Category: Community

#CallForACause Radiothon underway for pediatric cardiac monitors at Red Deer Regional Hospital

The Red Deer Regional Health Foundation’s first annual #CallForACause radiothon is on today with the goal of raising $100,000 to buy three new cardiac monitors for the pediatrics unit at Red Deer Regional Hospital.

Foundation CEO Manon Therriault says this fundraiser is crucial to support patients who are in a critical time of need.

“The cardiac units hold some of our most vulnerable patients, so we want to be sure that we have the right equipment in order to properly monitor them,” she explained.

“As we all know, medical equipment is very expensive, we’re working hard to get the care that we need here in Central Alberta, that’s something that’s been in the news for a very long time, but these monitors are things that the unit absolutely needs. The monitors they have now need to be replaced.”

Cathy Hunter stopped by the radiothon Friday morning to show her support for the cause.

Hunter’s son was born in 1988 with Congenital Heart Disease. After five days at Red Deer Regional Hospital he was sent to Edmonton for open heart surgery. Since then, he’s had four more surgeries.

“Through the help of the Red Deer hospital, getting him where he needed to be, and with all the care that he received up in Edmonton, he is now grown, just got married, and now expecting a baby of his own”. Hunter explained.

Hunter’s family runs ‘Stan Hunter Construction’ in Red Deer and is issuing a challenge to other construction companies, as well as other parents of kids who suffer from cardiac diseases, to donate.

“Anything the public can do right now to help out is so appreciated by the families like ours whose children and whose family need this kind of care.”

The radiothon continues until 6 p.m tonight, you can donate in person, online at rdrhfoundation.com or by phone at 403-343-4773.

CommunityNOW: #CallForACause Radiothon

rdnewsNOW, BIG105 and 106.7 THE DRIVE present the #CallForACause Radiothon.

We will be broadcasting live from the Red Deer Regional Hospital and asking for your donations to help with the much needed purchase of cardiac monitors for the pediatrics department.

Join us and let’s all help our hospital give the best care possible!

Two weeks left to get in on Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre 50/50 draw

The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) is once again holding one of their biggest fundraisers of the year, and there’s just two weeks left to get in on it.

Their 50/50 draw has a guaranteed prize of $80,000, and the hope is sell all remaining tickets which would see the winner a cool $200,000.

Wednesday will be the CACAC’s “One Day Challenge” where they will try and sell 865 ticket packages, representing one package for one child the centre has helped in their first two years since they opened.

Mark Jones, CEO of CACAC says the money raised will continue to fund the programming and education at the centre.

“You’re always hoping to sell it out, the goal at the end of the day is to have a happy winner for the lottery but we’ll also be happy to be able to have some money in our coffers to do some good things for kids. We’re just hoping that Central Alberta gets behind not just the one day challenge, but along everything else.”

Jones also says he hopes that people will jump on early.

“Everything in the lottery world is tight money, but everybody is a last minute player. We’re hoping to see significant purchases over the final two weeks.”

Sales for the 50/50 draw close on March 8 at cacac5050.ca.

Kin Clubs celebrate century of service to local communities

Kin Clubs celebrate century of service to local communities

Decades of strong support from Red Deer’s Kin Clubs and their positive impacts on the community were celebrated at City Hall on Thursday.

Mayor Tara Veer and members of the local Kinsmen, Kinettes and K40 gathered in Council Chambers to raise a flag and proclaim recognition and gratitude for the group’s contributions to the community since first being established in 1937

The Founder’s Day ceremony was part of a Canada-wide flag-raising celebration for the service organization’s 100th anniversary.

Red Deer Kinsmen president Chris Klassen says donations from local clubs to the local community are in the range of $200,000 and more each year.

“Our continued sponsorship of meal programs for schools, making sure kids have food to eat is a huge need right now,” explains Klassen. “Our assistance with the Red Deer Food Bank, the Mustard Seed, the Boys and Girls Club, Youth HQ, and then donations to locations like the Kinsmen Field House at St. Joseph’s High School, continued support of Kin Canyon, the Kinex, the Kinsmen Twin Arenas.”

