Claresholm piper Rob Chisholm, and Claresholm Legion members Brian Thibeau, Margaret Smith, and Alfred Hansen, led the parade of flags at the opening ceremonies of the 2017 Good Sam RV Rally called “Home on the Range”, at the Claresholm Community Centre on June 14. Photo by Rob Vogt
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Good Sams attract a crowd
By Rob Vogt
Local Press Writer 
It was a parade of colours from around Alberta and beyond last week as more than 175 Good Sams descended on Claresholm.
The international recreational vehicle, or RV club, had their 2017 Good Sam RV Rally called “Home on the Range” at the Claresholm Community Centre from June 14 to 18.
It was four days filled with games, activities, tours, seminars on RVs and equipment, and much more.
The opening ceremonies were held the evening of June 14, featuring a parade of flags carried by Good Sams from places such as Brooks; Whitecourt; Stony Plain; Calgary; Sherwood Park; Spruce Grove; Stettler; Wetaskiwin; Edmonton; Lethbridge; Camrose; and Moose Jaw.
They were led by local bagpipe player Rob Chisholm; and a colour guard from the Claresholm branch of the Royal Canadian Legion made up of Brian Thibeau, Margaret Smith, and Alfred Hansen.
Local music teacher Michelle DeDominicis sang the national anthems of Canada and the United States, and Tom Krahn, a Good Sam from the Brooks chapter, was the emcee.
He introduced the provincial executive of the Good Sams, including the president Sam Frame, as well as local dignitaries, who brought best wishes from the Town of Claresholm, Municipal District of Willow Creek, and Claresholm and District Chamber of Commerce.
Rob Steel, mayor of Claresholm, joked that the director of the Good Sams is named Sam.
“Well done,” he said with a smile.
Steel then welcomed everyone to the community.
“It’s just great to have everybody here,” he said. “What a great visual to have all these trailers (parked at the community centre and Agriplex).”
He encouraged everyone to check out what Claresholm has to offer.
“It’s a really great privilege to have you here in Claresholm,” Steel said. “We really are a beautiful part of Southern Alberta.”
Reeve Earl Hemmaway brought best wishes from the M.D.
“It is wonderful to look out here at all the Good Sams,” he said.
There are five towns within the M.D., Hemmaway said, that each offer a lot to see from Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump by Fort Macleod to the Old Jail and Museum in Granum, to the museums in Claresholm, Stavely, and Nanton.
“The M.D. of Willow Creek is very proud of the five towns within its borders,” he said.
He closed by joking the rain that was falling was a welcome sight.
“Don’t curse the rain because most of us farmers and ranchers love it,” he said.
Donna Courage, chamber president, welcomed everyone to Claresholm.
She observed most everyone is touched by business, and the chamber aims to help, learn, and grow business.
Courage also described just some of the activities the community has to offer such as golfing, swimming, and checking out the museum.
“There’s so (many) wonderful things to do in Claresholm,” she said.
“I encourage you all to enjoy our little town.”
The ceremonies also included best wishes from the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Good Sams; a memorial service honouring those Good Sams who died since the last provincial rally with a candle lit for each one; the Good Sam of the Year presentation; jokes; and greetings from Sam Frame, the head of the provincial Good Sams.
He expressed his appreciation to the chapters from Lethbridge and Brooks who organized the rally in Claresholm, and threw out a challenge.
He urged everyone to find something or somewhere special about Claresholm and share it with everyone.
“I think it’s important we find the hidden gems in the community we are in,” he said.
With that he declared the 2017 rally officially open.

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