North Thompson Fall Fair & Rodeo Ambassador Coronation a family affair

Pictured (l-r) North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association outgoing 2019-2021 Ambassador Haille Johnson, newly crowned Ambassadors for 2021/2022 Morgan Bennett and Angela Rutschke, and outgoing 2019-2021 Ambassador Jonathan Fennell. (Taylor Johnson photo)Pictured (l-r) North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association outgoing 2019-2021 Ambassador Haille Johnson, newly crowned Ambassadors for 2021/2022 Morgan Bennett and Angela Rutschke, and outgoing 2019-2021 Ambassador Jonathan Fennell. (Taylor Johnson photo)
Pictured (l-r) back row: Outgoing 2019/2021 Ambassadors Haille Johnson and Jonathan Fennell. Front row (l-r), newly crowned Ambassadors for 2021/2022 Morgan Bennett and Angela Rutschke. (Taylor Johnson photo)Pictured (l-r) back row: Outgoing 2019/2021 Ambassadors Haille Johnson and Jonathan Fennell. Front row (l-r), newly crowned Ambassadors for 2021/2022 Morgan Bennett and Angela Rutschke. (Taylor Johnson photo)
2019-2021 Ambassador Haille Johnson clowns it up while modeling her ‘cosey onsey jammie’, while North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association Ambassador Program chair Lesley Harpauer not only mc’d the event but also filled in as the DJ and oversaw the videoing of the entire evening which will be posted in the near future on YouTube for all to enjoy. (Taylor Johnson photo)2019-2021 Ambassador Haille Johnson clowns it up while modeling her ‘cosey onsey jammie’, while North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association Ambassador Program chair Lesley Harpauer not only mc’d the event but also filled in as the DJ and oversaw the videoing of the entire evening which will be posted in the near future on YouTube for all to enjoy. (Taylor Johnson photo)
NTFFRA Ambassador candidate Morgan Bennett was pretty in pink while modeling a ‘cosey onesy jammie’ complete with a trap door. (Taylor Johnson photo)NTFFRA Ambassador candidate Morgan Bennett was pretty in pink while modeling a ‘cosey onesy jammie’ complete with a trap door. (Taylor Johnson photo)
NTFFRA Ambassador candidate Angela Rutschke was a hit modeling her dinosaur ‘jammies’ in the fashion show. (Taylor Johnson photo)NTFFRA Ambassador candidate Angela Rutschke was a hit modeling her dinosaur ‘jammies’ in the fashion show. (Taylor Johnson photo)
The newly crowned and sparkling North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association Co-Ambassadors for 2021/2022 are (l-r) Morgan Bennett and Angela Rutschke, who are both residents of Barriere. The NTFFRA Coronation took place in the community at the Fall Fair Hall on Oct. 23, with only the committee members, reigning ambassadors, candidates and their families in attendance due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations. However, this did provided a special opportunity for a family member of each candidate to place the banner and crown onto their special young lady. (Taylor Johnson photo)The newly crowned and sparkling North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association Co-Ambassadors for 2021/2022 are (l-r) Morgan Bennett and Angela Rutschke, who are both residents of Barriere. The NTFFRA Coronation took place in the community at the Fall Fair Hall on Oct. 23, with only the committee members, reigning ambassadors, candidates and their families in attendance due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations. However, this did provided a special opportunity for a family member of each candidate to place the banner and crown onto their special young lady. (Taylor Johnson photo)

After a two year delay due to the ongoing pandemic the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association (NTFFRA) was finally able to hold their Ambassador Program Coronation on Oct. 23, at the NTFFRA Fall Fair Hall in Barriere. Although the event was unable to be open to members of the public due to health restrictions regarding COVID-19, those who did attend said it was all it should be and more.

“The NTFFRA Ambassador Coronation was unfortunately not able to be open to the public this year,” said committee chair Leslie Harper of Barriere, “We kept the event attendees pretty much to the committee, plus the ambassador and candidate families.”

Harpauer noted NTFFRA 1st Vice-President Harley Wright welcomed the attendees to the event, and spoke on behalf of the Fall Fair and Rodeo organization on how the past two years were very different and much tougher to be able to keep the non-profit charity’s head above water. However, the Ambassador Program has been able to continue and the program participants have been a big part in helping to fundraise for the organization.

Reigning ambassadors Hallie Johnson and Jonathan Fennell were introduced and thanked for their graciousness in staying on with the program as active ambassadors for well over 24 months due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Harpauer noted after the 2019 Coronation when Johnson and Fennell were crowned the program had signed up five Ambassador candidates for the coming year. Then the pandemic hit, curtailing much of the program’s activities and trainings so everything was put on hold. But as the pandemic dragged, two of the candidates dropped out, and then another left in 2021 due to personal reasons. However, throughout the entire time the ambassadors and the candidates were actively assisting with fundraising projects for the NTFFRA and also in giving back to their community with events such as delivering seniors lunches to those who were homebound.

