As the snow was coming down, Perogies and Jam held their 5th annual community Gospel and Christmas Night on Saturday, November 21 with 150 in attendance. Perogies and Jam MC Don Harfield welcomed the attendees to this year’s event at the Vegreville Sunshine Club.
The doors opened at 6:00 pm and the music started at 7:00 pm with the Vegreville Youth Ensemble, led by Colleen Albert, performing “Rejoice in the Lord Always”, “Peaceful River”, and “Glory Glory Hallelujah”. Young Nolia Jarvis sang “Free to be Me”, and “This is the Stuff”. Her stellar performance was mature far beyond her years!
With Debbie Fedoruk at the keyboard, her students: Odelia Rayavarapu sang “God Our Loving Father”, Abigail Bellamkonda sang “Shout to the North”, Josie Lutzak sang “The Lord is my Shepherd”, and Tristan Neil sang “The Gospel Train”. Debbie concluded with “On Eagle’s Wings” accompanied by Colleen Alberta on the Keyboard. Debbie has been teaching vocals to students for the past 9 years in Vegreville.
Up next was Ashley Ziprick, accompanied by Colleen Albert, who sang “Loyal”, and the Lutheran Choir, also accompanied by Colleen Albert, performing “We Believe”. The Companions of the Journey, consisting of Lisa Topilko (guitar), Jim Bragg (guitar), Joanne Veldkamp (flute) and Janet Rowlands (keyboard) entertained the enthusiastic crowd with “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “All Night, All Day”. Jean Hughston (acoustic guitar) , Rose Safranka (electric guitar) and Albert Stewart (fiddle) performed “Wings of a Dove” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.
Announcements were made by Don Harfield recognizing attendees from many of the local churches including the Maple Street Worship Centre, St. Johns’ Lutheran, the Alliance Church, St. Mary’s Anglican Church, the Tofield Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the Vegreville United Church. Many had attended all four of the prior Gospel Nights.
Donations of $ 1,178 were raised at this event and the proceeds were provided to the Vegreville Transportation Services Society and the Vegreville Seniors Sunshine Club. MLA Jessica Littlewood reinforced the importance of helping the community as she spoke to the audience. Dwayne Hlady addressed the needs of the community for transportation and how VTSS provides this service for those who need it. The VTSS brings accessible and affordable transportation to seniors and those with disabilities or financial barriers. Nick Crapko spoke about the needs of the Sunshine Club and how the donations to the VSSC were very appreciated to provide entertainment and recreation programs for seniors in Vegreville.
Cloud 9 came to the stage at 8:15 and performed a rousing 45 minute set including “Down at the Cross”, “Humble and Kind”, “Rock of Ages”, “Oceans” (featuring Meghan Werezuk), “Come to the Water” (featuring Rod, Alyssa and Meghan), “Holy Spirit” (featuring Meghan), “Something in the Water” (featuring Alyssa), and “Go Rest High”. Cloud 9 consists of Rod (acoustic guitar and vocals) & Juanita Werezuk (vocals) of Vegreville, Vivian Grinde (keyboard) from Holden, Darryl Ball (electric guitar) from Sedgwick, Doug Grovet (drums) from Galahad, and Leanne Ball (fiddle) from Sedgwick. Alyssa & Meghan Werezuk were featured singers.
The performances ended at 9:10 pm and the final song for the evening was “Amazing Grace” and the audience rose to their feet and joined in enthusiastically. Lutheran elder, Hugh Ziprick offered a closing prayer for the community and MC Don Harfield closed off the evening at 9:20 pm.
Perogies and Jam thanks the many volunteers leading up to and the hosting of this special annual event. In particular, Dwayne and Bob served up great food from the kitchen, Shirley Hlady and Nick Crapko were at the entry, and Rob Hughes was the photographer.
We wish you a happy Christmas and a safe holiday season!
Photography by Rob Hughes