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Community helps the Moose

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Who are the Moose? You will find them nestled just off of 13 street- north at 1401 5 ave north across from where the Giant Tiger used to be.
At any given time during the week you will find everything from all ages metal shows, play rehearsals, improv comedy, country jams and luncheons.

Sheena Lawson, Tracy Edgar and Toni Vere playing a Moose fundraiser at the Moose Hall, April 6. Photo by Richard Amery
The hall, an older 1930’s building is multi-purpose room has quickly become a  cultural hub of the north side. It is something members of the Loyal Order of the Moose, one of Lethbridge's longest standing community organizations whose roots go back a hundred years, are very proud of.

 “ We have private functions and a lot of community events from kids shows to seniors shows,” said Marty Pepin, Lethbridge Moose administrator.
 While the group has been in Lethbridge for about 100 years, they have made their home in the Moose Hall since the 70s.
 In addition to hosting community events and renting out their hall for an affordable price for $250 a day or $30 an hour, they also give back to the community with donations to the Streets Alive program, and this year, the Alzheimer’s Society.

“ When Lethbridge got their first MRI scanner, we donated $8,000 for it,” Pepin said.
“We’d like to be able to do that sort of thing again,” he said.

The Blue Ridge Mountain Country  Society holds an open country jam on the last  Sunday of every month. The Moose also hold sober dances as well as ordinary dances with live music.  Pepin said the Lethbridge Folk Club will be renting the hall for shows in their next season as well.
 So the community is starting to give back by holding fundraisers for the group, which has had a few lean years.

Improv group the Drama Nutz held a successful fundraiser for them on March 20.

 And this past weekend, Sheena Lawson got her old band back together, Sheena and the Bandshees, to play a show for them. Lethbridge country band Treeline will be  doing a fundraiser for them on May 25 as well.
“ We’re a non profit group so everyone  volunteers their time,” he continued adding, like with most non profit  groups, they have to face the challenge of four or five members doing all of the work. They have approximately 45 members, plus a Junior Moose club of members under the age of 21 which has over 20 members and an auxiliary chapter of 25-35 people They have also just restarted their lady Moose chapter.
“We think we’re heading in the right direction,” he said.
 Arts groups like Hatrix Theatre love the Moose Hall.

“It’s our home said Hatrix Theatre co-founder Karolyn Harker,  before a rehearsal for their May 7-11 production of the Foreigner at the Moose Hall..

“We did our very first show here,” she said, adding their shows the Nerd, The Gazebo, Jitters and  most recently, Evil Dead the Musical have all  taken place at  the Moose Hall.
“We like the intimacy and we can seat 70 people here, which is  a sell out crowd, she continued.

“ I don’t know where we’d go if we had to find another place,” she said.
Sheena Lawson got her old band Sheena and the Bandshees back together  for a April 6  fundraiser  after a call from drummer Rawn Wolfe asking if she would be  interested in reforming the band. She  got involved with the Moose indirectly through working with Hatrix on Evil Dead the Musical. While she  had to drop out, her son was runninCarrie Ann Worden and Preston Scholz rehearse the Foreigner. photo by Richard Ameryg one of the spotlights.
“I’m not Moose member, but I’ll help anyone who needs it,” she said.

“It’s one more space that’s open to play. So let’s keep it open,” she said.
Dave Gabert of improv group the Drama Nutz noted the croup wanted to pay it forward  for hosting their 30 hour improv show at the Moose Hall, so they held a well attended fundraiser for them March 20.

“It went well,” he said adding it was great to see people at the show who aren’t part of the theatre community.

 he said  the group found the Moose  the easiest to work with of all of the people they talked to about their 30 Hour improv show.
“ The Moose were more than willing to  meet u s half way. They aren't just  out to make money off of people,” he said.

“ It feels more like working with your family, rather than  some random strangers,” he continued.
While the troupe is based out of the NAAG Gallery now, where they  will be  doing  the third edition of Bring a Chair improve, April 12, they haven’t ruled out another show at the Moose.
“They’re great people and very friendly people,” he summarized.

 A version of this story appears in the April 10, 2013 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:17 )  
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