Lincoln Hall, a popular summer booking destination west of Lacombe near Gull Lake, could be on the brink of extinction with a lack of community support and Board members willing to carry on the load.
Despite being fully booked every summer, the hall relies on winter and spring fundraisers in order to keep the Hall alive.
“When we try to have an event out here, we have a heck of a time trying to sell the tickets and we are running out of community support,” Tony Kamlah, president of Lincoln Hall Board, said.
Kamlah and the remaining Board members are holding on meeting the night of Monday, April 8th with the hopes of reinvigorating community support from the neighboring acreages, farms and communities.
This is the second time in 20 years that the Board has reached out to community to help save the Hall, which was originally built in 1927 and was rebuilt in 2000.
“In 1998, we had this same problem with a lack of people,” Kamlah said. “I was on the board at that time, we called a meeting and we filled the whole hall. Everyone was gung-ho to keep things going.”
After decided to keep the Hall going, the Board was forced to rebuild the building at a cost of $450,000 after it was discovered that the foundations were crumbling.
“It was unanimous vote to build a new one,” he said. “We went to work on that and when we opened the doors on the new one, which cost about $450,000, it was paid for.
“Nineteen years later, we have nobody again and it is like history repeating itself.”
Kamlah says it is sad that is has come to this again but the Hall is unsustainable if they are unable to cover their winter expenses
“It is really sad that it has come to this. Financially we have money, but when we can’t sell out our events — we have to keep digging into our savings. We aren’t in trouble now, but that is where it is heading,” he said.
Kamlah hopes that the April 8th meeting will not only invite community support, but also fresh ideas on how to fundraise through the winter months.
He added that anyone who has booked the Hall already will be honoured and they are not at risk of losing their booking,
“We will see what happens at the April 8th meeting. If no one shows up, we will have our answer that no one is interested and we will be figuring out what timeline we are dealing with,” he said.