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Last updateWed, 22 May 2019 12pm

Area schools participate in Impact Day

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Grade 9 students in the area had a first hand look at the impact of making poor decisions behind the wheel, through the eyes of emergency responders.

The Drumheller and Area Asset Development Coalition hosted the second Impact Day at the Badlands Community Facility on Monday, May 6. They invited students from DVSS, St. Anthony’s, Carbon School Wheatland Crossing and Acme/Linden to the daylong exercise.

Judy Nelson of Big Country Victim Services explains that the students are taken through the scenario of a fatal vehicle collision caused by an impaired driver.

The exercise begins at the scene where the Fire department extricates the victims from the cars, EMS is on the scene, as is the RCMP investigating. One person in the collision is deceased at the scene, while another is in critical conditions.

The students then witness as EMS and doctors work to save one of the victims. In the meantime, police have arrested and charged the driver.

The funeral home is called and plays a role and Victim Services is accompanied by the RCMP to inform the families of the loss of their child.

Nelson explains after a break for lunch, they have a panel discussion in the afternoon with the emergency responders to unpack the scenario and to answer questions. Nelson said they also invited a guest speaker, a child psychologist to be present.

Nelson says this is the second time they have hosted Impact Day in Drumheller they have run the program before in Hanna, and this week will be hosting their first in Oyen.

Delia School enhancement fundraising reaches $1.2 million goal

1.2M celebration 5 3 2019

The organizers behind fundraising efforts to transform Delia School into a full-fledged community hub celebrated reaching their $1.2 million fundraising goal last week, after only eight months.

The Delia School Enhancement Society and their Make Your mark fundraising campaign brought together the money by selling naming rights, a gala, running contests, and other fundraisers over the last months to build new community spaces and to enhance the new school facility.

“The Make Your mark campaign was a huge success -- success only possible because of the incredible generosity shown by individuals, families, busineses, and communities,” said society president Amber Marshall. “We raised over $1.2 million in under eight months -- an amazing number that shows how important this project is to so many people.”

The announcement was made in the current Delia School with students, staff, and DSES members.

The new school facility is expected to be finished in 2020.

Sea Cadets heading to Juno Beach meet family of fallen Alberta soldiers


    Two Drumheller Sea Cadets who are embarking on a trip to walk in the footsteps of the brave men who landed on Juno Beach on D-Day have already had an up close and personal experience with the family of two soldiers who perished at Normandy, France.
    At the end of this month, 17 local Sea Cadets will be departing on a nine-day excursion to mark the 75th anniversary of  D-Day. As part of the project, each cadet was given the name of a soldier who perished to research.
    While the names of the soldiers were assigned at random, twins Amanda and Brooke Hanik were assigned two brothers, Gordon and Ronald Branton. As it turns out, they were from the community of Sunnybrook, Alberta.
    In fact, they learned of the whereabouts of the family when, while doing their research, they discovered a third brother, Kenneth, who served but survived the war. However, he passed away in June of last year.
    Gordon and Ronald were both of the Regina Rifle Regiment. Gordon perished on D-Day at the age of 24. Ronald was killed on July 8, 1944 at the age of 28. Both are buried at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in France.

    The cadets were able to make contact with the family and they were sent some incredible personal information about the men, and eventually an invite was extended to the cadets to meet.
    “They said ‘why don’t you come to the farm?’ and the girls can see some artifacts and read their words in their journals,” said mother Diana Hanik.
    The family has some personal artifacts including the soldiers’ medals, journals, and correspondence between the three siblings during wartime. One had fallen in love with a nurse and one collected a number of trophies for his athletic prowess.   
    Gordon and Ronald were nearing the end of their service when they joined up again and were part of the D-Day landing. Their brother Kenneth was missing and the family had learned he had been taken prisoner of war. Part of the brothers’ motivation to reenlist was to not leave their brother behind.
    One artifact was a cigarette case that held their correspondence, that had a bullet mark.
    “Kenneth was shot in the chest  and he had all the letters in the tobacco tin. It was over his heart. He was actually blown off his feet,” said Diana.
    The case saved his life.
    When Kenneth was liberated, he made his way back to England and was able to collect some of his brothers’ effects before returning home.
    The family asked the cadets to lay flowers on the brothers’ graves, and each of the 17 cadets will be doing the last post at each grave.
     The family has invited the cadets back to meet the girls at the conclusion of the trip.
    “We made a really beautiful connection with this family,” said Diana.

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