SVAPL Banquet Raises Funds for Furry Friends

Submitted by:
Sherry Martin |
Swan Valley Animal Protection League’s second annual Banquet and Fundraiser was once again a huge success, with a large crowd in attendance for a great dinner catered by Verneece Eggie and her hardworking crew.

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Special guest speaker Doug Speirs, humour columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press, was the highlight of the night with his hilarious stories about life with his dogs.

He had the crowd in stitches with his descriptive storytelling. Cooper, Doug’s famous basset hound who passed away earlier this year, was always smack in the middle of trouble, providing Doug with lots of funny material for his columns.

Cliff Arlt of Keystone Air Service Ltd provided the huge donation of a charter flight from Winnipeg to Swan River and back so Doug Speirs could attend. Thanks so much to Cliff for the flight and to Doug for attending!

A special thanks to Wayne Markle, who encouraged me to contact Doug Speirs and see if he would speak at our banquet.

Mr. Speirs also toured the facility and spent some time with Jolt, the gentle giant currently residing with us.

Marc Provencher provided entertainment throughout the evening, and Stacey from the Westwood Inn kindly donated bartending services.

The chinese and silent auctions were a great draw as usual, and people were especially attracted to one large furry stuffed husky in the chinese auction.

Doug Speirs was the lucky winner of the big critter. Big hearted guy that he is, he gave it up to Sierra Urban when he saw how much she loved it. He got a big hug in return!

The silent auction included a beautiful painting by Ursula Taylor, as well as dog and cat houses built by Trevor Urban, with materials donated by Spruce Products, Riley Semeniuk, Northern Specialties, the Urban’s and Kendale Roofing.

Kaitlin Branconnier was the lucky recipient of the dog house, and Patty Gattinger won the bidding on the cat house. There were lovely boy and girl quilts, (labor donated by Wendy van der Walt), along with many other items. A big thank you to all of the businesses and individuals who so generously gave us great items to auction off.

After the auction items were raffled off, the announcement for the big winner of the 50/50 draw had everyone holding their breath and crossing their fingers. Michelle Walker was lucky enough to have her name drawn, and walked away with a substantial $1,450 dollars.

The hall decorations, made by Michelle Alarie, were a huge hit and really set the tone for the evening. Brenda Semeniuk and Cox’s Greenhouse provided beautiful large pots of grasses and flowers to finish the look.

A big thank you goes out to everyone who worked so hard to put the banquet together. Without all of these people helping out and the generosity of local businesses and individuals, a fundraiser like this wouldn’t be possible.

Audrey Sercombe and Maggie Romak, the foster co-chairs of SVAPL, deserve special recognition.

We certainly would not have a facility without the hard work these two dedicated people put into it every single day. A lot of what they do is behind the scenes, but they are the backbone of this group. A big shout out to these two very special people.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made the banquet such a success, hope to see you next year.