Lloydminster residents have spoken and the Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Association has set-up a foundation to allow them to show their support.
The Lloyd Ex Foundation was created to help bridge funding as the exhibition faces COVID-related challenges such as losing 90 per cent of their space rentals for events over the past year. General Manager Jenelle Saskiw says they have events lined up for next year, but in the meantime they need another source of revenue.
She says since they announced their challenges, several members of the community have come to them looking to help.
“To this day, we never had a structured way for people to donate. This makes it an easy way for people to come forward. We’ve taken that that response we’ve gotten from the community and developed four easy streams of donating.”
Residents will be able to donate directly or join the Exh’s ongoing Chase the Ace raffle to benefit the foundation. A livestock donation program has been set-up which will allow livestock sellers to donate the proceeds of one or multiple animals at the time of sale.
The organization is also starting a crop donation program. Farmers will be able to donate the proceeds from specified harvested acres. Direct donations and donations through the programs will receive a charitable tax receipt.
“It’s been done in a lot of other areas as fundraisers. A farmer, at the time they’re selling their grain, can say take the proceeds off of five acres and donate it to the Lloyd Ex Foundation. It’s a simple process and a way to give back.”
Saskiw says they are planning the “Grow the Lloyd Ex Foundation” program. The Exh will be work in partnership with a local area farmer to plant and harvest crops on their lands, with the proceeds going towards the foundation.
The LAEA is opening up five different levels of sponsorships which includes benefits such as recognition on their donor wall to naming rights for specific items and rooms at the facility.
Saskiw mentions the association has been forced to come up with new funding model ideas as it is unlikely government funding will come through.
“We aren’t anticipating for any type of help from the governments. Everybody is in the exact same boat as we are and it’s difficult all the way around. They have a major budget that they’re trying to balance as well, so it’s time for us to take ownership by ourselves and try and be creative.”
The campground, north of the facility, is another area they are looking to expand as a source of revenue.
“What we’re finding right now is that a lot of the trailers are bigger and we just don’t meet the needs of what the modern camper are looking for right now. What we’re looking to do is expand the area, put some trees in there, make it attractive for visitors to come in and consider using this campground area as part of their home for the summer.”
She says they are looking to make the foundation permanent and build a legacy to benefit future generations through scholarships and other programs.