The Mont St. Joseph Funspiel is all set to start on Jan. 31. This is the fifteenth year for the two-day curling tournament that raises money for the Mont St. Joseph Foundation.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve raised quite a few funds and every year it‚Äôs increased,‚ÄĚ says Jacqui Wiesner, a foundation trustee. ‚ÄúSomeday we‚Äôll hit a ceiling, I‚Äôm sure, but the community has been very good to this project.‚ÄĚ
Wiesner estimates that the bonspiel raises around $23,000 each year for Mont St. Joseph. The money is traditionally used on items that are not automatically funded or readily available. This year that money will go towards new lifts.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre used for some of the residents who aren‚Äôt mobile and can‚Äôt get out of bed by themselves,‚ÄĚ says Wiesner, who is in her eighth year as a bonspiel organizer.
The home wants to eventually outfit all 120 of its rooms with lifts. Kinsmen Telemiracle helped put a big dent in that number by giving enough money to put 44 lifts in recently. Wiesner says she hopes to keep that momentum going, which shouldn‚Äôt be hard considering the bonspiel is already full of teams.
‚ÄúWe actually went to our waiting list this year to pick up another couple of teams,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs kind of nice when you have that luxury.‚ÄĚ
Nobody will mistake the curlers at this bonspiel for competitive individuals, but that‚Äôs not the point. Wiesner says it‚Äôs all about having fun donating to a worthy cause.
Curling teams don‚Äôt even pay to enter. Instead, they‚Äôre sponsored by local businesses. Prince Albert businesses also donate prizes and items for the silent auction. It‚Äôs that aspect of the bonspiel that has Wiesner‚Äôs attention right now.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs collecting those things that have been donated and getting little bid sheets made up for them,‚ÄĚ she says, while noting other minor details that need to get done. She describes the process as ‚Äúlabour intensive.‚ÄĚ She says the community spirit of Prince Albert has taken care of everything else.
‚ÄúMost people are pretty generous,‚ÄĚ she says.
The Mont St. Joseph Funspiel will feature 32 teams curling over two days next weekend at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club. Wiesner says she encourages community members to come down to watch, make a donation, and bid on the silent auction.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a fun project,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúWe do fun games. It‚Äôs not serious curling.‚ÄĚ