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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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Central Alberta

Two days left to join “Wine Survivor” for The Lending Cupboard! Join a team or make your own

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TLC SURVIVOR CHALLENGE IS BACK – WITH A TWIST!

WHAT IS IT?

A game of elimination with the potential to win lots of wine & more! That’s right this time around we have added a twist! Wine not your thing, maybe its craft beer or a favorite spirit? This year the winners will be awarded liquor store gift cards so they can make their own choice!

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

NEW THIS YEAR!! As a team member, you have TEN chances to win a boat- load of wine, spirits and more! In the end the winners get to choose.

HOW DOES TLC WIN?

Fifty percent of the registration fee supports TLC!

HOW DO YOU PLAY?

Join a team or pick 5 friends and start your own team. Each team must appoint a Team Captain who will keep the other team members informed.

Each team must have 6 members and they will give their team a fun name. TLC will assign each team member their own unique number once we receive the Team Registration Form.

Your team will not be registered until ALL team members have submitted their $40 registration fee. No exceptions!

Your team captain will collect your money and email addresses.

Your registration fee and email address must be submitted to your team captain no later than Wednesday, October 21st, 2020. (Challenge launch date is Friday, September 18th, 2020)

All teams must be registered, paid in full and delivered to TLC no later than Wednesday, October 21, 2020 (TLC is opened Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00am to 4:30pm).

You can increase your odds of winning by joining more than one team! Just remember that you will need to pay the $40 registration fee each time you join a team.

HOW DO YOU WIN?

This is a game of elimination – YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR NAME/ NUMBER TO BE DRAWN!

Draws will begin on Monday, October 26th, 2020 and will be held daily until the final draws are made on Friday, October 30th, 2020.

The team Captains will receive an email each draw day showing the standing of each team. The team captain will then forward the information on to their individual team members.

As long as one member of your team remains you are still in the game – you have six chances to win!

The first team to be eliminated will be our “Biggest Losers” and each team member will receive two $20 liquor store gift card.

EXAMPLE:

Based on 100 teams entering:

The Biggest Loser = each team member will receive 2 gift cards ($240 team value) 9th Place Finish = each team member will receive 4 gift cards ($480 team value)
8th Place Finish = each team member will receive 5 gift cards ($600 team value)
7th Place Finish = each team member will receive 6 gift cards ($720 team value)
6th Place Finish = each team member will receive 8 gift cards ($960 team value)
5th Place Finish = each team member will receive 10 gift cards ($1,200 team value) 4th Place Finish = each team member will receive 12 gift cards ($1,440 team value) 3rd Place Finish = each team member will receive 14 gift cards ($1,680 team value) 2nd Place Finish = each team member will receive 16 gift cards ($1,920 team value) Final Surviors

1st Place Finish = each team member will receive 23 gift cards ($2,760 team value)

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We hope to have a minimum of 100 teams involved but of course the more teams the larger the prize so connect with your family, friends and colleagues.

Please spread the word and let’s see how many teams we can put together for this great cause!

TEAM LEADER INSTRUCTION SHEET

Thank you for putting together a team(s) for The Lending Cupboard’s Survivor fundraiser. The more teams that we have, the larger the prize AND the more money The Lending Cupboard (TLC) receives to further support our community!

The following is a list of the things that are required of you as the Team Captain in your group of six people:

  • You and your members should pick a fun name for your team. Put this name in the designated spot on the registration form, along with your name as Team Captain.
  • Make sure you have correct email addresses for all team members as this is the way that you will communicate.
  • Please collect $40 from each team member.
  • The $240 total team entrance fee can be paid via cash, debit, Visa or MasterCard or cheque made payable to The Lending Cupboard.
  • If paying by debit, Visa or MasterCard – it might be easier for you as team captain to have your members pay you, than you could pay TLC via your desired card.
  • Team members need to have their money to you by Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at the latest (the sooner the better). Once you have collected the registration fees you must deliver the full package to The Lending Cupboard by Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at the latest. We are open Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 9:00am to 4:30pm for drop off. Please ask for Dawna, Janice or Kathy when you do your drop off.
  • Each team member will be assigned their own unique ticket number and you, as team captain, will be emailed a copy of your teams’ registration form with your team’s assigned numbers on it.
  • Once the draws start on October 26th, 2020 as team captain you will be mailed the results after each draw – you can then forward the results onto your team members so they can follow along.
  • The final draw date is Friday, October 30th, 2020. This is the day that the winners will be announced! If your team is a winning team, you will be notified of the date and location where you will be presented all the cards that your team has won!

    If you have any questions or concerns, please email one of the following:

    Dawna Morey

    [email protected]

    Janice Shimek

    [email protected]

    Kathy Cole

    [email protected]

THE BIGGEST WINNER is THE LENDING CUPBOARD AND OUR COMMUNITY!!

AGLC Lic. #564352
Good Luck and Thank You for Supporting The Lending Cupboard!

