Local service clubs are both shrinking and aging, so they must join forces to present major events, Smiths Falls town councillors were told at an Oct. 10 meeting.
Gary “Beep” Dalgleish of the Rotary Club came to council to provide an update on plans for a new Oktoberfest event to be held Saturday, Oct. 21. A fundraiser in support of several local charities, the evening bash is being jointly presented by the Smiths Falls Lions, Rotary, Civitan and Kinsmen Clubs, and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 95.
Admission costs $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and includes a meal of Oktoberfest sausage and sauerkraut, and music by a “Bavarian” band, said Dalgleish. Charities to benefit from a portion of the proceeds will include the food bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Easter Seals Camp Merrywood.
The Saumure Group, owners of the County Fair Mall, have donated space.
“It’s going to be a big party,” said Dalgleish. “We hope to make it an annual event.”
Starting with a relatively small, indoor event for 300 to 500 guests this year, organizers hope to hold an outdoor party next with a large tent.
Planning for the inaugural event didn’t take long, Dalgleish said.
“We run by the seat of our pants and put things together very quickly when it does happen,” he said.
The service clubs are seeking in-kind support from the town in the form of picnic tables. The town will also provide funds for the entertainment, Councillor Jay Brennan confirmed.
Councillor Dawn Quinn commented that she appreciated having a service club member come to council to provide some information about the clubs’ work in the community.