Royal Purple members hold spring tea and bake sale

Matt Gardner
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Members of the Prince Albert-Paddockwood Royal Purple chapter held their annual spring tea and bake sale on Saturday at the Elks Club.

Royal Purple members Elaine Perkins (far left) and Alene Kivimaki (second from left) sell a box of peanut butter squares to customers at the group’s annual spring tea and bake sale, which took place on Saturday at the Prince Albert Elks Club.

Along with a similar tea and bake sale in the autumn, the long-running event serves as one of the major fundraisers for the organization, which is dedicated to serving their community and helping the needy.

“The main purpose is just to get our people out and … raise money for our own lodge as well, to help (us) … donate to charities or somebody that needs some help,” said Royal Purple member Elaine Perkins, who holds positions as a district deputy and an associate royal lady for the Prince Albert lodge.

Aside from collecting separate donations for their major charity, the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, proceeds from the event help the group cover operating costs throughout the year such as supplies, mailing materials and rent.

To keep the cost of hosting the tea and bake sale low, members donate almost all of the food available, which on the weekend included soup, sandwiches, beverages and baked goods such as strawberry shortcake.

“The bread for sandwiches isn’t, but … most of it is donated … I’ll doubt if we have $200 expense, and probably in the neighbourhood of $1,000 that we will make because it’s all donated,” Perkins said.

While local Royal Purple members have been hosting the spring tea and bake sale for more than a decade, it was only in the last three years that Paddockwood members joined the Prince Albert contingent following a fusion between the two chapters.

Turnout at the most recent sale appeared favourable.

“This one has been good. Our spring one is usually good,” Perkins said. “I think people are wanting to get out after the winter … and they like to get out to these kind of things on a Saturday afternoon.”

The spring tea and bake sale came in the midst of an important year for the Royal Purple of Canada, as the national organization celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Our spring one is usually good. I think people are wanting to get out after the winter. Elaine Perkins

As part of local celebrations, Prince Albert and Paddockwood members undertook a major calendar promotion, selling all 350 of their calendars to help raise money for the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association.

Other upcoming events organized by the chapter include a free pancake breakfast for seniors on Saturday, May 3 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and a major garage sale on May 24.

In light of the organization’s 2014 milestone, Royal Purple members have been making an increased effort to recruit new members, particularly from the younger generation.

“It would be nice to see young blood come in and help us out and give us new ideas and new ways of doing things,” Perkins said.

“If you don’t move forward, you’re not going to change things. You're not going to go anywhere.”

A Royal Purple veteran who has been with the group for 44 years, Perkins estimated that she was only 18 years old when she became a member.

“We weren’t all this age when we joined,” she said with a chuckle.

With an estimated 40 members currently in the Prince Albert-Paddockwood chapter, recent recruitment efforts appear to be paying off.

“We were lucky to initiate one (member) last meeting, and I think we have one more for sure coming perhaps this next meeting,” Perkins said. “But we’re trying to get younger ones in, so things have been changing -- rules and regulations have been changing to try and get younger ones in, and we are succeeding.

“It is really great to see that we are getting some young blood in, and that’s what we need.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Royal Purple member may contact the lodge at 306-764-1260 for more information.

Organizations: Royal Purple of Canada, Prince Albert, Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association

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