From left, chuckwagon drivers Dallas Dyck, Chance Bensmiller, Kurt Bensmiller, and Vern Nolin.
Photos Angela Mouly
After a successful summer away, Dewberry’s four chuckwagon teams were celebrated at the Community Pride’s beef on a bun supper, which was the first event in the new Arena.
On September 9, Kurt Bensmiller, Chance Bensmiller, Vern Nolin, and Dallas Dyck were thrilled to be home and were thankful to have over 200 people attend and show their support.
A subdivision of the Dewberry Agricultural Society, the Community Pride group prepared the meal and all of the fixings. Guests enjoyed visiting, door prizes, a 50/50 draw, a slideshow highlighting the areas outriders and drivers, as well as some old school stories. Congratulations were given by Lloydminster-Vermilion MLA Richard Starke, County of Vermilion River Reeve Daryl Watt, and past Mayor Headley Dennill.
According to Allan Parr, President of the Dewberry Agricultural Society, construction on the Arena began in March of 2015, and the finishing touches are underway. They are expecting to have the ice in at the end of September, and are looking forward to hosting a Grand Opening on November 24.
“We’re excited to see the ice after being without it last season. We’d like to thank the community for the support, and look forward to seeing everyone at upcoming events. Without an arena or hall, a small community will die because there is nothing to sustain or bring people in. Trying to keep the building cost effective, we kept the original ice surface, and added LED lights to save on energy,” said Parr.
Guests including the drivers were happy to see the building coming together.
“We’re definitely happy to be home and have a nice welcoming like this. It shows that the community is behind you the whole time you are on the road. It’s also nice to see the new arena because it shows us what we have to look forward to this winter,” said Kurt Bensmiller.
“Without hockey or wagons, Dewberry has nothing. It’s huge to have this support. As a chuckwagon driver, I think having the community behind you makes or breaks you,” said Dallas Dyck.
MLA Richard Starke was able to find similarities of his experience as a veterinarian and politician with chuckwagon drivers and said, "It’s a pleasure to share in the celebration with you. It’s great to be back in Dewberry and in this new Arena. Chuckwagons are an integral part of this community, and Dewberry is a very special place.”
“Thank you on behalf of our communities. You represent our areas with not only a lot of talent, but with a lot of class,” said County of Vermilion River Reeve, Daryl Watt.
Past Mayor, Headley Dennill said, “What a job they’ve done this year! The new arena is the Cadillac of skating rinks in the area.”