COCHRANE— Cochrane will be taking a page out of a 1960's book with a drive-in movie event set to lift the spirits of the community.
"Movie Under the Stars" will showcase a family-friendly screening at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) on June 6 in efforts to give back to the community by raising money for the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank expansion, said Young Professional Rotary Club of Cochrane head representative Ryan Baum.
"As a group we collectively said what's important to us and it was amazing the amount of people that came back and said the Food Bank - the Activettes," said Baum, adding this is the organization's first initiative.
The event will be a fitting way to bring the community together and celebrate the slow and cautious easing of COVID-19 health measures in the province.
The drive-in will take place in the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre parking lot, chief executive officer, Blair Felesky said, explaining that it is a perfect partnership and he is proud to be the host venue.
"SLS (Spray Lake SawmillS) Family Sports Centre essentially is, in normalized times a central hub to our entire community. It is the social, cultural, physical and quite frankly the spiritual place for well-being," he said. "It just seems like a natural fit that in order to energize the community again that we're involved with this group of individuals, and we're looking forward to it on behalf of the Food Bank and the Activettes."
During COVID-19 the Cochrane Activettes have changed not only the way they distribute food, but also the qualifications for who can get a food hamper. Marcia Gilbertson said during these trying times anyone is eligible and they are up to more than 100 hampers a week. She added finishing off the infrastructure expansion would meet the needs of the Food Bank going forward and the support that has been received from the community in terms of food donations has been immeasurable.
The Activettes were forced to cancel their annual spring Food Drive due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, said Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung applauding the Young Professional's choice in supporting the Food Bank with "Movie Under the Stars."
"What an easy thing to get behind," Genung said. "An old fashioned drive-in movie theatre I think so appropriately fits our community."
In terms of the drive-in movie, the mayor was happy to be changing up his speech pattern saying something other than, "Stay home, be kind, save lives."
"It is so nice to be able to say something different now which is not to stay home, and that is what this is about," Genung said. "This is actually about getting out and giving people hope and optimism with the future."
Genung highlighted how proud he is to represent the residents of Cochrane who always seem to overcome barriers, joking that he wishes he could have brought his big scissors with him, "I just want to cut a ribbon so bad," he laughed.
Moviegoers are asked to either bring a non-perishable item for the Food Bank or to make a donation via a Go Fund Me page that will be announced in the near future. Baum said he is also seeking partners or sponsors to hop on board the initiative.
"Movie Under the Stars" will be free of charge to anyone interested in attending. Gates will open at 8:30 p.m. with the movie set to hit the big screen at 9:30 p.m. About 300 vehicles can fit into the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre lot. The audio will be transmitted through a radio frequency so guests can turn the dial, tune in and enjoy. There will be no washrooms on the premise or concession due to COVID-19 public health guidelines, but Baum said they have been in talks with the Cochrane Movie House to potentially set up a concession prior to the beginning of the movie.
And while the movie is yet to be announced, Dan Kroffat, event organizer, brought about a rumble of laughs when he mentioned it wouldn't be anything like Rambo or Alien - it will be a family-friendly flick that possibly has not appeared in theatres yet.
"When you go back to the idea about lifting the spirits of the community, I think the movie should play that role as well," Kroffat said.
For more information on "Movie Under the Stars" visit youngprofessionalrotary.com.