Youth future bright thanks to Rotary and community

By Taylor Weaver

June 21, 2018 11:07 AM

From left: Chief Norm Namur and Deputy Chief Ryan LeBlanc of the Lloydminster Rescue Squad, Rotarian Ed Andersen, Melissa Plamondon and Emmy Kuypers of Ignite Lloydminster, Heather Reid of the Kaebri Memorial Project, and Leanne Wildeman of the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre accepted donations from the Border City Rotary Club on Tuesday morning. TAYLOR WEAVER LLS PHOTO

Tuesday morning was an exciting one as the Border City Rotary Club handed out funds to five local organizations.
A total of $35,500, which was raised through the club’s annual Irish Pub Night fundraiser, was split between the Lloydminster RCMP and Junior A Bobcats’ Project Keep Straight, the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre, the Ignite Lloydminster Boys Conference, Lloydminster Rescue Squad, and the Kaebri Memorial Project.
“We’re happy to say that this year we were able to match what they all requested,” said Border City Rotary Club Financial Planner Les Hanson.
“(Which) is awesome because that’s what our club has always been about, youth more than adults, and it always feels good just to empower and strengthen and give some choices to the young people, and they are the future of our community.
“I think everyone in the room was happy to do it and it pulls on your heart strings when you hear the different stories.”
Each organization went through a request process where they explained how much money they were looking for as well as what they were going to do with the funds. 
This year the Rotary club saw six different applications for funding, five of which fit the criteria they follow.
The impressive total of $35,500 is up slightly from last year and in years past Rotarians have matched donations increasing totals significantly.
“We shift our programs, and in the past we’ve donated a couple hundred thousand dollars to the Community Youth Centre to get it up and running, but right now there’s no big projects in town, so we’re happy to be able to share with some of these smaller initiatives,” said Hanson.
Const. Grant Kirzinger accepted a cheque on behalf of the RCMP and Lloydminster Bobcats, and explained how the funds will help with Project Keep Straight, where local RCMP and members of the Bobcats travel to East Hastings in Vancouver to learn about drug addiction, all while filming a short documentary on the subject to later be shown to kids to teach them about the power of addiction.
The Lloydminster Rescue Squad will also be using their donation to help finance visits to schools to teach students about what they do as well as impaired driving, distracted driving, and the dangers that come with both.
The Kaebri Memorial Project was started by Heather Reid and provides women who go into labour earlier than expected with the essentials like a tooth brush, kids’ toys, etc.
Ignite Lloydminster will use the funds for their Ignite Boys Conference, which will be held to empower male youth and teach them things such as showing emotion is healthy and it’s OK to cry.
The Lloydminster Community Youth Centre is using their donation to purchase a new boiler, something Leanne Wildeman explained will be essential once the warmer weather leaves for the season. 
With some funds still leftover from Irish Pub Night, Hanson explained that money will go towards the club’s international student programming, as they have a student coming from Denmark to live in the Border City for a year.

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