Heckya Media Group and Royal LePage Benchmark teamed up on Aug. 13 to host the Strathmore Summer Fest in support of the Wheatland Crisis Society.
In an upscale event from previously hosted iterations, the team wanted to host a larger community event in the Lakewood development area with several good intentions at hand.
Royal LePage Benchmark event project manager Amanda Bazant said the multipurpose event was put together both to give locals a good excuse to get out of the house for an evening and to support the community.
“We just wanted to have a community event that let people know that Lakewood is here and that there are lots of opportunities for families to come in and it’s just a way to make it more community oriented,” said Bazant.
The summer fest consisted of a bouncy castle, beer garden, touch-a-truck, miniature car show and a 50/50 draw, among other festivities, with all proceeds going towards the Wheatland Crisis Society.
According to Bazant, the event kicked off initially during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on a much smaller scale. Now that provincial health restrictions have largely been lifted, folks were invited to enjoy a community gathering on a larger scale.
“We had a block party last year, so we decided to grow on that. Royal LePage Benchmark does a lot of events with Lakewood so that’s why we thought, let’s conjoin the two and join forces and make this a bigger event,” said Bazant. “The Fun Runners came to the last block party and then we were there (at their show) serving hot dogs, and we’re like, ‘Okay, well, how do we make this bigger?’”
The hope, added Bazant, is that with a larger event, more people will be attracted to attend as there are plenty of things to enjoy in the location of Lakewood. Although new, is still very accessible to the surrounding community.
Bazant stressed that the event was largely made possible by the contributions of sponsors, and the intent to donate all proceeds is a new addition to the event this year.
Royal LePage Benchmark is no stranger to helping the Wheatland Crisis Society, to which Bazant said as a recipient, they were a natural fit for the proceeds to go at the festival’s conclusion.
“We’re just trying to help them out so that they can raise some funds for their second stage housing that they’re planning to get off the ground,” said Bazant. “We’ve seen a lot of traction online about people excited to go into it and people sharing it, so that’s really fun and exciting that people are supporting it.”
Going forward, Bazant added the goal is to continue growing the festival as an annual event and continue its efforts to support the Wheatland Crisis Society.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times