The Village of Hussar about an hour east of Calgary is a great example of how people can pull together with some effort and a bit of
creativity to the benefit of the community at large.
The farming and ranching community, with a population of about 200, recently won a $50,000 contest from Alberta-based UFA Co-operative, an almost prairie-wide ag retailer and farm services company, to be used as part of a $600,000 upgrading project at the community hall.
UFA asked all communities to be as creative as they could for a chance to win $50,000 in its first Rural From The Roots Up — Get ‘n’ Give Contest.
A group in Hussar got busy and produced a music video called “5 Million Pennies” in their bid for the $50,000 donation. And a creative and entertaining music video it is. Set to the melody of the Bare Naked Ladies hit song “If I had a million dollars”…the Hussar video shows people all over town singing “If I had 5 million pennies” ($50,000) what they could do with that in helping to improve the community hall. The video can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/1a3EbCY . And if that doesn’t work just Google: “Hussar UFA video” and it also opens on Youtube. It is well worth the five minutes it takes to see it all.
While obviously this is a community just oozing with talent, the three principle performers in this video include, MaryAnn Oxtoby on lead vocals, Jeff Epp on guitar and his son Paul Epp on ukulele. Also contributing to the project were Marilyn Olsen and Wendy Kaiser who handled videoing, editing, pasting and sending, as well as Pam Collett and Kristen Anderson who wrote the song. And of course we can’t forget all the great voices of the Hussar community who contributed their talent as well.
“Our community hall is the cornerstone of our community,” says Kaiser, a member of the Hussar & District Hall Maintenance Society.”It is necessary to maintain this gathering place as a way to knit the past, present and future of our community together, to keep us connected and remind us where we come from. This money will help us achieve our goals and be a lasting legacy for UFA in keeping rural Alberta strong.”
MORE TO COME
And it is not over yet. Hussar was the first winner from 232 applications, but there was a short list of five communities in the running for a second $50,000 UFA Get ‘n’ Give Contest prize. Now the Village of Hussar, in a pay-it-forward style contest gets to pick the second winner. Shortlisted communities include Byemore (Sullivan Lake West Agricultural Society); Clive (Neighborhood Revitalization Group); Foremost (Minor Hockey, Seniors and Legacy Bridge Committee); Hand Hills (Hand Hills Lake Community Club) and Springdale (Liberty Hall Society).
And UFA must be making way too much money because they still have more $50,000 prizes to give away. The contest is open until December 15 and you can get details at http://UFA.com/GetnGive . Along with 110 UFA bulk fuel and cardlock petroleum locations, the member-owned co-operative with 120,000 members, has 35 farm and ranch stores and 11 Wholesale Sports Outdoor Outfitter Stores and provides services to farmers and ranchers in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan.
Lee Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]