sunday event saw between 55 and 60 come out to bowl, do some fun games and activities and bring in money to help support the Canadian Cancer Society. Last year saw a record participation of 100 people, who brought in at least $16,000.

This year’s figure hasn’t yet been tallied. The first three years saw a sum of more than $35,000 raised.

Regardless of the dollars, Babiuk’s philosophy is that there’s no such thing as a gutter when you’ve got your sight set on the stars. He said that everybody had a great time and that deserves another return.

“We’ve already talked about looking ahead to next year which will be the fifth year. We certainly want to make it a memorable one because it’ll be a significant year for all of us who have participated,” he said.

He mentioned that the event might shift to a different weekend earlier in the spring of 2013.

Babiuk praised the grassroots support from the community and local businesses, especially the management and staff at the St. Albert Bowling Centre who always make the event a success in his estimation.

To learn more about the event, please visit www.strikesforcancer.com.

Food bank benefits from rodeo drives

Last weekend in St. Albert was filled with parades, carousels and all kinds of carnival fun, thanks to the annual Rainmaker Rodeo. It was also an important weekend for the St. Albert Food Bank.

The annual pancake breakfast – sponsored by the St. Albert Gazette – saw a huge turnout of hungry revellers and a collection bin was filled with non-perishable food donations too.

Food bank director Suzan Krecsy is always impressed by how much the community supports the cause.

“We collected 717 pounds (325 kilograms) and $632,” she said. “Yeah!”

The local social assistance agency benefitted from two drives, both coinciding with the rodeo in one way or another. During the parade, members of the local chapter of the Canadian Progress Club walked alongside their float and collected donations from the crowd at the same time.

Call the food bank at 780-459-0599 for more information on donating or how to become a client. It’s located at 50 Bellerose Dr., next to Canadian Tire.

Scott Hayes: Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.