There was plenty to celebrate as Kinsmen and Kinettes from across Manitoba and northwestern Ontario gathered in Flin Flon this past weekend.
The community hosted the Kin Canada District 2 Kinvention, a three-day affair to reflect on the volunteer movement’s progress and plan for a successful future.
“Everybody – the Flin Flon Kinsmen and the Flin Flon Kinettes – just pulled together and it was a huge success,” said Diane Therien, chairwoman of the organizing committee and a life member of the Flin Flon Kinettes.
Each of the 45 clubs in District 2 was invited to send delegates to the gathering. About 90 people attended some or all of the convention.
For local attendees, there were no shortage of highlights.
Vanessa Unrau of the Flin Flon Kinettes was co-winner of the district speakers’ competition. She’s now eligible to compete at the national Kinvention in Edmonton later this year.
The Flin Flon Kinettes’ Grocery Grab won a district award for best service project. The fundraiser, which offers winners a chance to nab free groceries during a sprint through the aisles of North of 53 Consumers Co-op, will now be considered for a national award.
Flin Flon Kinsmen member Tim Babcock was elected finance chairman for the district. His wife, Kinette Hollee Babcock, will serve as deputy governor for northern Manitoba.
The Kinvention also paid tribute to the 70th anniversary of the Flin Flon Kinsmen Club. Former Kinsmen member Graham Craig, a one-time Flin Flon mayor, cut the cake marking the milestone.
Craig also delivered a speech and posed for photos with Tom Therien and Bob Lesage, Flin Flon’s two lifetime Kinsmen members.
Another highlight came when delegates learned that for the first time in several years, District 2 achieved membership growth this past year.
“That was really nice to hear,” said Diane Therien, adding that discussion took place around how that growth can continue.
A Flin Flon area resident who lives with cystic fibrosis was among the speakers at the gathering. Battling the disorder is the national charity of the Kinsmen and Kinettes.
In keeping with that effort, the Flin Flon Kinsmen presented a gift of $10,700 to an official from Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The cash came from the club’s Pub Putt fundraiser held earlier this year.
The Kinvention was as much social as it was formal, with a meet-and-greet barbecue, a Wizard of Oz-themed dinner and a governor’s ball all crammed into the allotted time frame.
This was believed to be Flin Flon’s first time hosting a district Kinvention since 1956.