Haying in the 30's draws biggest crowd yet
Cancer support society raises over $220,000
Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 10:45 am
After 15 years of hard work, countless volunteer hours, and hundreds of thousands of dollars raised, the Haying in the 30’s Cancer Support Society is showing no signs of slowing down with its efforts to help people battling cancer.
This year’s August long weekend event raised $224,710 over two days, an increase of about $16,000 over last year’s numbers, according to Haying in the 30’s board president Lorne Buryn.
“I heard nothing but positive feedback. It was absolutely phenomenal,” said Buryn as he summed up the weekend. “It’s amazing to see that many people support (the society).”
The weather was hot and sunny on Saturday as teams of horses paraded into the grounds, located just a few minutes from Mallaig. An estimated 4,500 people took in the event on Saturday, while another 2,500 stopped by Sunday, says Buryn.
Because the event is completely free of charge, it’s hard to accurately count the number of people who make the trip out to Haying in the 30’s. Even the food served is free, but Buryn did note that about 2,300 people were served supper on Saturday evening.
“They’re pretty organized in that kitchen department,” says Buryn, as he gives kudos so the volunteers who spent the two days cooking and serving food to guests. Although the line-ups may have appeared long at times, they moved quickly and efficiently.
An estimated 300 volunteers were on hand over the weekend to ensure the event went off without a hitch. Volunteers direct traffic, drive tractors, offer horse-drawn wagon rides, dress up in themed outfits, and take part in a number of farming techniques over the weekend, along with countless other tasks.
Over the years, Buryn says the business community in the surrounding area has also stepped up its support of the society.
“We went through four 4-H beefs that were all donated by business people,” says Buryn, adding, there is no advertising given to the businesses, in an effort to keep the site as authentic to the 1930s as possible.
Support from businesses allows for the event to be offered free of charge, and also results in 100 per cent of all proceeds raised through the donation bank to be given directly to patients undergoing cancer treatments.
“The people know the money they donate goes directly to the patients . . . that need the money,” says Buryn. Haying in the 30’s has zero administration costs, and none of the people involved in the organization get paid for their work.
Of the thousands of people in attendance, many came from outside the area. Buryn said some of the guestbooks available on-site showed people came from clear across the nation, and beyond.
“It’s amazing the draw that we get.”
Heather Robblee made the trip from the Peace River area to take in Haying in the 30’s for the first time.
“I have not been here before . . . I think it’s really neat to go into the old buildings they set up. I can see the volunteers all over the place and can tell a ton of work went into it,” she said.
Although his trip was a little shorter to get to Mallaig, Victor Nowosad from Vermilion was impressed by the farming demonstrations he saw taking place on Saturday.
“It’s stuff I’ve seen before, from back in my day. I think it’s cool and something young people should see,” said Nowosad. “I’ve never used the drill, but I have ran one of those grain binders. It’s nice to see that’s the way this stuff was used.”
Over the past year, Haying in the 30’s handed out $425,000 to people battling cancer and has helped over 3,800 people.
“That’s a huge accomplishment,” says Buryn. He adds that the organization continues to collect funds throughout the year, and the number raised over the weekend is only a portion of the funds that are donated throughout the year.
“The more money we can get, the more people we can help out.”
Haying in the 30’s was founded in 1999 by Mallaig area resident Edgar Corbiere, who still plays a part in the event each year.