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Boomer bash bottom line benefits Lord’s Bounty through donation

Organizers from a community celebration last month have donated thousands in proceeds to the Lord’s Bounty Food Bank.
Organizers from the 60+ Boomer Bash present members of the Lords' Bounty Food Bank with a $9,594 donation at the food bank August 30. The proceeds from the event were donated to both the food bank and to CancerCare Manitoba.

Organizers from a community celebration last month have donated thousands in proceeds to the Lord’s Bounty Food Bank.

The people behind last month’s 60+ Boomer Bash presented a donation of $9,594 to the food bank August 30, the food bank’s biggest one-time non-grant donation in years. Proceeds from the event’s tickets and liquor sales were gathered up and, once all facility and supply fees were paid, all profit was donated.

“We’ve never received a monetary donation of that amount since I’ve been here outside of grants, and that’s nine years,” said Alison Dallas-Funk, the food bank’s executive director. Dallas-Funk said the money was more than the food bank’s normal annual food budget - a budget that was set to increase over the next year due to the increasing cost of food items and people needing food.

“Our annual food budget each year is usually around $6,000. Considering our increase in the last four months, we’re going to have to up our budget. The committee has wanted us to earmark that money to go toward purchasing food, so this takes pressure off of us and the inflation, which everyone is feeling right now. This is going to give us the leeway to up our food budget to $12,000 this year - double.”

The money itself came from the celebration held in August at the R.H. Channing Auditorium, not long before the Blueberry Jam Music Gathering held across town. Using word of mouth and social media pages, the event gained interest in Flin Flon’s wide-reaching diaspora, with former ‘Flonners from as far afield as B.C. and South America coming back to the north.

Sissel Bray, Greg East and Maureen Reagan took on the lion’s share of organizing the event and coordinated the donation.

“There were so many people who came from out of town - it was good for the local economy here,” said Reagan.

The party itself was meant as a celebration of Flin Flon’s past and a way for people with local ties to come together, with local music and entertainment. The tagline of the event was “one last kick at the can” - and on the subject of cans, the party featured custom-ordered beers from Neepawa-based Farmery Brewery which featured Flinty on the can’s label.

While organizers of events can sometimes squabble over what to do or where money should go, the trio said there was never any debate - the event’s proceeds were always going to the food bank. Along with the money donated to the food bank was another donation, this time to CancerCare Manitoba - $1,000 in total, made in memory of long-time Flin Flon musician and arts personality Susan Lethbridge.

“When we started organizing, there was no discussion over where it was going,” said Bray.

“When it was brought up, we all knew ‘Okay - this is what we’re doing.’ Nobody walked away or backed off because of that, said anything negative about that, which is really good.”

The organizers of the event say that around 400 people showed up for the event throughout the course of the evening. Social organizers thanked the musicians who took the stage and custodial staff at the community hall, along with support from committee members, the Flin Flon Recycling Centre, North of 53 Consumer’s Co-op, Eddie’s Family Foods and Gunn Sound and Light.

Dallas-Funk said the food bank has been seeing steadily increasing use for years, with the group having to expand its programming and food service to match the needs of the community.

“Last month, we had 424 people walk through here. If you think about our population, that’s pretty large. Out of that 424, 44 per cent are children - it’s not just singles or adults,” said Dallas-Funk.

“We are so fortunate from the support from everybody and how community-minded we are. We’re able to say that people can access food, five days a week, within our community, whether it’s through our lunch program or our food bank being open.”

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