“I think if you look around,” adds Klassen. “You realize our stamp is on this city all over the place.”

Kin Clubs celebrate century of service to local communities 1Mayor Tara Veer (left) is joined by Red Deer Kinsmen president Chris Klassen (right) in proclaiming February 20, 2020 as Founder’s Day in Red Deer. (rdnewsNOW/Sheldon Spackman)

In Red Deer alone, it’s noted the Kinsmen, Kinettes, and K40 clubs have been the driving force behind support for the Big Brothers Big Sister’s Camp Alexo, the Abbey Centre in Blackfalds, Red Deer Royals, Grow Boys, and the Red Deer Food Bank, among several other community organizations.

Klassen notes however, that the Kinsmen are very thankful for all the support shown for their Dream Home Lottery each year.

“It’s something that runs October, November, December every year,” says Klassen. “This year will be our 40th year, and we’re pleased to announce this is the first time that the home will be in the Timberlands area, so we’re excited to put the shovel in the ground.”

Mayor Tara Veer, who officially proclaimed February 20, 2020 as Founder’s Day in Red Deer, says Red Deerians have benefitted tremendously over the years from many physical legacies in the community, made possible through the efforts of local Kinsmen, Kinettes and K40 clubs.

“But also the community building that they do through their events,” she points out. “So today, we’re thanking them for their contributions and participating in a national commemoration.”

Forming shortly after the end of WW1 in that spirit of community building, Veer says the Red Deer Kinsmen, Kinettes and K40 clubs continue proudly with their volunteer efforts and giving back.

“Our country at the time (1920) was experiencing deep inflation, and so some forward-thinking individuals decided to come together and put community above themselves, and we see and all benefit from the results of that.”

Nationally, Kin Canada members are said to have collectively raised over $1 billion for Canadian communities to date, including $47 million to cystic fibrosis research and advocating for blood, organ, and tissue donation.

Time is Life returns this March for improved cardiac care

RED DEER: Time is Life, formally known as Time is Muscle, sponsored by John and Joan Donald returns for its third year on March 28, 2020 at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel and Conference Centre.

The awareness and fundraising event shines a spotlight on the need for improved cardiac care and advocacy for hospital expansion and is full of exciting features such as a three-course plated dinner, live entertainment by the Time Machine Retro Rock and Roll Revue show, dance, raffles and silent auction, and so much more.

Co-produced by Harley Hay and Vanessa Higgins-Nogareda in partnership with the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, Time is Life is an event full of heart. Tickets are $95.00 per seat and are available through the Foundation office.

“The purpose of the event is to raise funds to improve cardiac care at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. Funding to make those improvements comes from events like Time is Life,” says Manon Therriault, Chief Executive Officer, Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.

Time is Life doors open at 6:00 p.m. at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel and Conference Centre. Tickets can only be purchased online at www.rdrhfoundation.com/time

For ticket purchase assistance, silent auction donations, or volunteer opportunities, please call the Foundation office at 403-343-4773.

French culture celebration Saturday in Red Deer

An annual event celebrating French culture returns this weekend as the 2020 Carnaval de Red Deer takes place at Festival Hall on Saturday, February 22.

The festival replicates some of what goes on at the real Carnaval de Qubec in Qubec City, including circus acts, popular food items like maple taffy and poutine, and live fiddle and jazz music.

Serge Gingras with the Red Deer chapter of the French Canadian Association of Alberta (ACFA) says this is the tenth year of the Red Deer winter festival, and it has been growing in the last two or three.

“One of the things we’ve been doing is expanding the role of the organization (ACFA) and to include more different cultures from the Francophonie,” he says.

“It’s about spreading French culture, but it’s also about promoting French language and French-Canadian culture. But also we look at the different cultures from the French speaking world, because French-Canadian culture is different than French culture in France, or in francophone countries in Africa,” Gingras adds.

