Swinging for a Cause: Raising Funds for healthcare & honouring esteemed former Fire Chief

Written by Ally Paige 

Photos by Hayden Michaels.

For the second year in a row, the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation and Swift Current Emergency Services honoured the late Fire Chief at the Second Annual Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic.

The event, which took place on Friday at Elmwood Golf Course and Chinook Golf Course, served as a fundraiser for the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, the Swift Current Fire Department, and the Swift Current EMS.

Previously known as the Charity Golf Classic, the charity event was renamed last year to honour McClelland, who avidly participated in the Charity Golf Classic.

“It means so much to the foundation to have this legacy a part of us,” stated Kris Johnson, who handles design, development, and administration for the Foundation. “Darren actually played in the tournament for emergency services and the Foundation tournament years prior, and it was a tournament that he loved to be a part of. You couldn’t ask for a better legacy to have attached to this golf tournament and the foundation.”

The proceeds are put towards supporting healthcare and emergency services in the area. This year, the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation’s part of the proceeds will be used to purchase a new fetal monitor for the Cypress Regional Hospital.

“We go out and sell sponsorships, team registrations, prize donations, all that type of thing, and once that all comes in, we do 20/20 split with EMS and the fire department so it’s a 60/40 with the Foundation,” Johnson explained. “Then our funds go towards equipment we’re fundraising for at this particular time, and then the EMS and fire department designate where they are donating their funds from the profits from the tournament.”

In total, over 220 golfers participated in the Second Annual Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic. 25 teams competed at Chinook Golf Course, and 30 teams competed at Elmwood Golf Course.

man and woman smiling for the cameraKris Johnson and Fire Chief Ryan Hunter at the Second Annual Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic.

Swift Current Fire Department’s Fire Chief, Ryan Hunter, gave the opening remarks on Friday.

“It was a very special time for me,” Hunter stated. “I worked with Darren my whole career and his whole career, and I miss him dearly. I think about him every day and to get a chance to do some opening remarks and do a little bit of a toast to Darren was certainly something that I’ll cherish.”

Hunter added that McClelland’s legacy says a lot about who he was as a person.

“Darren was such a community guy, whether it was hockey or baseball or golf or any kind of community event,” he elaborated. “He was just such a happy-go-lucky guy, he was always ready to lend a hand, just an absolutely excellent person all around.”

Johnson also added that due to how quickly tickets for the event sold out, they are looking at options to expand for next year.

The total amount raised by the event is still being tallied.

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Cookies for a Cause sees another great year in Swift Current

Cookies can be a force for good!

That is a fact that has been proven by Flatland Foods and the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation (DNIF). Together, these entities partnered to raise money through cookie sales to help fund a new ‘fetal monitor’ for the Maternal and Children’s Unit at the Cypress Regional Hospital.

Sloane Gowan, the owner of Flatland Foods, was thrilled to help out in this effort by selling cookies in the fundraising effort.

“This is our third year doing the ‘Cookies for a Cause’ fundraiser with DNIF,” said Gowan. “We’ve been super lucky to partner with them for this.”

People in and around Swift Current were able to order a batch of cookies for $40 a dozen, with six sugar cookies and six chocolate chip.
“It’s definitely a lot of work, especially when we do chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies,” said Gowan. “All the sugar cookies get individually iced and sprinkled, and that takes a lot of hours, but it’s a fantastic cause and they are a great foundation. They do amazing work in the community and we feel so lucky to be able to work with the DNIF.”

Once the cookies were prepared and packaged, they were delivered to the generous supporters who paid for the sweet treats. After three years, the demand for these delicious batches of altruism only keeps increasing.

After only a day, they managed to sell out of all available cookies.

“It’s so nice to see my baking and my products getting put towards a good cause, and that the people in the community are so supportive of it,” said Sloane.

In total, this year’s ‘Cookies for a Cause’ managed to raise over $2,000 in sales. All those sugary dollars will help to provide additional aid to the unborn in Swift Current and southwest Saskatchewan.
A fetal monitor allows medical professionals to check in on a fetus, measuring the heartbeat of their tiny heart. This new addition allows the Southwest’s largest hospital to provide even greater service to expecting mothers and families.

Flatland Foods has continued to grow in Swift Current in recent years, having won the 2022 SCBEX Award for Home-Based Business of the Year. Gowan was able to accept the award in person, at the award show. This award is proof Gowan’s efforts to serve the community delicious baked goods have been recognized.

Flatland Foods isn’t done yet, either. Gowan has exciting news regarding the future of the business.