“We so proud of our ambassadors and our candidates,” said Harpauer, “Over the past two years they have been the best volunteers anyone could imagine. In 2020 we held the candidates banner ceremony, plus an apron auction fundraiser. Since then they have participated in two North Thompson Fall Fair Drive Thrus, and a Christmas at The Fair Drive Thru Light Show. They have attended the Mad Hatter Tea Party, the Barriere Walk For Alzheimer’s, and numerous Nu Leaf Produce sale fundraisers for the NTFFRA. They also shoveled a lot of rabbit poop (and now have a whole new appreciation of it), as well as horse manure that was all bagged and sold to area gardeners.

“They enthusiastically created and built the Frozen display at the 2020 Christmas Drive Thru at the Fair, and have volunteered in numerous other projects and venues. Most recently Hallie and Angela volunteered at a wedding serving dinner and clearing the dishes for a donation to the program.”

The chair noted that the two candidates who stayed, “have almost done three years in serving the NTFFRA Ambassador Program and both graduated this year. Jonathan is at TRU university this year but has continued looking after his duties as one of our ambassadors.”

Program candidates Morgan Bennett sponsored by Barriere IDA, and Angela Rutschke sponsored by T&T Liquidation were introduced. Program sponsors, Rainer Custom Cutting and Sam’s Pizza & Rib House, were also recognized although their candidates had been unable to continue in the program.

Harpaur says next up on the evening agenda was the fashion show.

“The first section was choosing and modeling a thrift outfit,” said the chair, “Angela went very vogue and high fashion, Morgan and Hallie went for comfortable casual cloths, and Jonathan went for shorts and a shirt because he couldn’t find pants long enough and he wanted to show those girls at TRU just how tough these Barriere farmers are.”

Then it was modelling ‘cosy onesy jammies’.

“Angela was a dinosaur, Hallie was a panda, and Morgan wore a magenta ‘onsey’ with pandas on it and a trap door. It was awesome!”

The last fashion was formal wear.

”Jonathan looked very dapper in his blue suit, blue shirt, red tie and cowboy hat,” said Harpauer, “That was the outfit that wowed the girls at the Vernon Winter Fair where he was surround by girls the entire time. I think the cowboy hat did it, because there were three other males there, but Jonathan was the center of female attention, especially when he taught them all how to line dance.

“Hallie was in her beautiful blue ball gown that had been a wedding dress the morning of our pageant. Then her friend helped her to dye it blue, alter it, and bedazzle it. It was gorgeous!

“Angela wore a blue dress, reminiscent of Disney princesses, and Morgan wore a white on white evening gown. She’d never walked in heels before, but she was magnificent, no one would have known.

“A special thanks goes to the sponsors who are also committee members, Shelley Heinen Barriere IDA, and Tammy Bunting from T&T Liquidation for helping the ambassadors and candidates to make all the quick wardrobe changes required during the event.”

Individual candidate speeches were next, with both girls choosing to do their speech on volunteering, what they had done in the past few seasons as NTFFRA volunteers and how they benefited from being a volunteer.

“These two young women love to volunteer,” said the chair, “ They were always phoning to see where they could volunteer, and they worked like bugs. Their speeches were fabulous and I think there were some tears in the audience.”

The current ambassadors then gave their farewell speeches and took a final walk as reigning NTFFRA ambassadors.

In keeping with social distancing protocols the crowning of the new ambassadors for the 2021/2022 year took on a new approach that proved a special moment for the families. This year the parents were given the honour of placing the crown and banners on their daughters.

Numerous photographs were then taken, and it was all followed by a tasty taco dinner served up with relaxing conversations between the attendees.

Asked if she thought the private coronation event had been all it could be, Harpauer answered, “I had to learn some new tricks, such as how to do the whole DJ thing off my phone, and how to download songs onto my phone. Thank goodness for the son-in-law who came and set up a full PA for us with four speakers while also managing to keep it all simple so we could operate it. But the entire event went very well. Everything ran smoothly, and it was a really nice evening – we were super happy.”

What will be the next event for the newly crowned NTFFRA Ambassadors?

Harpauer says the first item on the calendar will be holding a fundraiser through Mom’s Pantry, then participating in the Christmas At The Fair Drive Thru Light Show at the fairgrounds in Barriere on Dec. 18-21, and Jan. 27 – 30.

“They’ll be creating their own light display for the drive thru event, although I don’t know yet what they have in mind. The pair are also very enthusiastic about wanting to do more home delivered senior’s lunches as we did this year, but we’ll have to get busy fundraising to be able to do that.”

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