PRINCE ALBERT — St. Laurent Shrine Inc. sold out their annual fundraising supper on April 25 at St. Joseph Parish in Prince Albert.
The initial need to fundraise began in January 2011. Funds were lacking for the up-coming summer season, so money designated for improvement projects was used to prepare a supper to raise the funds necessary for the opening in May. This first supper raised approximately $4,000, which was sufficient to receive pilgrims at the shrine located just north of Duck Lake, Sask.
Later, Sandy Brière and Darlene Gayowski, finance chair and board member, respectively, continued to fundraise following the traditions for seasonal preparation.
Brière said donations come from as far as south of Saskatoon and north to Candle Lake.
“We receive many personal donations from pilgrims. Several are involved with the board, or their relatives are and others just love everything about the shrine.”
The board uses the funds from the supper toward general maintenance of the shrine property.
Brière is excited about the new projects that will hopefully begin this year, such as an update to the information booth.
“It will be a big project, but it will certainly help tourists.”
The 136th annual pilgrimage at Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Laurent Shrine begins in July. Other special events occurring annually will take place on July 15, 16 and Sept. 8, which will end the pilgrimage season.
In 2014, the well-known roadside statue of the Virgin Mary had to be dismantled for the twinning of Highway 2. The statue has since been reinstalled in a small building with roadway access and a parking area for those who wish to stop and offer a prayer to Mary.