Major Pratt School’s largest and only school-wide fundraiser is the Beef and Barley King and Queen competition. It runs from the first day of school in September until the Friday before Thanksgiving culminating in the Beef and Barley Pageant. Throughout this time, the high school population is divided into 6 areas: Russell South, Russell North, Inglis, Binscarth, Waywayseecappo, and Russell Rural.

Students from each group choose a King and Queen to represent their area and begin fundraising by selling tickets for cash prizes provided by student council as well as other unique fundraisers that have included pancake breakfasts, movie nights, beauty days, car detailing, silent auctions, bingo nights, paint nights, etc. The winning group is the area that brings in the most money. The King and Queen are crowned at the Beef and Barley Pageant and fulfill various duties for the town during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Money raised through Beef and Barley is equally divided between extra-curricular and academic initiatives. These include: class field trips, choir, offsetting the cost of the yearbook, a grad bursary, subsidizing students involved in Encounters with Canada, grad, grad bursaries, school sports, and student council activities including birthday assemblies, gym blasts, multi-media presentations, guest speakers, artists in the school, spirit weeks, etc.

COVID-19 has affected so many areas of our lives and Beef and Barley this year was no exception! Traditionally, students from the 6 area groups of Waywayseecappo, Russell Rural, Russell North, Russell South, Inglis, and Binscarth raise money during the 4-5 weeks leading up to Thanksgiving weekend by hosting events such as movie nights, car detailing, craft events, etc. The area that raises the most money then has their candidates crowned as the Beef and Barley King and Queen.

This year, MPS decided to run a “COVID” version of our beloved fundraiser (after not being able to run it for the 2020-2021 school year) in order not to lose the tradition. This meant a few changes due to restrictions as fundraisers that involved gatherings of groups of people were not allowed. The criteria for choosing the king and queen therefore changed too. This year we worked on a total of 100 points. Ticket sales raised by each group accounted for 60% while area group participation in 4 events made up 40%. The money raised will still be used to fund class field trips, grad, offset the cost of the yearbook, school sports, a grad bursary and various student council activities.

After 4 weeks of events and ticket sales that totalled $19, 120.00, we would like to congratulate the 2021 MPS Beef and Barley King and Queen, Luke DeCorby and Kora Tibbatts from Binscarth! They earned 92 points and raised $5,051.00. Second place went to Owen Bily and Breanne Zimmer and their group from Russell North. They earned 89 points and raised $4,901.00! Jake Noguera and Adrielle Cabrera and their group from Russell South came in third, with 75 points and $2,724.00!

The winners of this year’s cash prizes are:

3rd place price ($100) - Roberta Senek, Russell, MB

2nd place prize ($200) - Twila Guillas, Russell, MB

1st place prize ($400) - Kian Reimer, Russell, MB

Shout out to the king and queen candidates, managers and students for selling a tremendous amount of tickets and participating in all the events. Special mention to Douglas Crosthwaite and Mikyla Cruz, this year’s Beef and Barley student council reps. Major Pratt School would also like to acknowledge the communities of Russell, Binscarth, Waywayseecappo, Inglis Russell Rural and all surrounding areas for their unwavering support once again!

Birgit Lavallee, MPS Beef and Barley teacher supervisor

The 2021 Beef & Barley Pageant can be rewatched at the following link. Please move ahead to 1:02:00 for the start of the pageant.