Duelling Pianos exceeds expectations

Members of the community showed strong support for the Duelling Pianos fundraiser, which was held at the Power Dodge Curling Centre on Sept. 8.

The event featured a 50/50 draw, dinner, and the famed Duelling Pianos.

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Event co-organizer Randy Franke said that the entire event went off without any issues and the response from people who attended the event was extremely positive.

“We had great community support,” said Franke.

“We had about 40 tables filled for supper, and we had quite a few more people come in afterwards. There were roughly 450 to 500 people that came throughout the night, and everyone we talked to said they enjoyed everything throughout the night. The pianos were great, and so was the meal; everything went off without a hitch so to speak.”

Although the final numbers for the event’s profit haven’t yet been tabulated, Franke said they believe roughly $20,000 was raised.

The money will go towards a centre for education and dialogue, which is being built in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In addition to the centre, the group is also looking at purchasing a plot of land located adjacent to the centre.

“Between the school itself, and land that is needed to be purchased, it will be around $12,000 Canadian, so with this money we will for sure be able to acquire the land and most likely complete the work on the school,” said Franke.

“Initially they were thinking it may take up to three years to acquire the land, but with the money we raised we might be able to do it all in one year, which would be great to see.”

The idea for the education centre originated from a mission trip organized through the Regina-based Archbishop Charles Halpin Centre for Education and Dialogue, which involved several members of the Estevan and Regina communities travelling to Mexico to assist with the construction of the centre. Cuernavaca is the capital of Mexico’s Morelos state, and is located south of Mexico City.

“I think having the Duelling Pianos back in Estevan was our biggest draw to the event,” said Franke.

“The majority of the people that were there said it was the first time they had seen them, but they loved it. The large majority of people that came out actually ended up staying until 12:30 or 1 a.m., so it seemed like everyone had a really great time.”

Franke also said that the group has plans to continue fundraising for the centre, although upcoming fundraisers may be smaller in size.

“I would imagine we will continue doing some type of fundraiser in the area,” said Franke.

“We try to do something every year, although this event was by far the biggest we’ve done. It takes a lot of work and time to plan something like this, so I’m not sure if we will have an event like this again any time soon, but we will definitely have something in the way of fundraisers.”

“We also wanted to give a big thanks to everyone that came out and enjoyed the night and supported us. We had nothing but good comments from the people there, and that was a great feeling. We also had interest from some people who came out in joining us and that’s what this is also really about.”

Those who are interested in becoming involved with the organization can do so by contacting Randy Franke at 306-421-2244.

© Copyright 2018 Estevan Mercury

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