$50,000 prize will help with repairs at Spruce View facility

“United Farmers of Alberta, help us keep our umbrellas where they need to be - outside.”

A little creative genius and lots of enthusiasm and community spirit earned Spruce View Agricultural Society a nice chunk of change to help with much needed arena renovations.

The group was selected as the third $50,000 prize winner in UFA’s Rural from the Roots Up – Get ‘n’ Give Contest. Their three-minute 41 second video produced using a cast of area residents, including four-year-old Benjamin Box and local singer-songwriter Crystal Steeves, proved to be a hit with the judges.

The community will use the prize money to make major repairs to the unsafe roof and fix the ventilation system at Diamond Jubilee Recreation Centre also known as Dickson Arena and Spruce View Arena. The facility is owned by Red Deer County.

The structure, built in 1979, has served as an all-purpose facility, and a venue for many community events including gymkhanas, 4-H, horse shows, men’s and ladies recreational hockey teams, minor hockey and figure skating. The school utilizes the facility to provide skating for their physical education classes and many community meetings are hosted there.

The arena has also hosted graduations, weddings, rodeos, dances, bull riding events and the annual mud bog event.

But the building has fallen into a sad state of disrepair with rusty light sockets, a faulty ventilation system and leaky roof.

“Our roof is not properly insulated and there are holes in it as well. This allows moisture to collect and drip. This is very expensive to repair and demands a large amount of our caretaker’s time. We need UFA to help us,” the ag society’s contest submission stated. “For our families – for our community – for our future – United Farmers of Alberta, help us keep our umbrellas where they need to be – outside.”

The Foremost reps chose the Spruce View Ag Society over other finalists from Armena, Dalum, Hand Hills and Momond.

“We came to an unanimous decision because we all felt the same way,” said Stacey Barrows, Foremost Minor Hockey member.

Katie Hillman, secretary and 4-H representative on Spruce View and District Agricuture Society said receiving the funding is “exciting”.

“It’s generating a lot of positive feedback,” she added. “We are very grateful for it.”

Hillman gave credit to everyone who helped make the video which was presented to UFA, especially event co-ordinator Connie Hobein, community member Chrissy Conway and Crystal Steeves.

“Connie has been a driving force behind this and Chrissy played a huge role as did Crystal.”

She said the money will go a long way to help with the repairs.

As a mother of three boys who play hockey and are in 4-H, she said she spends a great deal of time at the arena.

Spruce View Ag Society is planning a celebration on Feb. 20 with a supper and performance by Crystal Steeves and public skating at the arena.

Unveiling of the recipient of the next $50,000 prize in UFA’s Rural from the Roots Up –Get ‘n’ Give Contest will happen during that evening.

To attend the supper rsvp at c.rosephotography@hotmail.com. To view the winning video go to www.getngiveufa.com/getngive_contest/umbrellas-in-the-arena.