For some families in Ponoka, the annual downhill derby is a September staple.
However, that event, and others typically hosted by the Ponoka Kinsmen in the fall, are all on hold until further notice, as per the direction of Kin Canada.
“The Kinsmen Club of Ponoka looks forward to getting back into the community and serving Ponoka’s greatest need as soon as we are able to,” said Ponoka Kinsmen member and previous vice president Justin Graham.
Graham adds that while it would be possible to hold the downhill derby with more volunteers and other precautions, the National Board of Directors for Kin Canada has asked all clubs to discontinue all activities that require in-the-community service.
The club also met earlier this year and decided to cease fundraising efforts for this year due to the difficult economic times affecting our sponsors and the community.
As entry fees just go towards the costs of the event, not holding the derby won’t have a negative affect on the Kinsmen.
“We do this event for the kids, the entry fees go towards event costs … This event is just a good way for us to get into the community and keep a neat tradition going,” said Graham.
This would have been the Kinsmen’s third year of running the downhill derby. They took over the event from the Downhill Derby Committee two years ago.
“They wanted to see it go forward but didn’t have the time to run it themselves anymore.”
Kinsmen events that have also been cancelled or put on hold include the Kinsmen and Kinette’s District 4 Convention, as well as the second annual Kintoberfest.
“It saddens us to cancel these events,” said Graham, adding that members Darren York, and Christina York of the Ponoka Kinette’s held the positions of Kinsmen and Kinette District 4 governors this past year.
“We are extremely proud of the work they do and we would have loved to see Kin from all over Alberta in Ponoka to show off our community,” he said.
“We were fortunate to have been able to host our charity auction before the shutdown and look forward to planning our next event as soon as we are able.”