“We are actually in the process of opening a bakery space in the city,” shared Gowan. “We’re so excited about that. It’ll be at Walker Place, and will be located in With Love Collective gift shop and we’re kind of working on a cafe and a bakery.”

Submitted by: Hayden Michaels – Swift Current Online

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Generous Supporters of the Radiothon Come Through big for Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation

Strong community support from across southwest Saskatchewan helped the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation to exceed the fundraising goal for the annual Radiothon.

The 2022 Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare took place over two days on Oct. 27 and 28 with a goal to raise $150,000 for new medical equipment at Cypress Regional Hospital.

The final total at the end of the live broadcast, which took place from the clubhouse at Elmwood golf course, was $152,600.

These funds will be used to purchase equipment used to insert a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line) as well as a state-of-the-art blood assessment unit. A PICC line is used for patients that need to receive frequent treatment and medication.

It can be used to administer chemotherapy drugs and other medication, to give blood transfusions, or to take blood samples.

The blood analyzer will make it possible to perform tests during the assessment of bleeding patients and to identify patients at risk of bleeding. The availability of this technology at Cypress Regional Hospital will mean residents from the southwest area will not have to travel to Regina or Saskatoon for treatment.


Article written by: MATTHEW LIEBENBERG of the Prairie Post

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Radiothon Bests Goal in Final Hour

Southwestern Saskatchewan residents and businesses stepped up to the plate the last couple of days helping the Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare surpass its goal.

The two-day event raised $152,600 in support of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation which will use the funds to buy two pieces of equipment.

Jim Dekowny, the executive director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, said it took support for the entire southwest for them to hit their benchmark.

“All the way from Leader to down to Climax over to Maple Creek over to Herbert and everybody in between,” he said. “They all came together today and yesterday and allowed us to complete our mission and goal.”

Ted Hanlon made the largest donation during the event, writing a cheque for $25,000 on Thursday morning to kickstart the fundraising.

The funds raised during the 22-hour broadcast will help the non-profit organization purchase a new peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC Line) and a new blood assessment unit. Both pieces of equipment will be for the Cypress Regional Hospital.

“What this does, is it allows those residents of Swift Current and surrounding communities to be able to access this cutting-edge technology, this top-level healthcare equipment close to home,” said Saskatchewan’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors, and Rural and Remote Health, Everett Hindley.

Swift Current’s MLA noted the foundation is critical for the southwest to help provide the area with equipment the provincial government doesn’t have funding for.

Another local influential healthcare voice shares the same mindset on the importance of the foundation.

“We would be lost without foundations in Saskatchewan,” said SHA Vice-Chairperson Tyler Bragg. “They do such fantastic work raising funds for not only capital but for example the scholarships here in Swift Current.

Bragg from Swift Current joined the SHA board during the COVID-19 pandemic and is taken back by the consistency of support the southwest shows annually for the radiothon.

“Every time I see that total, I’m amazed all over again because over and over people come up to the table and help support a great cause,” he said.

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Rebranding of Pioneer Co-op Rotary House

Two southwest organizations have partnered together for the rebranding of an essential operation in Swift Current.

Now known as the Pioneer Co-op Rotary House, the hostel’s new naming sponsor has collaborated with the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Jim Dekowny, executive director of the healthcare foundation, said the partnership is a good fit for both parties.

“The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation is a southwest entity and deals with many cities and towns,” Dekowny said. “And I think the Pioneer Co-op does the same, so it’s a nice fit there.”

The establishment was built back in 2007 across from the Cypress Regional Hospital as a place for residents from all over the southwest to stay when visiting Swift Current for medical reasons, whether it be an appointment for themselves or to visit family members.


As part of the rebranding deal, Pioneer Co-operative Association Ltd will be giving a total of $50,000 to the hostel in five installments over five years, with the first $10,000 received last week.

“It’ll be just great for us,” said Dekowny. “The core brand it through the Pioneer Co-op brand throughout the southwest is, it’s big. They have many, many, many members and we’re hoping to tap into those members so that they could use the Pioneer Co-op Rotary House in the in the future.”

The hostel features six bedrooms, two washrooms with showers and one with a half-bath, and a common lounge area.

Guests can stay in a room across the street from the hospital for just $50 per night.

“A huge thank you to Larry Kozun and the Board of Directors at the Co-op for for allowing us to pitch this idea and making it work for the two brands,” Dekowny concluded. “We’re really excited going forward.”

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Radiothon receives boost from Colts and SLC

Students at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School recently banded together to raise a significant amount of money for the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Health Care Foundation’s largest fundraiser.

The Swift Current Comp. Colts football team donated over $3,100 to the Swift Current-based non-profit organization on Saturday with proceeds coming from their October 6 game against the Estevan Elecs.

