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Community

I’m mourning the loss of “Community”

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Community
By Ilan Cooley

I find myself mourning the loss of community. It is nearly extinct, if not already dead. Growing up, I think we just took it for granted. As a farm kid, people came from miles around for brandings, weddings and funerals, and if something went wrong, at the very least someone would show up unannounced with a casserole.

I remember several years ago, my dad’s stubble field caught fire and a wicked west wind threatened to take it a hundred miles. It would have, if every neighbour within driving distance hadn’t come with a hoe, or shovel to stomp it out, as my dad heroically harrowed a perimeter to stop it in its tracks.

I recall a visiting family member being caught off guard as the rally cry came in around our house. All were roused and already loading vehicles as he called after us asking why we didn’t just call the fire department. When you are born into it, you understand the fire department is 30 minutes away and
you and your neighbours are the first line of defence. In smaller towns I suspect community still exists in ways it does not here in the lonely urban sprawl, but I think even there its heartbeat is weakening. Community used to spring up in churches and at dances, picnics and other such celebrations, but there is less of that now. Nothing would be thought of a neighbourhood pop-in. These days, the hatches are battened down tight, and it’s disheartening that doorbells often only ring when solicitors call.

I remember when I moved into my first new home. I was so excited to meet my neighbours that I baked Christmas cookies and took them door to door. I was met with confused stares and awkwardness. It didn’t take long before I no longer baked cookies, or bothered dropping off a baby gift for couples I barely knew. I know it is my decision to stop that has taken the sentiment of community away from me. I know I should try again. A lot of this reflection has been brought about because I recently saw a glimmer of hope. I witnessed the best example of community I have seen in a long while.

As a friend of mine battled cancer, people rallied around her in a miraculous way. She had lots of friends, and it seems she was a stakeholder in a large number of communities. There were her church friends, soccer team friends, running friends and family. They came to visit in her final weeks and days in droves, and I saw how it brightened her spirits. At her funeral there were stories of how one special lady had brought so much joy, light and life to the people she knew, and the groups she joined. It was there in that Baptist Church pew that I had a realization that community isn’t something that happens, it is something you create. On Friday, Doris would have turned 71. She was my own mum’s age, yet I considered her a friend because she treated me like I mattered. She made me feel important, and did so for many others, because she was a wonderful community builder.

On Sunday some of us will get together to run for the cure in her honour. She had survived breast cancer twice and also fought lung and brain cancer. We will come together as friends and will hopefully prove there is a pulse left in community. We wonder why people feel isolated these days, but we are all contributing to it. Let’s try harder and do better. We need each other.

(Published with permission)

Ilan Cooley is an Edmonton based entrepreneur and writer. She is a an avid world explorer, rescue dog mama and community builder.

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Community

Lacombe’s “Chairs for Charity” exploding in popularity

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Lacombe's chairs for charity

Thank you to NOWCO HOME HARDWARE IN LACOMBE for submitting this post

NOWCO HOME HARDWARE’S 2NDANNUAL CHAIRS FOR CHARITY

Nowco Home Hardware has organized Chairs for Charity for the 2ndyear and it will run from July 19-31. The project started last year as a collaboration of downtown businesses to decorate downtown during Lacombe Days and raise money for a local charity. In 2018, forty five downtown businesses each bought and painted a chair to raffle off. The chairs were left on display during the 4 days of Lacombe Days and over $3100 was raised for the lunch program at J.S. McCormick School.

This year Deanna Nowochin, who has spearheaded the event wanted things to be bigger and better, so all Lacombe businesses were invited to participate in the event. This year there will be 75 chairs on display around Lacombe from July 19-31. The event was extended this year to ensure there was ample time for people to hear about Chairs for Charity and purchase tickets. The charities benefitting from 2019’s project are Lacombe Minor Football and the breakfast program at Terrace Ridge School.

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This year we have 2000 tickets available, with a fundraising goal of $10,000. Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each and can be purchased at any participating business. You can see a full list of participating businesses and photos of their chairs at www.chairsforcharitylacombe.comor by searching “Chairs for Charity Lacombe” on Facebook.

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Community

Red Deer Westerner Days Parade Map

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From The City of Red Deer

Road closures/transit disruptions during Westerner Days parade

The Westerner Days Fair & Exposition parade will take place in downtown Red Deer on Wednesday, July 17 resulting in multiple road closures and traffic detours, along with transit disruptions.

Roadways on the parade route will be closed from approximately 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and parking will not be permitted along the parade route. Use the 2019 parade map (pdf) to plan your route and find the best place to watch the parade.

Westerner Days Parade Map 2019

There will also be transit disruptions during the parade:

  •   The last departure from Sorensen Station prior to the parade will be at 8:45 a.m.
  •   The last arrival into Sorensen Station prior to the parade will be at 9:10 a.m.
  •   The first departure from Sorensen Station after the parade will be at 12:15 p.m.
  •   There will be no transit service during the parade with a couple of exceptions:

o Route 12 and 2A South Connector will continue to run from Bower Mallo Bolt will depart at 9:15 a.m. from 49 Avenue and 54 Street

Transit users can visit www.reddeer.ca/MyBus to look up schedules, get up to date departure times and see where buses are in real-time with GPS tracking

For more information about transit service, visit www.reddeer.ca/transit.

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july, 2019

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fri26jul6:00 pm9:00 pmTaste of Red DeerSummer Just Got More Delicious!6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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