Carnaval de Red Deer is on from 10 a.m until 4 p.m, and is free to attend with everyone welcome. You can learn more at reddeer.acfa.ab.ca

Man born with no arms brings message of self-esteem to Red Deer

An inspirational speaker is bringing his inspirational story to Red Deer next month.

Alvin Law was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan during the early 1960’s at a time when women were giving birth to children with birth defects due to the use of a drug called ‘Thalidomide.’

Law was born with no arms and grew up in a foster home after being homeless at five days of age. But, Law accepted his condition and still lived a normal childhood.

He says his message isn’t filled with narcissism or being egotistical, but instead is a message of self-esteem.

“I really believe that in a very short amount of time, I can change just about anyone’s perspective on how they see everything,” he says.

“When I talk to any kinds of people, I try to remind them to not only look at others maybe differently then they might if they feel sorry or if they feel angry at people. But more than anything to take a look at themselves and really appreciate what we have. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s a really great way to live life.”

While in school, Law found a passion for music, specifically the drums. Law says he took great inspiration from Neil Peart of Rush.

“There is that saying Malcom Gladwell popularized in his book about 10,000 hours makes you an expert at what you do. It’s ironic, I would spend my time in my basement in Saskatchewan, not because I wasn’t popular, but because I didn’t feel like I needed to be hanging out at the corner store. I was so lucky that I had a set of drums in the basement, I had my trombone in my basement. Those first two instruments were a passion for me. Quite often, my parents would tell me to stop playing because I was making too much noise.”

Even though Law was playing these instruments with his feet, Law never felt special or unique.

“When you have that kind of passion, your mind isn’t going ‘jeez I’m doing this with my feet’. Because I was born this way, I never thought about my feet that way. I thought about them as, not only my hands, but a vehicle to whatever I need to do.”

Law will be telling more of his story and his message at the Memorial Centre on April 14 with March of Dimes Canada, a charity organization helping children with physical disabilities.

“Red Deer isn’t a small town, but it has a small town feel. I think when you can feel a part of the community, when you can become an entity that isn’t unusual, but people embrace you. That’s really a powerful tool for developing self-esteem. I think that’s why the bullying subject or even when you’re odd, unusual, or handicapped can be very tricky because how are you supposed to feel good about something when you’re just not feeling good. That’s why we need to do this positive attitude approach, because it’s centered on positive energy.”

You can get tickets to see Alvin Law at the Black Knight Inn or online at tickets.blackknightinn.ca

United Way celebrates 2019 fundraising campaign

It was standing room only Friday morning as over 230 volunteers and supporters gathered at United Way’s 2020 Community Celebration Breakfast to learn that $1.82 million was raised through this year’s United Way Central Alberta annual fundraising campaign.

Presented by Eagle Builders in partnership with the Radisson Hotel, Red Deer and Olymel, United Way officials say the 2019 theme ‘#UNIGNORABLE’ was driven home by honouring incredible contributions from many supporters who ensured what is described as visible and lasting change for the community.

“I’m always so thankful and humbled by Central Albertan’s generosity, always pulling together for many worthy causes to assist others,” said Ron Sauve, Campaign Cabinet Co-Chair. “I’m very proud of the support shown here today, with many outstanding workplaces that took the time and interest to have an Employee Campaign. There’s such an impact when we all come together to change the lives of others.”

Fellow campaign co-chair Edie Hiebert feels blessed by the support and generosity shown by central Albertans towards the campaign.

“I’m proud of the people that step forward and say hey, I need help, and I’m proud of the people that step in to help, whether it’s financially or through volunteer work or through opportunities,” explained Hiebert.

Among those awarded at the Community Celebration Breakfast were the top three fundraising contributors: NOVA Chemicals which raised $741,000 towards the campaign, MEGlobal raising $152,848, and INEOS employees who raised $47,283.