Why Support The Lending Cupboard?

The Lending Cupboard is a registered charity that provides equipment to enhance quality of life by maintaining mobility, independence and dignity to people in Central Alberta. Since 2006 The Lending Cupboard (TLC) has been providing medical equipment to those who need it. Whether your needs are short term or long term, minor or more serious, we are here to help.

We lend out medical equipment for: extreme sports injuries, those recovering from illness or surgery, end of care, children, youth and adults, senior citizens.

Equipment available through the TLC: Air cast, bed rails, bath chairs, bath lifts, commodes, toilet risers, crutches & canes, hydraulic lifts, toilet safety rails, transport chairs, walkers, wheelchairs, super poles, roho cushions.

 

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#RedDeerStrong

The Ross Street Patio – A Summer to Remember

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“If you wish to make a space safe and vibrant you must occupy that space.”

If you happened to visit the Ross Street Patio installation over the summer, you likely would have seen just that; a vibrancy that was created through positive, collaborative engagement. 

 

  The Ross Street Patio installation has been a mainstay in Red Deer’s downtown for close to a decade. The area, located on the north lanes of Ross Street adjacent to the Cenotaph Park offers beautiful greenery in the form of planters, flowers and trees as well as patio tables with umbrellas and benches. Each year the City of Red Deer with the support of the Downtown Business Association create this lovely space for citizens to gather and enjoy a coffee or snack, enjoy programming in the form of live music and other entertainment, and take in the sights and sounds of a more bustling city centre. 

  The summer of 2020 saw a massive increase in foot traffic to the area, possibly more than any summers in the past. The spring was a time of uncertainty for many of the businesses in the area, and the restaurants in the area were making preparations to open their doors to the public after being closed for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Restaurants and bars were given the green light to reopen their doors in late May and by early June most had.

   Over the course of the following few weeks, these businesses began setting up their own patios within the boundaries of the Ross St. Patio. Tribe, Tacoloft, Occam’s Razor, and The Velvet Olive Lounge/Capitol Package Store are all very different food and beverage joints with one thing in common: they were all neighbors sharing the same uncertainty. 

   And then, it happened. What began as a conversation on the patio with Kyle Key, owner of the Olive and the Capitol Package Store, and musician Paeton Cameron, and a few others, became what would be remembered as one of the greatest summers on the Ross Street Patio to date.

   The Velvet Olive had previously been “the spot” for live music downtown. With open mic nights for musicians to have space to show off their talents, and other live music events weekly. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic these live music venues were prohibited from showcasing live music inside their establishments, leaving musicians with essentially nowhere to play, and left music lovers longing to hear live music again. 

 “Let’s do it outside.” 

   It was a thought, then a conversation, and then it was happening. On a warm Thursday night, Kyle, Paeton, and friends put up a tent directly in front of the restaurants, plugged in a couple speakers, and invited musicians to sign up for the first ever “Open Mic Night” – outdoors, on the Ross Street Patio. It didn’t take long before the people began to gather, safely and respectfully, to listen to the live music they had been starved of for months. And it didn’t take long for the other businesses to see the benefits and reap the rewards. By the following Thursday, Tribe, Tacoloft, and Occam’s Razor all offered to support the live music by pitching in on costs, promotions, and maintaining the space. Before long there were up to 3 live music events per week that were programmed by the businesses. This was in addition to the programming created by the DBA and made the Ross Street Patio the most popular space in town. And the businesses all reported a remarkable increase in foot traffic and sales as a result of its popularity. Over the next few months the area had garnered such attention that photographers and film crews began attending to document the successes, and the citizens of Red Deer were calling to make reservations at the establishments, sometimes weeks in advance. 

  One of the last great events to take place on the “Ross Street Stage” was a collaboration between the 4 businesses, four breweries, and 11 local musicians. The “Save Our Stages – Originals Open Mic” night on Sept 18 was broadcast live over the internet. Each of the 11 musicians was invited to play 3 songs, all originals, to the excited crowd that filled the seats of the businesses’ patios and the Ross Street Patio seating. Filmed and broadcast by the team at Hot Shoe Studio the event was a huge success, culminating in a show of support by the local RCMP. As the sun set, approx 10-12 RCMP patrol vehicles slowly passed the Ross Street Patio with lights flashing and sirens sounding as a salute to the citizens of Red Deer and the businesses for doing their part to make the downtown safe and vibrant, by occupying that space. The cheers were deafening, and the tears of joy were real. What a summer, and what a city.

 Thanks to the City of Red Deer for providing the space. Thanks to the Downtown Business Association for the support and additional programming. Thanks to the businesses for breaking down their silos and working together for the greater cause. And thanks to the citizens of Red Deer for showing up, supporting local, and being generally good in the world. 

I’ve never been more proud to be a Red Deerian, and I can’t wait for next summer. 

To watch the full Originals Open Mic video click here: https://youtu.be/8fzMIT8pIyE

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october, 2020

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