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Southeast residents will benefit from fundraiser

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Southeast Saskatchewan communities that were victimized by the flooding in the region earlier this summer will benefit from an upcoming fundraiser in Oxbow.

Flood Aid will happen on Saturday, September 13 at the Oxbow Prairie Horizons School. Doors will open at 4 p.m. to allow supporters to view the items available in an auction. The auction will start at 4:30 p.m.

A cold plate supper will be served at 6:30. Entertainment will also begin at that time. Concert pianist David Hyman of Oxbow, blues rock group Jimmy G & the Cable Guys of Oxbow and Alida classic rock band Product of Canada will be the performers.

Event chair Shirley Galloway said that most of the communities that were affected by the flooding are east of Oxbow, but there was a desire in Oxbow to help out their neighbours.

"This is one big community when you look at it," said Galloway. "People have friends and relatives in this town and that town. They work here and they go here. It's a big community in the southeast, and as these stories came out … we thought we need to do something."

This isn't the first time that Oxbow has held a flood relief. Three years ago, there was a benefit to assist the RM of Enniskillen after it was hit by the Souris River flooding. The event raised $40,000, Galloway said.

Galloway said they decided to host a fundraiser this year after they heard of the flood waters' impact in southeast Saskatchewan.

"Having lived through and helped out during that flood of 2011 that hit Oxbow, we knew first-hand that people say 'There's insurance and there's the government' … that's great, but it's not enough," said Galloway.

People have immediate needs, she said, and they can't wait for an insurance cheque. 

Galloway said that some tremendous items have been donated for the auction, highlighted by a 2014 Chrysler. The vehicle's purchase was sponsored by several businesses.

"We have art, we have beautiful jewelry, we have beautiful quilts, we have barbecues, we have a 60-inch LCD TV, we have a 42-inch LCD TV with surround sound," said Galloway.

Big items will be available in a live auction. Silent and Chinese auctions will also be happening.

Money that is raised will be placed into a trust, and then divided among the urban and rural municipalities that were affected by the flooding.

"How that's all going to work, we're not 100 per cent sure yet, because when this was done in Oxbow in 2011, there was just the one (municipality), so the money went to the RM," said Galloway. "This is a whole southeast venture."

The Flood Aid organizing committee has already spoken to the mayors of the affected municipalities. They have communicated what their communities need for assistance for infrastructure repairs and other expenses.

They don't have a goal with how much money they would like to raise. Any amount is more than those municipalities had previously, she said, but they do expect to raise a lot of money.

Forty-two tickets were available as of the last count, Galloway said. They can accommodate up to 420 people.

Galloway said that people have been very generous with their support for the benefit. Volunteers have dedicated a lot of time to help out, individuals have bought tickets, and corporate sponsors have made donations and purchased tables.


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