CAAR congratulates Prairie Giants Crop Supply (Inglis, Man.) and Sharpe’s Crop Services (Moosomin, Sask.) for their recent wins in ADAMA’s Thank-a-Retailer Community Contest! Both retailers received $15,000 to support worthy causes in their communities.

ADAMA’s annual contest encourages rural communities to rally around their retailers, propelling them to victory by earning points on social media and through online activities. At the end of the point-earning period, results are tallied, and winners are declared. This year, two of the three regional winners were CAAR members!

Sharpe’s Crop Services

The 2020 Thank-A Retailer winner for Saskatchewan was the Moosomin branch of Sharpe’s Crop Services, an independent retail operating in six communities in South East Saskatchewan and South West Manitoba.

Branch manager Hayley Senkowski says that although Sharpe’s is not a large company, they try to make a big impact in the communities where they live and do business. From volunteering at community events to running their Learn Ag program in local schools, the entire company gets involved in one way or another.

This year, when the call went out to register for Thank-A-Retailer, Senkowski says the company saw their chance to take advantage of an opportunity that would benefit an entire community. They registered the Moosomin branch and pledged their support to Moosomin Parks & Recreation, an organization that Senkowski says has done a lot for the town.

“We wanted to pick a cause that would touch lots of people and not exclude anyone,” she says. “Most families around here have a connection to Moosomin Parks and Rec, whether it’s the curling club, the rink or the pool.”

Although the team had a cause that everyone could get behind, there was still plenty of work to do to spread the word and keep the momentum going all month long. Senkowski says that in addition to Facebook posts and emails urging supporters to earn points, there were posters up around town, and the team had the support of the Chamber of Commerce, the town council, schools, the newspaper and the local minor hockey team. In the end, supporters propelled the team to victory with more than 100,000 points over their nearest competitor.

“It was awesome to see how the community came together to support us in the contest,” says Senkowski. “It was a community effort, for sure – everybody got on board.”

Read about Sharpe’s Learn Ag program, which connects kids to where their food comes from through real-world agriculture learning: Having a Field Day – Connecting Kids to Food Production

Prairie Giants Crop Supply

Prairie Giants Crop Supply in Inglis, Man. is a small, family-owned retail making a big impression on their community. The team of four (which stretches to seven in-season) pulled in a giant victory last month as the 2020 Thank-A Retailer winner for Manitoba.

Owners Doug and Shelly Kurtenbach, who have owned Prairie Giants for seven years, chose to give back to their community by pledging their prize money to the MacNutt Arena in the nearby village of MacNutt, Sask.

“Because we receive such good support from all our surrounding communities, we felt it was a good opportunity to support one of them,” says Kurtenbach.

The arena, which was built in 1967 to celebrate the Centennial, is now in dire need of roof repairs and without them is in danger of closure. A popular gathering spot for the community, the arena holds personal meaning for the Kurtenbachs and their team – Shelly grew up in MacNutt and spent many hours skating at the rink and Doug, who grew up in nearby Dropmore, Man., and spent time there playing hockey and broomball.

“From learning to skate and hockey, to curling bonspiels and community dances, it is a gathering spot for friends and family alike,” says Doug Kurtenbach. “We felt it was a great cause to keep the arena available for the next generation.”

Clearly, many others feel the same about the arena – after word about the contest was spread through the MacNutt Community Centre and Arena Facebook page, the entire community rallied behind the Prairie Giants team, helping them nab a coveted first place win and $15,000 to put toward the project's goal of $200,000. 

Read more about the MacNutt Arena project here: A Massive Undertaking for MacNutt

Congratulations to the winning teams and the communities they support! Visit the Thank-A-Retailer website for further information and future contest announcements.

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