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The first of what is expected to be an annual Rally Round the Mill raised approximately $6,200 on August 7, while attracting the many new visitors to the mill and generating great interest in the history depicted on the story boards on the site.
The day-long series of events provided great entertainment, pancakes and barbequed burgers, along with liquid refreshments, a vintage vehicle show and shine, and a drive-in movie in the evening. The mood of the crowd felt like an old-fashioned community gathering, one visitor noted.
The day was made possible with the co-operation and work of many community organizations, volunteers, and local businesses.
The road rally was started by Mayor Mitch Hippsley waving the starting flag, and when it was over, Hot Flashes was the winning team with Lonnie Kaal driving and passenger Myrna Gathercole of Regina. The Yorkton Kinsmen set up the 10 unidentified locations in an Amazing Race-style, with clues and activities for extra points along the way.
Major sponsors were Evan Ortynsky's Key Auto Group and the Yorkton Tribal Council under Tribal Chief Isabel O’Soup.
Other businesses contributing products were Legacy Co-op, Harvest Meats, Parrish & Heimbecker, Sysco, Penguin Refrigeration and Superstore.
It takes a lot of help to organize and hold such a big day, including the City of Yorkton, Gallagher Center, Yorkton Exhibition Association, Parkland Search and Rescue, St. John Ambulance, Frameworks, Ducks Unlimited, Brook Pilipow, Queen City Tents, Everlast Eaves & Exteriors, RCMP, GX94 and the Fox FM, The Rock 98.5 FM, Yorkton This Week, Grain Millers, Yorkton Business Improvement District, Access Communications, CTV, Yorkton Professional Fire Fighters Association, Kinsmen Club of Yorkton, Yorkton Lions Club, Yorkton Habitat for Humanity, Back Forty Brewery, and the Yorkton Tribal Council staff, Black Ink Creative, UncommonSense Business Solutions and many other individual volunteers.
A special shout-out to rally organizers Perry Ostapowich and Chad Grodzinski of Yorkton Kinsmen, and to the entertainers, Katie Morgan, Mitchell Lysak, and Rocketbilly.