Shacking up on Killarney Lake – fishing derby and beer tasting to benefit aeration project – plus a bubbler head blowout!

Bubbler head sales create a massive splash


Sales of bubbler heads for this summer’s lake improvement aeration project have exploded like a champagne cork.

Only a handful of the 58 aeration bubblers, which the Killarney Lake Action Committee (KLAC) plans to install this summer in Killarney Lake, are left to be “sold,” say organizers.

“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” said KLAC fundraising chair Betty Sawatsky. “Killarney is a town that really gets behind their projects. I have had phone calls from snowbirds down south, emails, texts; people are calling from everywhere to donate to the project.”

By noon on Wednesday, Sawatsky reported that 52 of the aeration bubblers, which KLAC has been offering for $200 apiece to supporters, had been claimed.

That left only six more to be spoken for.

“The community has just embraced this,” she said.

Sawatsky, who works for CJRB radio and website Discover Westman, was on hand Wednesday morning to photograph a group of Killarney-Cartwright Co-op members of staff, who had pooled their Jeans Day donations – which amounted to $400 – to purchase two bubblers.

“We have been collecting over the last few months,” said Jordon Cook, Food Centre manager. “I think we read about the lake aeration in the paper, and we discussed it in the store, and felt it would be a good project to support.”

Co-op’s Jeans Day takes place every second Friday, when employees, or “team members,” can opt to pay $2, and wear their jeans to work on the day.

The toonies eventually add up, and when the amount becomes substantial, they pick a community charity or project in which to donate the money.

“We had exactly $400, and that will buy two bubbler heads,” said Cook. “It’s a way we can support our local community.”

Total cost for the project is estimated to be around $85,000, says the chair of KLAC, Rick Korman.

So far, $19,550 has been raised in cash donations. A number of other valuable donations-in-kind have also been added to the list, to help with construction of the aeration project, said Sawatsky.

The group recently held a community meeting to discuss the plans, with around 75 interested people turning up at the Shamrock Centre to find out more about the project, and ask questions.

The lake aeration will include installation of a pump station, on the location of the municipality’s water treatment plant, which will be able to force fresh air out into the lake through pipes.

The pipes will then lead into a series of 58 semi-permeable bubbler heads, shaped like a figure eight, which will lie on the lake floor.

Tiny bubbles will percolate out of these heads, and help to oxygenate the lake water, much like introducing air into an aquarium.

Aeration systems like this have been used in a few locations, including Pelican Lake, which Killarney’s system is being modelled after. Pelican Lake’s Healthy Lake Committee is pleased with the results of their aeration project, and its members have jumped on board to help KLAC with their own.

“We (will be) basically encouraging the lake to heal itself,” said Korman.

The process won’t happen overnight, he added. But adding fresh air to a lake bottom plagued by a heavy layer of organic matter, which cannot decompose aerobically due to a lack of oxygen, is likely to help move things forward.

Sawatsky now has a long list of over 50 donors, which range from those buying one bubbler head ($200), and all the way up to businesses and individuals putting up $1,000, and even $2,500.

“We have sponsorship levels, with a Platinum one at $5,000-plus,” she said. “We have a Gold at $3,000-plus, a Silver at $1,000-plus, and we have just introduced a Bronze at $200 to $1,000. Less than $200 is a Friend of Killarney Lake donor, but really, we are all friends of Killarney Lake. We are excited as a community to be constructing this aeration system.”

Cheques can be made payable to the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain, with KLAC in the memo space.

Or you can contact Rick Korman at 204-523-1545, or Betty Sawatsky at 1-204-726-3410 for more information on the Killarney Lake aeration project.

WAVING THE GREENS FROM JEANS DAY – Killarney-Cartwright Co-op staff posed in their casual jeans earlier this week, after saving up $400 from their Jeans Day Fridays. They decided to donate the cash to the Killarney Lake aeration project, and ‘bought’ two bubbler heads. Kneeling up front is Carla Spencer, and from left (middle row) are Rita Shackel, Dahlia Sarmiento, Gert Smith, and Joan Potter. In the back row are Crystal Bonchuk Richards, and Co-op Food Store manager Jordan Cook.



See the stories below on the upcoming Killarney Lake Fishing Derby (March 11) and the Blarney Beer Tasting event (March 29). Both are helping to raise funds for the KLAC lake aeration project.

SHACKING UP – A dozen ice fishing shacks have stacked up in one location on Killarney Lake, in front of Country Club Estates’ homes, with dozens more situated elsewhere on the frozen surface. Ice fishing is a popular pastime in Killarney, and that’s why fishing enthusiast Dustin Flanagan has jumped on board with the Killarney Lake Action Committee (KLAC) to organize a fundraising fishing derby for March 11.


Shamrock Family Fishing Derby at Killarney Lake

Sunday, March 11, is the date for the Shamrock Family Fishing Derby.

Registration takes place at 10 a.m. at Kerry Park, and fishing through the frozen lake ice begins at noon, and runs until 5 p.m.

It costs $20 to enter the fun event, while youngsters aged 15 and under can fish for free.

And proceeds from the competitive event will be going to help the lake itself – by funding the Killarney Lake Action Committee’s lake aeration project this summer.

Dustin Flanagan, who is also organizing the Rock Lake Fishing Derby on February 24, can be contacted for more information on the white and wintry event, at 204-245-1151.

Beer Tasting Night at the Blarney Stone

A chance to enjoy a variety of beers is coming up on Thursday, March 29, at the Blarney Stone Pub and Restaurant.

Not only can you hop around and imbibe the golden and dark samples, but there’s also going to be the opportunity to score some major raffle prizes at the Beer Tasting Night.

A kayak, a smoker barbeque, and a backyard fire pit are all to be won, thanks to generous donations from local businesses.

Plus your pleasure will also help propel this summer’s aeration project at Killarney Lake, as funds will be donated from the beer-tasting event to help the Killarney Lake Action Committee (KLAC), which is spearheading the initiative.

Beer-tasting tickets go on sale in early March, and will be available from KLAC members only.

Winners of the raffle will be drawn at the beer-tasting event.

Watch The Guide for more information on this event.