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Fort Macleod Health Foundation raises $21,000 for local care

val kostelansky

Val Kostelansky displays the diamond necklace that was being auctioned.

kyle nielson

Ring man and master of ceremonies Kyle Nielson accepts a bid.

Fort Macleod Health Foundation provided an opportunity Saturday for residents to support health care in the community.
The annual Oktoberfest banquet and live and silent auctions raised $21,000 for local health care.
“It’s just absolutely phenomenal, the amount of hard work, dedication and — most importantly — the heart that is put into it,” said Cheryl Sarazin, director of rural acute facilities in the south zone of Alberta Health Services. “It is most appreciated.”
One hundred and 90 people packed the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall for the Oktoberfest event.
They were treated to a German-themed meal before attention turned to the live auction.
Sarazin was impressed with the strong community support for the health foundation, noting the large number of sponsors listed on the event’s program.
“How do you say thank you with the amount of sincerity and appreciation that is really felt,” Sarazin said.
Health foundation chair Susan Koots was also overwhelmed by the community’s continuing support.
“The generosity of our community is astounding, whether it be the donor or the buyer,” Koots said. “The buyers are ofter under-recognized — it is their generosity as well as the contributor that makes our event so successful. The generosity of volunteer time is also greatly appreciated.”
The health foundation in recent years has raised thousands of dollars for the cancer clinic at Chinook Regional Hospital, upgrading the trauma room at Fort Macleod and District Health Centre and to purchase the Lifepak 15, a mobile defibrillator carried by ambulance staff.
“Those are great advancements to health care that we are able to provide for this community,” Sarazin said.
Auctioneer Brant Hurlburt urged people to be generous, a sentiment echoed by master of ceremonies Kyle Nielson.
“Every dollar is important to the health foundation,” Nielson said.
Nielson, Ty Mandel and Keith Trowbridge served as ring men for the live auction, coaxing bids out of the audience.
Foundation supporters weren’t sitting on their wallets on Saturday night.
Werner Dressler and Mark Wier set the tone, bidding $200 apiece to buy wooden furniture donated by Extra Foods Gas Bar.
Corey Archibald then paid $350 for a Case children’s tractor donated by Vandervalk Farms.
The next purchase was a Great One, as Brian Smith paid $900 for an autographed photo of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky donated by Tom Gillespie.
George Brown then bid $650 for a patio beer cooler provided by an anonymous donor.
David Van Hierden then paid $475 to take home a diamond necklace donated by CIBC Commercial Banking.
A framed print by Fort Macleod artist Marney Delver drew the top bid of the night of $1,700 from Michael Dyck.
A handmade knife made and donated by John Dziadyk of Fort Macleod was bought by The Macleod Gazette for $675.
Brendan Grant bid $700 for a hot water tank replacement donated by plumber Michael Dyck.
Bruce Kostelansky then outbid the crowd to buy a carved wooden bench donated by FalCan Industries for $1,500.
John Dziadyk bought a steel farm gate sign donated by Granum Colony for $500.
Boot bought a flood jack donated by Mark Baird of NAPA Auto Parts for $750.
The auction closed out with Walter Vanee paying $550 for a smoker donated by Ritchie Bros. Auction.
Guests also bid on silent auction items and entered draws for an ipad and a wine table.
Fort Macleod Fire Department provided safe rides home at the end of the evening using the Legion van.
Sarazin praised the Fort Macleod and District Health Foundation, which includes Susan Koots, Ute Eremenko, Corrine Conner, Brian Vandervalk, Debbie Vanee, Dorothy Asuchak, Merline Heal, Val Kostelansky and Dyan Lokhorst.
“I can’t imagine the amount of time and effort the foundation trustees put into doing things like tonight and throughout the rest of the year,” Sarazin said.

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