A tiny hamlet in southern Alberta has found a unique way to raise money for its community centre.

It can be difficult to do community fundraising especially when there are only around 100 people in the community.

That was the challenge facing Scandia, a small hamlet southwest of Brooks.

The community is very proud of its prairie history and the symbolic centre of the area is its community hall.

Keeping the lights on is a challenge and so the residents have come up with a unique way to raise funds for the facility.

Mary Chomistek has lived in Scandia for 65 years and is one of nine bakers, stirring, mixing and pouring their hearts into keeping Scandia hall alive. 

Chomistek’s two famous lemon meringue pies and eight others go on the auction block every year. 

“Mary's pies are so coveted its unreal, people come from all over,” said Echo Chandler, event organizer.

Almost every home baked concoction goes for more than $100 but Mary's pies can only be described as phenomenal so they fetch a bit more. 

“We noticed that the last few years they've gone for a little more than the others,” said Mary.

The pies brought in $580 for the one and $400 for the other.

Warren Johnson was the high bidder.

“I've bought it other years, not for this much. Not for $580 but it's a very good pie,” said Johnson.

Mary’s pies are a hot commodity and she once sold one at auction for her church for $1400.

The auction raised a record $1900 for just ten pies and will keep the community centre up and running for another year.