By Sulz, Dave on December 5, 2019.
Southern Alberta agricultural suppliers and producers helped make the annual Harvest Howler fundraiser a success again this year.
The fundraiser made its debut in October 2013 after Kyndra Poelman, the daughter of a pollination service provider, Jerry Poelman from Poelman Apiaries, was killed in a car accident. The family decided to honour her memory by starting a foundation – Kyndra’s Foundation – to raise funds to build schools in Africa.
The inaugural fundraiser produced more than $40,000 for Kyndra’s Foundation, and succeeding events have helped benefit other charitable causes. Year Two saw more than $24,000 raised for the Food Grains Bank, which was matched 4:1 by the Canadian government for a total contribution of more than $120,000.
The third Harvest Howler raised more than $20,000 for southern Alberta’s HALO Air Ambulance.
The next year, more than $50,000 was raised to establish the Greg Nikles Memorial Scholarship at Lethbridge College. Nikles, one of the founding members of the Harvest Howler committee, was a well-known agronomist in southern Alberta, working for Rogers Sugar and Bayer, who had lost his battle with cancer the previous year.
Last year’s event collected more than $29,000 to support community mental health initiatives through Alberta Regional Collaborative Service Delivery.
This fall’s event raised more than $33,000 for two charities: Do More Agriculture, a charity focused on educating and supporting people in agriculture about mental health, and HALO Air Ambulance.
The event continues to be organized primarily by the canola seed production companies but others have joined to help support the cause. This year’s fundraiser was co-ordinated by Autumn Barnes, the local Canola Council of Canada representative.
The event receives broad support from many agricultural supply companies in southern Alberta and is well attended by producers from Bow Island to Vauxhall and Lethbridge.