Part of the funds raised came from gate sales by the Colts, however, the school’s Student Leadership Council (SLC) played a pivotal role in finding other ways during gameday to increase the donation.

“We’re really proud of the student leaders for the event, who worked hard to pull it off after a couple of years of not really having many leadership opportunities in the school at all, then now to do this big fundraiser for such a big cause in the community,” said Mandy Herrick, an advisor with the SLC. “I think that it’s really helped their confidence and their sense of what they’re capable of.”


They set up a donation table, sold raffle tickets, had a canteen selling cotton candy and popcorn, and had a kiss the pig halftime show.

“We had three teachers volunteer,” she said. “People at the game and at the school before the game started put money into the teacher’s container that they wanted to kiss the pig.”

It was a close race on which faculty member had to perform the honours, with Mrs. Bailey’s container containing the highest amount of money.

The Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare will be live on the Eagle 94.1, Magic 97.1, CKSW 570, and CJSN 1490 on October 27 & 28 from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. both days.

The funds raised at this year’s two-day event will be used to buy the Cypress Regional Hospital new technology to insert peripherally inserted central catheter and a blood assessment unit.

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Bob Pollock Memorial Par 3 Lobster Pot Golf Classic

Last Friday saw Elmwood Golf Club full of golfers and lobsters.

Over 150 golfers were present at the second annual Bob Pollock Memorial Par Three Lobster Pot Golf Tournament.

Running the event in partnership with the Pollock family and Elmwood Golf Club was the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. Representing the Foundation was Executive Director, Jim Dekowny.

“Bob was the legendary golf pro here at Elmwood Golf Course for many years,” explained Dekowny. “He passed away a couple of years ago with cancer and we’re just we just doing this in his memory.”

The event was originally a small affair, only hosting around 50 people. Back then it was just a round of golf and a lobster dinner, with no affiliation with Pollock.

“Once we attached Bob’s name and the Pollock family got behind it,” commented Dekowny. “It’s just been absolutely crazy.”

For two years now, they have had to implement a waiting list for the registry, so that everyone who wants to come out and play a round in the event gets the chance to. With the waiting list, the earlier people commit, the better the odds they will get to play. They also send out a save the date two months before the event, just to ensure everyone who wants to play has a chance to register.

Tickets to play are $75 for members and $100 for non-members.

All the money raised by the tournament goes to Cypress Regional Hospital. There it is put towards mental health beds and the cancer unit.

“It’s just been a great response from everybody,” said Dekowny. “A big thanks to Richard Berg, Steven Danielle, and Kyle Tisdale at the Elmwood Golf Course for this immaculate golf course.”

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Inaugural golf classic debuts with massive turnout

Source: Swift Current Online

Shots were made and shots were taken last Friday at both the Elmwood Golf Club, and the Chinook Golf Course.

Both locations were hosting the same event, the first annual Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic.

The event serves as both a charity function to raise money for EMS and firefighters in Swift Current, as well as to raise money that the Doctor Noble Irwin Regional Health Care Foundation will be putting towards new beds at the Mental Health Unit in the Cypress Regional Hospital.

The event was previously known as the Charity Golf Classic for well over a decade, but has been renamed in honour of Darren McClelland, who was an avid participant in the Charity Golf Classic, and a big part of the community as the Swift Current Fire Department’s Fire Chief.


Jim Dekowny, the executive director for the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Health Care Foundation, both organized the event and was in attendance. It was his idea to name the event after Darren McClelland.

“We had renamed it the Bob Pollock Memorial Lobster Pot Par 3 Golf Classic,” elaborated Dekowny. ” While sitting on the tee and doing the speech for Bob, I looked over and I saw Nikki [Nicole McClelland, Darren McClelland’s widow]. I kept that vision in my head a while and got through the Bob Pollock Par 3, called up Kent Silbernagel and Duane Doane and said ‘guys I got a really great idea’.”

Both SIlbernagel and Doane were friends, of Darren McClelland, and had played with him previously in the tournament. They immediately got on board with the idea.

Dekowny proceeded to call Nicole McClelland to see if that was something she and her family would want.


“Jim Dekowny called me and said this is kind of what we want to do and they thought maybe about changing this tournament into Darren’s memorial,” remembered Nicole McClelland. “Darren’s been golfing in this tournament, right from the start, so this is a big day for him. He was always excited to play in this golf tournament with his buddies.”

With the approval from Darren’s family, the tournament was officially renamed the ‘Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic’, and they got underway with planning.

On June 3, there were over 240 golfers present at the tournament. 144 of them were at the Elmwood Golf Club, and the other 100 played their rounds at the Chinook Golf Course.

