Strathmore Alberta - Strathmore Times
Parents, students, and staff at Sacred Heart Academy have been busy fundraising for a new expansion to their playground. The wooden structure that is currently in place at the fondly named ‘gathering grounds’ will be completely replaced with a new $120,000 ‘Superman’ structure.
“It’s called the gathering grounds at our school because of where it’s located, so there is actually quite a bit of community use that happens there,” said Christa Aleman, a member of the playground organizing committee.
“The people that originally started our school 10 years ago, they put the playground in, they worked very, very hard and they called it the gathering ground 10 years ago, and we just feel like that’s a really suitable name for the park. It’s great for the kids but it’s a great place for the community as well.”
Fundraising has been underway within the school for a few months now, having kicked off with the sales of candy grams for Valentine’s Day.
“We’re at about $40,000 now, so we’re in a really steady state of raising money. Our goal ideally would be to have the structure up by next spring, operational by this time of year next year,” said Aleman.
On June 6 at dusk there is going to be a Movie Under The Stars night, put on by FreshAirCinema, to help raise funds for the project, and to showcase the ‘gathering grounds’. There will be a BBQ for dinner – beginning at 6 p.m. – and there will be face painting and airbrush tattoos to keep the kids entertained, when they aren’t playing on the current playground equipment. Tickets for the movie are $5 per person or $20 family. The cost of the BBQ is separate from the movie tickets.
Last Wednesday, May 15, students at Strathmore High School (SHS) were simulating someone else’s life.
Callista Weiss, Payton Berger, Joel Cooper, Alex Bird, Alicia George, Shayne Salmon, Alyssa Lavallee volunteered to carry one to two gallons of water with them all day long, to experience what women in Kenya have to do to get fresh water for their families.
“Women often carry water for seven or eight hours a day. Ours was just a demonstration of what they go through every day,” said Cooper.
“It was a bit of a burden. It was awkward juggling your books and binders and everything. You realize that the women in Kenya have to do this for a much longer time, so you push through it, thinking ‘I can suck it up and do this’,” said George.
The walk is inspired by the Free the Children organization and Spencer West’s ‘We Walk 4Water’ campaign. Spencer, who lost his legs at the age of five, is best known for his accomplishments of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on his hands, but also raises funds for international charity and youth empowerment organizations. West held a charity walk, Edmonton to Calgary, from May 6 to 16.
For pictures of the event and more information see: http://www.freethechildren.com/get-involved/campaigns/we-walk-4water/
While SHS students couldn’t participate in West’s walk, they held their own a fundraiser with funds going toward a supply of clean drinking water for the small community of Osenetoi, Kenya in Africa. The students said that they would like to have the opportunity to help others again, or travel internationally and be involved in hands on projects.
To date, through the past school year, the “Me to We Club” at SHS has raised approximately $4,000 through events like the water walk, the benefit concert, and the penny drive. Anyone wishing to help them out can make donations to the “Me to We Club” at SHS, including spare change and pennies.
Direct donations can also be made to Free the Children on behalf of the school. There are still hand-made rafiki bracelets on sale for $10 each. The $10 is enough to feed one child in Kenya for a month, and helps support alternative income projects by Kenyan women.
Students from Crowther Memorial Junior High took up rakes and drills on May 17, to clean up the access path running from Brent Boulevard into the Brentwood community.
The path was littered with leaves and garbage, and some of the fence boards were rotten or had graffiti written on them.
Tyler Brassard, busy with a rake, said the activity was part of building karma. He knew it was true, as karma had recently brought him luck, generated by his decision to be honest.
Karma in Indian religions is the concept of an action or deed, which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect.
“Just yesterday I found 20 dollars on the ground. I picked it up and brought it to the office and in return I got canteen dollars,” said Brassard.
Sometimes youth are blamed for thoughtless actions, but they also contribute to a lot of community events and fundraisers. This spontaneous clean-up is one more example of their karmic contribution to the Strathmore community.
“The kids wanted to have a better reputation and we wanted our school to get involved,” said Assistant Principal Colin Lenox. “This is the greatest way to do it.”
The pathway around Kinsmen Park is on the schedule to be paved in time for the Canada Day celebrations. Originally, as part of the 2012 Town’s Pathway Development Plan, a capital budget was approved for $140,000.
The original company who had the lowest bid from the tender process, which was under the $140,000 mark, withdrew their name from consideration prior to the May 15 regular town council meeting. G&V Paving and Contracting Ltd. put in the second lowest bid at $154,800.
“We did see an increase in the tender this year based on our tendering from last year,” said Jesse Parker, director of engineering and operations for the town. “(We’ll be) building the pathway to the same quality as our tender along the Thomas Drive pathway, but we’ve seen our cost go up fairly considerably I’d say, about 30% over our cost from last year. So as a result it didn’t come in as…anticipated through the budget process.”
The Town doesn’t have previous experience with G&V Paving and Contracting Ltd. but Parker feels they have a good understanding of the project, and the references he has contacted have also come back positive.
The entire pathway will have a horizontal root barrier, which is the same as the Thomas Drive pathway. In the areas within close proximity to the trees there will also be a vertical root barrier to help prevent any cracks in the pavement with weeds or roots pushing through.
Parker requested a change in the budget for the project. The request for $170,000 will add a 10% contingency in case any unforeseen circumstances come up.
Council approved the new funding amount, which is not to exceed $170,000.
Since last year, the town has been a part of the Regional Stormwater Initiative with the Western Irrigation District (WID) and other regional municipalities. Parker said the main focus for the town is on a south drainage plan to Eagle Lake and then future north drainage as well.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was brought forward which summarizes the commitment of the partners working collaboratively on a regional stormwater solution. The request was for the town to sign it, and also to approve funding in the amount of $50,000 for a technical Request For Proposal (RFP) to help determine the feasibility of a future solution and the preliminary design of a stormwater solution for the entire town. The funds come from the WID/Town of Strathmore Joint Stormwater Fund, which requires the approval of both parties to access and will not affect taxpayers. Council approved the requests.
Charges have been laid in the Gleichen homicide that happened in the early hours of May 18. Gleichen RCMP responded to a disturbance call at a residence in the hamlet at 1:15 a.m., where they discovered two people suffering from undisclosed wounds.
STARS Air Ambulance was called in to transport a 26-year-old male. The male died of his injuries while waiting for the STARS transfer.
The second individual, a 20-year-old female, found in the home was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. She was later released after being treated for her injuries.
“We have laid charges in the homicide. We have charged Kristy Noel Redgun, age 18 of Siksika, with first degree murder,” said Sgt. Patricia Neely, spokeswoman with the RCMP.
Redgun is being charged in the death of Tak Tai Lawrence Leung from Chilliwack, B.C. Leung was fatally injured after an alleged altercation with Redgun.
Neely said the investigation is still ongoing. If anyone has any information they can contact the Gleichen RCMP detachment at 403-734-3923, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.