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Central Alberta Schools taking part in “No Stone Left Alone” program for first time

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The mission of the No Stone Left Alone Foundation is to honour the sacrifice and service of Canada’s military by educating students and by placing poppies on headstones of veterans. Since it’s humble beginnings in 2011 when 120 students took part and placed poppies on 4100 headstones, the impact has grown to involve 10,000 students this year who will place poppies on almost 50,000 headstones.

The organization works closely with the Canadian Armed Forces, volunteers, students and various educators such as Alberta Education, Edmonton Public School Board, Edmonton Catholic School District and numerous other school districts across Canada. Various branches of the Legion also get involved.

At the school level, there is curriculum that’s been developed that ensures future generations are engaged and learn about the history of wars we have fought in and have foundational understanding of the sacrifices their ancestors made so that they are able to lead peaceful lives today.

Here is a list of schools and dates of ceremonies in Alberta.  Locally, Father Henri Voisin School is taking part in a ceremony on Tuesday, November 6th at Alto Reste Cemetery (3.6 km east of 30 Avenue on Highway 11).

“Our Grade 4 students are honoured to be representing the No Stone Left Alone program in Red Deer,” said Jessica Maloughney of Father Henri Voisin School.  “They have been researching our Canadian Veterans, and the vital role that our nation has played in wars throughout history. On Tuesday, they will be ready to lead a ceremony, celebrating the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives to the cause of peace.”

As well, Ecole Mother Teresa Catholic School will be at Lakeview Cemetery (4302 – 50 Street) in Sylvan Lake on Tuesday at 1:30 pm.

Red Deer – Father Henri Voisin School
November 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
Alto Reste Cemetery
3.6 km east of 30 Avenue on Highway 11

Sylvan Lake – École Mother Teresa School
November 6, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.
Lakeview Cemetery
4302 – 50 Street

Here’s a story of how it really began. (from the No Stone Left Alone website). Also scroll to bottom of story for an impactful and touching video featuring Sherry Clarke, mother of Pte. Joel Wiebe, killed in Afghanistan on June 20th, 2007.

“… As a mother lay dying from breast cancer in 1971, she had one request for her 12-year-old daughter; “PLEASE DO NOT FORGET ME ON ARMISTICE DAY.” This mother was a proud Canadian soldier, who with her husband, both served in World War 11.

So, began, that each year, this young girl would honour her mother’s wish, by taking the poppy she wore in November and placing it at the headstone of her mother’s resting place.

This young girl, grew up, married and had children. Every November they would as a family, go out amongst the thousands of headstones, in the Field of Honour at Beechmount cemetery in Edmonton. They would pause and reflect and look out from the large cenotaph that overlooked all the headstones. Her young daughter asked, “Mom, why don’t they all get a poppy?”

A movement began. The young mother took it upon herself to see if that could be done. From her outreach letters to the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, to her contact with local educators and a friendship with a young lieutenant colonel, No Stone Left Alone placed 4948 poppies in 2011 at one cemetery. In seven years, No Stone Left Alone is in over 111 cemeteries, all provinces and two territories and has engaged thousands of students.

2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, a truce to end World War 1 in 1918.

A mother’s words, ring true today as in 1971, the importance, recognition and obligation to ensure that our youth understand the sacrifices, service and commitment of our military members, what they have done in the past and continue to do today.

We know and gauge our success, by the words of our Canadian children, who through a written exercise of reflection, send their letters to the President telling all of us, they didn’t really know or understand why there is Remembrance Day. Below is an excerpt from one of the “reflection letters” which affirm to us that this is a new generation and NSLA is having a huge impact on their learning, their emotions, their leadership. This is enhancing all Remembrance events…”

These following two examples are indicative of the powerful impact this program has on students:

Resting place of Edward Trooper at the NSLA event in Edmonton.

“…Dear Edward Trooper, on this day I visited your grave and your friend’s graves at Beechmount cemetery. We thank you for your caring and support, what you have done for our great home Canada! We will remember that you had died just to save our country and to think about us. You are a special soldier and I will never forget that. You will never be left alone, and you are important to Canada. Our hearts will never let go, what you have done, for us. Thank you for going to war to make our country beautiful and peaceful…” – Student from St. Mary’s school Edmonton

“…When the military Padre reads the “Prayer of Remembrance”, my silent prayer is to my mother. I tell her, to share with all the veterans of this great country, that we all remember them, we haven’t forgotten, and we never will…”  – Maureen Bianchini Purvis 12-year-old girl in 1971

 

Read more stories about our community on Todayville.com. 

 

 

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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The Grand Opening is TODAY!

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A Day Filled With Hope – Years in the Making!
For years the CACAC has been walking hand-in-hand with many different partners, community members, donors, policy makers, and leaders in research and advocacy towards this moment.The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence now stands in the heart of Central Alberta, the first Centre of its kind in North America, creating space for different strategic partners to operate alongside one another in the best interest of children, youths, and families who have experienced any form of abuse.

Now, during this momentous chapter in our history, we invite you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. 

We’re excited to welcome you and your family to the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence today!

Today’s events are family friendly, and there’s something for everyone!

From Noon to 5:00PM the public is welcome to come and see everything the building has to offer at the SKCOE Open House! Staff from every organization from within the SKCOE will be there to answer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about why this Centre is so important for Central Alberta.

Beginning at 7:00PM, the public is also invited to the formal program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the building immediately North West of us across the parking lot. The formal program will have many messages and presentations from dignitaries, and you can pick up our Champions of Courage pin, which was minted for the Grand Opening only! Following the program there is a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There is a lot to celebrate, so come out and say hi!

When: Thursday, May 16

Where: Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Main Campus of Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer, AB.

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Open House

7:00 PM – Formal Program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to follow.

How to get to the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence

Please note that there will also be parking available at the lot directly North of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Detailed RDP Parking Map

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