News | DrumhellerMail - Page #2936
Last updateThu, 22 Feb 2024 3pm

Community demonstrates support for baby Opal

    Drumheller residents have worn their hearts on their sleeves for the Walsh family and this week have raised thousands of dollars to help the family in need.
    Recently, the Walsh family learned their five-month-old daughter Opal has been diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome, and will need to utilize dialysis until she is big enough to receive a kidney transplant. Her story has gone out to the community and it has inspired people to pitch in however they can.
    On Friday, September 16, Western Chevrolet held a fundraising luncheon for the family and was able to raise in the area of $6,000.
    The very next Friday Wal-Mart in Drumheller held a fundraising barbecue and raised in the area of $3,000. They have submitted the donation to its Wal-Mart's and the company will match part of it, making it a $5,000 donation.
    On Saturday, Freson Bros. IGA also held a barbecue, and raised $1,750, one of the best fundraisers yet.
    On Sunday afternoon, early Christmas shoppers came to the Ramada in Drumheller for a silent auction in support of the family. Auction items were donated by local individuals and businesses, and by the end of the day, they had brought in about $4,000 for the family.
    Phil Thomas, who started a trust fund for the family and helped to organize the silent auction, couldn’t be happier by the result. He said when he started, his goal was to put $10,000 into the account for the family, and he surpassed that mark.
     He is grateful for the support of Debbie Laycock and Lorraine Jorgensen who came out on Sunday to help with the event.
    The giving continues. Drumheller Chrysler has pledged $10 from each oil change they perform at the dealership, for the month of October, to the Walsh family.

Throw-up thwarts possible prowlers

    A couple of alleged car prowlers were thwarted Monday night after being confronted by an owner of one of the vehicle whose lunch, it appears, was not sitting well.
    Around midnight, Drumheller RCMP received a report of suspicious behaviour in the Newcastle area. Two males in jeans and hoodies were observed prowling in cars. A resident of the area noticed the activity and when he confronted the alleged prowlers, the complainant threw up on the back of one of alleged culprits.
    The two fled by foot and were not located. Nothing was reported missing from the car.
    If you have information on this or any other crime, or if someone in your home was doing laundry late Tuesday morning, contact the RCMP, or if you wish to remain anonymous and possibly qualify for a reward, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

The ups and downs of summer tourism 2011

    The lifeblood of the Drumheller Valley, especially during the summer months, is the steady flow of tourists who come from around the world to experience the badlands of Alberta.
    Whether it be a short trip from Calgary or a longer holiday, tourists pump money into the community by purchasing food, souvenirs, accommodations, and attending the local attractions.
    This past summer some attractions were hard hit, while others resisted and even flourished despite the gloomy economic situation.
    “For the summer, we were down six percent when compared to last year,” said Leanna Mohan, Marketing and Media Coordinator of the Royal Tyrrell Museum. “However, over the past few years we’ve been seeing increases to attendance.”
    When asked why there was such a decrease she cited the cold weather in the early part of the summer season.
     But numbers are on the rise during the autumn. “In September the weather has been great, and we’ve seen a three percent increase compared to last year.”
    Another factor for the decline in attendance over the summer could also be the lack of any new exhibits. The newest exhibit was unveiled near the beginning of 2010.
    Some, like Reptile World experienced a similar pattern, with lower attendance during July and August, but a boom during September.
    However, the decrease experienced by some attractions does not seem to have impacted others.
    The Homestead Museum saw no significant change in the number of tourists during July and August, and has seen an increase in the number of international visitors.
    The Atlas Coal Mine continues to grow. “As of the end of August we’ve seen about a six percent increase to our numbers over 2010,” said Linda Digby. “We especially have had an increase in the number of school groups.”
    Part of the mine opened this year and Digby highlighted that “word of mouth buzz has been important for us, we’ve created new programs and do them well.”
    Increase in attendance at some attractions is thought to have been due to joint marketing initiatives encouraging tourists to come to the Drumheller valley and stay longer.
    “The message we’re sending is come to Drumheller and spend some time, and I think we’re starting to see some results from that,” said Digby.
    The Atlas Coal Mine was not the only attraction to entice more visitors. The Canadian Badlands Passion Play had record breaking attendance this year.
    The tourism situation in the Drumheller Valley is not clear cut. Between the economic woes and dreary weather early in the summer some attractions were stung by lower turnouts. Visitation in others continued to swell.
    The goal for all attractions will be to take the momentum generated by higher autumn attendance through the winter and on to next summer.


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