Opening ceremonies were held at the Elmwood course, with buses taking the Chinook players to their course after the opening speeches were made.


Golf began at around 1:45 p.m. and went till 7 p.m. In the evening, the event concluded at the iPlex.

“We then did prizes and opened the bar, and Skip Neufeld and his band played through the rest of the evening,” detailed Dekowny. “I think there was about a 2 or 3 o’clock shutdown, so it was a long day, but it was a great day.”

Nicole McClelland had some heartfelt words for the event named after her late husband.

“It was a special day for him, so this means a lot,” explained Nicole McClelland. “Turning this tournament into his name and having such a beautiful day today, he would be so proud.

“Seeing all the people out and supporting such a great cause, to begin with, and then just to see it with Darren’s name attached to it,” continued a beaming Nicole. “It’s pretty humbling and pretty awesome to see.”


The total amount raised by the event is as of yet un-tallied, but it’s thought that the event raised close to $60,000. That money will be split with 20 per cent going to the EMS services, 20 per cent going toward the Swift Current Fire Department, and 60 per cent going towards the Doctor Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Source: Swift Current Online 

Written by Hayden Michaels

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Time to get that dough

Residents of Swift Current will get to indulge their sweet tooth this morning, thanks to the return of the Donut Days fundraiser.

The fundraiser is a joint collaboration between the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation and the Living Sky Casino that has been taking place in the community for many years.

Communications and Development Coordinator at the Dr. Noble Regional Healthcare Foundation, Sara Adrian, elaborated on how the fundraiser works.

“We partner with Chef Lindsay there, she creates these Donuts,” she said. “She spent hours slaving over them. She makes us about 50 dozen every time and we sell them to businesses individual in Swift Current, and we offer free delivery for them.

Adrian stated that this event alone raised $1,500, which will be going directly towards the digital cell imaging machine in the laboratory at the Cypress Regional Hospital.

She also added that the return of the event in 2022 was a massive success, with plans to continue the fundraiser in the near future.

“We plan on doing it probably quarterly,” she stated. “I know a lot of people were quite excited to get their Donuts. This time we sold out in about 2 days. We sell 50 dozen, sold out in about 2 days, so it’s been really good.

Keep up to date on the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation’s next Donut Days fundraiser on their social media pages.

Written by: Ally Page

Source: Swift Current Online

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Local non-profit shatters records in 2021

(photo by Hayden Michaels)

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t impede the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation from soaring to new heights last year.

The non-profit organization announced last night at their 23rd annual general meeting they had a record-breaking 2021.

The total revenue for the foundation was $2.17-million. Of that $1.03-million came via donation including a couple of large contributors in their annual Radiothon, which managed to raise $158,150 for healthcare in the southwest, and a bequeathment from the estate of Donna and Steve Kraus in the amount of $450,000.

“Thanks to the staff at the foundation and Jim Dekowny, the executive director, we had a phenomenal year, last year,” praised Arnold. “Despite having some bequest left to us that added to our financial success last year, all of the events that we were able to put on were hugely successful, and that’s due to their hard work.”

Compared to 2020, 2021 certainly exemplified their adaptation and flexibility in garnering the interest of donors during the pandemic. In 2020, they raised a grand total of almost $919,000. That means there was a 236 per cent increase in revenue for the organization.

As for the foundations earning in profits, they garnered a total of nearly $1.45-million. In the breakdown, it works out to just under $450,000 for their operating fund, a touch over $776,000 in the restricted fund, and almost $223,000 finally in the endowment fund.

2021 saw a shift in focus to digital marketing, as they were unable to host the majority of in-person events they normally would in a given year. But that’s not to say they were unable to host any events.

The big five fundraisers in question are the Urban Cellars Playoff Hockey Draft, the Charity Golf Classic, the Pharmasave Radiothon for Healthcare, the newly named Bob Pollock Lobster Pot Par 3, and the returning Living Sky Casino Ribfest.

“These events allow us to raise funds for new medical equipment and facilities across the Southwest,” detailed Executive Director of the foundation, Jim Dekowny. “Most notably through the Pharmasave Radio Fund for Healthcare.”

The funds generated by the radiothon were used in the purchase of a telemetry monitoring system for the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current.

The board also recognized a new member being inducted in Robin Wall, who was approved by existing members while he himself was absent due to a prior engagement.

The healthcare foundation thanked their regular donors, and all the people in southwest Saskatchewan who donated during the year, exemplifying how the record set this year was during a pandemic.

Written by: Hayden Michaels

Source: Swift Current Online  


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