Two Rising Star Awards went to Chandos and Scotiabank for continued growth in fundraising and participation. In fact, a Participation Award was presented to Costco for achieving 100 per cent participation in their workplace campaign, and the GenNext Central Alberta Affinity group which was recognized for its creative and innovative community initiatives geared towards millenials.

Deacon Barclay, 13, of Stettler is a United Way client ambassador and has been in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for several years. Barclay noted spending time with his Big Brother means a lot to him, and when he gets older, plans to be a Big Brother himself.

“It’s like someone else is there for you, it’s an extra helping hand that you can talk to,” explained Barclay. “I see how it impacts kid’s lives like me and it just feels good to have someone there that you can talk to, other than your parents. Go for it, because there is a lot of kids waiting and it’s not hard, you just have to spend some time with them.”

The 2019 Campaign was also highlighted by Art Installations displayed in various locations to shine a light on the #UNIGNORABLE issues in our community.

“We started our campaign asking the community to help us make local issues #UNIGNORABLE, and they came through in a big way,” said Brett Speight, CEO of United Way Central Alberta. “We saw higher attendance at events, more workplace visits and more conversation around these important local issues this year and we are so thankful for all the support the community provides.”

Speight thanks everyone who participated in and contributed to the campaign.

“Thank you to our sponsors and workplaces who matched the generosity of their employees,” he exclaimed. “And thank you to everyone for helping to make local issues #UNIGNORABLE.”

United Way officials say community investments for 2020 will be announced in April.

Women’s March returns to Red Deer on March 7

The second annual Red Deer Women’s March will make its way through downtown Red Deer to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 7.

The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) and Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE) have partnered up for this event.

Organizer Sadia Khan says the rise of the #MeToo movement makes it more important for events like the women’s march to happen.

“We are in this era, especially in 2020, where we can have these conversations out in the open,” she explains. “There have always been inequities and injustices that existed where half of the population are women. It’s about time we do this march, especially in a smaller community in Central Alberta to show light to these issues that involve women, simple as pay inequity.”

Khan says these issues need to be discussed more than just one day a year.

“It’s not like we do a one-day march, talk about these issues and that’s it. We want to create those action items and present it to the community in Red Deer. How’s it that we can do better to balance the inequities and injustices that really affect the women and girls in Red Deer.”

Marchers will gather at the Red Deer Public Library walk throughout the downtown core for about twenty minutes, then come back for speakers from multiple groups including CASASC and CARE, also Urban Aboriginal Voices, and Turning Point, along with a sexual assault survivor. These groups will talk about a number of issues including sexual assaults and Indigenous discrimination.

Everyone is invited to take part, including men. The event is free to join with more information available Facebook.

Early bird deadline Saturday for Red Deer Kinettes gala

Early bird tickets for the second annual Red Deer Kinettes Club spring fling gala are only available for two more days.

The annual gala has a theme featuring a different country each year. This time around it’s a Japanese these dubbed ‘Touring Tokyo.’

Co-Chairs for the event, Shannon Lucas and Mary Benlota, say the Red Deer Kinettes Club has been organizing galas in the spring for years.

“It was only last year that we branded it as a spring fling gala, and we were just looking for a theme; we fell on the Rio Carnival theme last year, which was quite successful. This year, we thought of doing something similar, now it’s turning to a different country every year.” Benlota explains.

Entertainment this year includes the ‘Midnight Taiko Drummers,’ Japanese-style drummers, along with Japanese-style dancers.

Admission also includes Japanese-themed cocktails, a long list of silent auction items to bid on, 50/50 draw, and a raffle for a piece of artwork worth $1,600.

If you come dressed in your best Japanese-style costumes, you could win a prize for best-dressed.

All proceeds go towards Ronald McDonald House.

“That’s kind of where my heart went, to give back to them; for other parents that are going through something similar,” says Lucas.

If you buy early bird tickets, you are entered to win a limo ride for six to and from the event, and VIP seats. You can buy tickets at reddeerkinettes.ca.