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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Healthcare foundation honouring past fire chief with golf tournament

A local charity golf tournament has been rebranded to honour a late Swift Current fire chief.

On Monday the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation announced they’d rebranded their June golf event, the Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic.

The decision was an easy one for Jim Dekowny, the executive director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, to help enact.Darren McClelland Memorial Charity Golf Classic logo.jpg


“We’ve got a really good opportunity here to pay tribute to an amazing firefighter, chief, dad, and husband,” he said. “Kent [Silbernagel], Duane Doane, and myself just thought it was a good fit. We went to Nikki McClelland with our idea and she welcomed us with open arms.”

According to Dekowny, the idea really blossomed during the Bob Pollock Memorial Lobster Pot Par 3 Golf Classic last summer. Another tournament that the healthcare foundation has rebranded in memory of a local.

This spring will mark the 17th installment of the event that’s raised funds for Swift Current’s emergency services and the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. Not only does it raise money for the Swift Current Fire Department but also the Swift Current EMS, two organizations McClelland had significant ties to.

“When Darren started out, he actually started out on the EMS side with Duane and his group in the ambulance,” he explained. “He progressed from there to be a firefighter and then progressed onto to being the chief in town.”

The event will host 244 golfers at Swift Current’s Elmwood Golf Course & Chinook Golf Course on June 3 with tickets available starting on April 18.

“It’s going to be one of those things where people are going to have to register quickly with the amount of feedback we’ve received already,” he said.

McClelland passed away at the age of 48 in early 2020.

 Written by David Zammit

Source: Swift Current Online 

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Re-opening of the VP Investments Counsel DNIF Gift Store in the Cypress Regional Hospital

Swift Current, SK –The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation is proud to have partnered with Value Partners Investments Counsel (VPIC) to re-open the VP Investments Counsel DNIF Gift Store in the Cypress Regional Hospital on March 7, 2022.

Warren Hope (Value Partners Investments Counsel) and Jim Dekowny (Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation).

Value Partners Investment Counsel is excited to participate with the DNIF by sponsoring the Gift Store in the Cypress Regional Hospital. The last two years have highlighted the strain on our health care system and this project is a great way for our firm to give back to the entire Southwest community.” – Warren Hope, Associate Portfolio Manager, VPIC


The Foundation is excited to reopen the newly named VP Investments Counsel DNIF Gift Store after two years of closure due to COVID-19,” said Jim Dekowny Executive Director of the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation. “Partnering with VP Investments Counsel means that we can reopen our doors to serve the visitors and patients of the Cypress Regional Hospital.”


About the VP Investments Counsel DNIF Gift Store

Located in the Cypress Regional Hospital, the VP Investments Counsel DNIF Gift Store is open Monday to

– Friday from 9 AM – 3 PM. The store provides hospital visitors, patients, and staff with snacks, convenience items, and flowers. The newest offering at the gift store is the iPad Rental program – this allows patients in the hospital to rent an iPad for the day or week. The iPad includes access to movies and TV shows through Netflix and Max TV.

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Outdoor hockey event hopefully kicks off yearly tradition

Source: Swift Current Online

Those out and about on Saturday might have seen some on the ice competition as the U7 Timbits teams faced off, followed up later in the day by the No-Hit League game that followed in the afternoon.

Last Saturday, the Innovation Credit Union and Innovation Wealth Outdoor Classic hosted by the Dr. Noble Irwin Healthcare Foundation took place in Swift Current at Sheldon Kennedy Rink.

Marcus Kouri, Development and Major Gifts Coordinator for the Foundation, said he hopes that the event becomes a regular feature for the city on a yearly basis, considering how unlikely its inception was.

“It started actually with the No-Hit league; they were just wanting a tiebreaker game if that were to happen with our standings for one outdoor game to happen,” Kouri explained. “We all got around a table and just kind of dreamt up this big thing and just made it happen. It all kind of started with just one little ‘maybe an outdoor game?’ and turned into a big outdoor festival.”

Kouri detailed the matches for the day. Starting things off was the U7 Timbits, playing at 12 p.m, 1 p.m, and 2 p.m. Later in the day, the No-Hit League teams took to the ice with three games. Playing first was the Cyclones and the Timberwolves. The second game was the Oilers and the Ankle Bangers, and the third game was the Boh Monkeys against the Kings.

“We’ve got beverage gardens opening up at 3:00p.m,” expanded Kouri. “…with the DJ going on afterwards until 11:00 o’clock at night. It’s just a day of outdoor hockey.”

Proceeds from the event went to the No-Hit League as well as to the Dr. Noble Irwin Healthcare Foundation.

Author: Hayden Michaels

Source: Swift Current Online  

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Inaugural Outdoor Classic to raise funds for new equipment at Cypress Regional Hospital

By Matthew Liebenberg

Source: Prairie Post

A new outdoor event in Swift Current will both be a celebration of Canada’s favourite winter sport and a fundraiser for an important piece of medical equipment at the Cypress Regional Hospital.

The Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation is partnering with the Swift Current No-hit Hockey League (SCNHL) to host the inaugural Outdoor Classic at the Sheldon Kennedy rink in Riverdene Park, Jan. 29.

Proceeds from the event will be split between the two partnering organizations, and the money raised by the Healthcare Foundation will support a new fundraising campaign for a digital cell imaging system for the laboratory at the Cypress Regional Hospital.

Sara Adrian, the communications and development coordinator at the Healthcare Foundation, said the digital cell imaging technology will have numerous benefits. It will result in improved patient care, less time will be required to process and review blood smears in the laboratory, and external review of samples in Saskatoon and Regina can be done much sooner.

“We’re excited to get this new technology into the hospital, and really connect the southwest to bigger centres and just improve healthcare for everybody here in the southwest,” she mentioned.

The Outdoor Classic offers a new opportunity for the Healthcare Foundation to connect with the community and to raise funds in support of quality healthcare in southwest Saskatchewan.

Marcus Kouri, the development and major gifts coordinator at the Healthcare Foundation, noted that several other fundraising events are taking place during other times of the year. The Black Tie NHL Hockey Draft takes place in the spring, there are two golf tournaments and the Ribfest in the summer, and the annual Radiothon takes place in the fall.

“This is our first actual winter event,” he said about the Outdoor Classic. “The winter time is usually super quiet for us. So it’s going to give us a chance to get out there, talk to our sponsors, talk to our donors and run that winter event and just give something in the community to do, whether you’re playing in the league or watching your grandson or grandchild play. You can come out to the event and have a lot of fun.”

An idea by the SCNHL to arrange an outdoor league game was the motivation for the creation of the Outdoor Classic. Kouri, who plays in the league, said the Healthcare Foundation was immediately interested in the possibilities of creating an event for the community.

“We thought Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada was a lot of fun,” he said. “So we thought maybe we can recreate a mini one of those, jumped on board with the No-hit League, got the minor hockey involved with the U7s, and just made it into a bigger deal. Rather than just one game, we’re turning it into a full day event, which will be a lot of fun.”

It is a free event and everyone is welcome to come and watch the outdoor action on the ice. It will start at noon with Timbits games. Six U7 teams will participate in the event and there will be three games from noon to 3 p.m.

The Innovation Credit Union U18 AAA Wildcats will be in attendance and team members will also be officiating the U7 games. The Wildcats will be doing an outdoor practise at the rink before the start of the U7 games from 10-11 a.m.

The adult SCNHL games will start at around 3:20 p.m. and the last puck drop will be at 6:30 p.m. The last game will be a great opportunity to experience an outdoor hockey game under the lights.

“The lights down at the Sheldon Kennedy rink are really, really good actually,” he said. “I went down there just to check. It gets dark super fast now, so we’ve to got to make sure they work good, and they’re fantastic.”

Six SCNHL teams will participate in the three games and winning teams will score points towards the regular league standings, which will ensure plenty of on-ice action.

“It is for fun, but it also counts towards league standings,” he said. “So teams are going to want to win, for sure.”

The Outdoor Classic will also offer food, drinks and entertainment to patrons. It will feature catering by Louie D’s and there will be a beverage garden with entertainment provided by local DJ company Half Peeled Beats. The beverage garden will open at 3 p.m. and last call will be at 10:30 p.m.

There will be a 50/50 ticket raffle in support of the fundraising event. Kouri expressed appreciation towards presenting sponsor Innovation Wealth for helping to make this event a reality.

According to Adrian the Healthcare Foundation’s fundraising campaign for a digital cell imaging system at Cypress Regional Hospital is part of a provincial effort by the Saskatchewan Health Authority to have this technology available at laboratories in regional hospitals.

The campaign goal is to raise $30,000 for the purchase of the digital cell imaging technology for the Cypress Regional Hospital. The laboratory currently performs manual blood smears to test for and diagnose medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases, anemia, leukemia, and other types of cancer.

“Right now, when the lab takes blood samples, they have to do a manual review of it,” she explained. “This machine will do that review for them. It will cut down that lead time by about 50 per cent.”

Tests that indicate signs of abnormalities are referred to the hematology department in Regina or Saskatoon for review. Currently the glass slides used for blood smears are transported to those locations and the process can take two to four days.

The digital cell imaging system will make it possible to connect remotely with the hospital in Regina or Saskatoon, which will reduce turnaround time for results by about 90 per cent.

“It will be viewed almost instantaneously by a specialist in Saskatoon or Regina,” she said. “So they’ll be able to get results back much, much faster.”

The Outdoor Classic will help the Healthcare Foundation to raise funds for the digital cell imaging system. Donations towards this campaign can also be made online through the Healthcare Foundation website (, in person during office hours or by mail.

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