Arboretum 'Friend-raiser' draws 185

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Staff at the Trochu Arboretum anxiously kept scanning the skies on July 22, trying to make a decision as to where their annual Friendraising Supper should be held. Clouds were rolling around, but didn't appear too threatening, so set-up began at the grounds with option of racing to the Community Centre if necessary. The crowd of 185 arrived and soon the tables were full.
Arlene Denomme took over the emcee duties in the absence of President Glen Smyth, welcoming everyone and invited Pastor Allan Powell to ask the blessing. A tasty roast beef supper, catered by Country Cookers of the Rumsey area, was quickly served as four lanes to the buffet was used. Dessert, of course, was Henrietta's famous rhubarb cake.
During the evening, Arlene introduced Mayor Barry Kletke, who welcomed everyone to our town. She made a presentation to Roy Ashcroft for his work throughout the years and Henrietta Peterson received a jar of relish, as she always made them buy more each year since she says, "Trochu folk like relish". Then it was time to hear guest speaker Barry Erskine, host of the radio show Let's Talk Gardening heard at 9 am Sunday mornings on QR77. He had much praise for the Arboretum and fully agreed with the late Lois Hole's remark that it is the best kept secret in Alberta. He had toured the facility earlier and has offered to come back in the spring and teach a pruning class. He praised Susan Jensen and her staff for having it in such good shape despite the irregular weather.
Entertainment for the evening was Rustic Hawk, composed of Tim Peterson, his father-in-law Ed O'Donnell and their guitars. Their harmonizing of old classics wafted through the air as people sat and enjoyed or took the opportunity to stroll through the grounds. Welcome home, Tim, and come again.
As the program wound down, the clouds darkened and folk headed for home before the storm hit. Terry Peterson was winner of the 50-50 draw. Arlene thanked everyone who helped in any way, so now we look forward to 2011.