By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Since 2006, the Calf For Kids Charity Auction held at the Picture Butte Auction Mart, has been a blessing for many one-parent families struggling to make ends meet, especially with young children attending school.
This Friday marks the 10th annual fundraiser, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Registration and concessions open at 5:30 p.m.
Donations of auctionable items can be made at ATB Financial or Scotiabank in Picture Butte or Astro Insurance (Attention: Nick Hayes) in Lethbridge. Please have items in by Thursday at 5 p.m.
Don Schan from the Diamond City and Shaughnessy area, founded the charity auction in 2006 and remains as one of the organizers of the annual event.
“Every year is an experience. It’s the 10th one and let’s just hope for the best. I don’t ever set goals because you never know what’s going to happen,” Schan noted.
Calf For Kids provides bursaries to help kids under 18 with school fees/tuition, school supplies, clothing and for books.
“People put in an application and then we have our meetings and go through them and see what we can do,” Schan noted.
Applications are for families in Lethbridge or Lethbridge County effected by the loss of a parent.
Approximately $39,000 was raised last year, Schan noted.
“The support was amazing,” he said. Since 2006, close to $250,000 has been raised from the annual auction.
Donations of goods, Schan said, come from wherever the committee can get them including from Lethbridge Meats and Seafoods Ltd.
“They cut and wrap half a cow that will be donated in quarters and it will be your choice — the hind quarters or the front quarters, whatever you want,” said Schan.
Airtech from Lethbridge also donates a firepit every year and this year local cheese factories are donating cheese.
Schan noted any donations are greatly appreciated.
“Any kind of item — you never know what’s going to make a lot of money,” he joked.
Even Schan’s mother Sylvia helps out by making a blanket from the heart each year for the auction.
“It usually makes good money too.”
And Schan added, his mom celebrates her birthday this Friday and he wanted to wish her the very best.
Another unique item up for grabs this year and donated by Schan is an ice shack for a day — for a lucky Lethbridge or Lethbridge County family to give ice fishing a try this winter. Schan said it even comes equipped with heat and a bathroom.
“They don’t need anything but a fishing licence,” he added.
Ten years ago, Schan said, 18 children from the Diamond City and Shaughnessy area lost their fathers and he made a promise to one of the families.
“That I would sell a calf every year and there were so many other kids that went without their fathers, that following spring. I tried everything within my power to make something for everybody and it’s worked,” Schan said.
Schan noted if it wasn’t for the help of the volunteers, board members, the donors and the people showing up every year — nothing would have happened.
Anyone with financial concerns, questions or for those wanting to donate contact Dave at MNP Ltd. in Lethbridge at 403-329-2887.