The Lloydminster Rescue Squad are pushing their annual Sirens and Sapphires Gala into next year.
The gala is the biggest fundraiser for the non-profit and raised around $100,000 in the past two years. The sixth year of the event is scheduled for October 2021.
Chief Norm Namur says postponing was the best decision in the interest of public health and safety.
“We were waiting and we were hoping that the longer we waited then things were going to settle down or improve and that’s not the case. In two months we were going to have the gala and if things didn’t improve how were we going to get around the decreased capacity at the venues.”
Namur says everything that has been booked for this year, such as presenters and entertainment, will be moved forward into 2021. Money raised for the gala goes towards the continued operations of the Lloydminster Rescue Squad and replacing old equipment.
The squad will instead be selling permanent advertising spots on the front-end of their rescue and recovery trailers to businesses for $5,000. Included with the spot are a commemorative photo of the rescue squad team with the businesses’ logo and another photo at the businesses location.
“We’re just starting the campaign and we’re hoping some of our previous supporters and funders will be able to help us out in that regard,” Deputy Chief Ryan LeBlanc says.
This campaign is separate from their GoFundMe which aims to upgrade their current diving and underwater equipment. The online fundraiser has made $3,400 so far. The Scoop is also providing a helping hand by donating the proceeds from their flavour of the week to the Lloydminster Rescue Squad.
LeBlanc says it’s been a busy year for the squad as they’re being called out to assist in recreational incidents as people head out to the lake.
“Not so much with the motor vehicle collisions, but more the ATV rollovers and the water accidents. We’ve been responding to an increased amount of those. With the COVID presence, it’s actually made us busier. Businesses are wanting to help out and now would be the absolute best time.”
Namur reminds everyone to wear a life jacket if they are planning to go for a swim or are boating. He also says those operating a side-by-side or ATV should wear a helmet, be familiar with the vehicle and wear a seatbelt when riding in a recreational vehicle that have them.
Businesses interested in the sponsorships can contact LeBlanc at 780-872-9039.