ST. PAUL – Each year, Haying in the 30’s Cancer Support Society holds a charity event over the Heritage Day long weekend, raising money to support people fighting cancer. The event is a live re-enactment of the past, featuring agricultural displays, historical buildings, and the hard work of countless volunteers and supporters.
In 2022, around 4,000 people from across the province and with some hailing from even other provinces, attended the event, which takes place just south of Mallaig, located within the County of St. Paul. This year, over 6,000 people attended the two-day weekend event, according to Lorne Buryn, president of Haying in the 30’s.
“It was a fantastic weekend. The weather cooperated, we had a record amount of people attend our events, and donations were very, very generous,” Buryn told Lakeland This Week.
As of Aug. 8, $330,000 was raised and that number continued to grow. “There’s still e-transfers coming in online,” he said, adding this year’s donations exceeded expectations.
The money raised will help people affected by cancer. People can use the funds for travel or lodging, for example, while they go through treatments. Last year, the society helped around 450 people, and throughout its existence, has helped over 7,500 people, “and that equates to over $6 million,” over the years, said Buryn.
When asked if there were any challenges faced during the event, Buryn said it ran smoothly. “We’ve been doing this now for over 25 years, so I think we’ve got a pretty good system down.”
Volunteers are on hand to fulfill several tasks, from performing the live displays, to dressing up in period clothing from the 1900s, to serving meals. And they’re good at their jobs too. For example, around 2,500 were served supper in under 50 minutes on Saturday.
He commended the Society’s late president Martin Naundorf who passed away in June of this year. “He was such a huge [and] integral part of our organization.”
A small tribute was made to Naundorf during the event’s opening ceremony, and in the future, “We will do something more than that. But I can’t tell you what that might be,” said Buryn.
“I’d just like to thank everybody that participated... everybody that made a donation,” said Buryn. “And hopefully next year, we’ll be bigger and better.”
He also thanked the volunteers, “because without volunteers, we could never run these events.” Buryn noted there were around 300 volunteers helping out over the course of two days.
“We’re always looking for new volunteers to help us,” including young volunteers. There are number of things they could do, he said, like helping park vehicles, cook food, or help with the attractions. “They could pick and choose what their favourite thing would be to do.”
For those interested, they can call the Society at 780-210-3030.
Asked if he heard any feedback from the public, Buryn said, “Everybody that I’ve talked to... I have yet to hear of one complaint.” For the most part, it has been a positive experience for all involved, he said.
“The people that come seem to very much enjoy our event and there’s something for everyone to do... it doesn’t matter if it’s kids or teenagers or adults,” he said, adding, there's always something for everyone. “It was a fantastic weekend.”
When asked if he sees the event growing in the future, Buryn said that as long as there are enough volunteers, the event will go on for a long time.
“The need is there, I don’t see the need dissipating anytime soon,” he said, explaining there is always somebody in need help with their expenses as they battle cancer.
The application process can be found at the society’s website at hayinginthe30s.com