By Dan Archer
If you’re driving on Highway 18 between Rockglen and Coronach, be sure to stop in at Fife Lake, to explore another beautiful and nearly-forgotten hamlet almost cheek-to-cheek with the U.S. border.
The Fife Lake Hotel on Main Street has the best steaks in town, along with a friendly, easygoing atmosphere inside a building packed with vintage decor. Gail and Lawson Harkness run the hotel and restaurant in this hamlet of 30 people. The Lawson couple are also very community-conscious. On Sunday, the hotel held their annual auction to help fund the Kinsmen Telemiracle happening at the beginning of March in Saskatoon.
The Fife Lake Hotel organized their 26th annual Telemiracle auction on February 24. Over the last 25 years, the hotel has raised more than $220,000 to help finance Telemiracle, a yearly broadcasted event planned and hosted by the Kinsmen and Kinettes in Saskatchewan. The hotel’s auction has always proven to be successful, drawing people into Fife Lake from all over the southern areas of the province and Montana. Last year, the hotel raised $16,403 at the auction, including funds earned from the auction, raffle tickets and Helping Hands.
Whenever Gail has asked for donations for their auction, there’s usually a pile of bits and bobs to sort through. Lawson said his wife took six weeks to categorize and arrange the auctioned pieces this year, including clothing, pictures, household items and other goods donated by people in Saskatchewan and Montana.
The auction’s germination started more than 30 years ago. Once, Lawson and a friend took take annual winter walks from Coronach to the Scobey-Coronach border crossing to raise money for the Kinsmen Telemiracle.
After about six years of committing to long walks through storms, blizzards and general bad weather in February to raise money for the charity broadcast in Saskatoon, Lawson and his friend thought they were getting too old for this gig. Thereafter, Lawson decided to raise money for the Kinsmen Telemiracle by holding fundraising auctions at his hotel instead.