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Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2024 3pm

Drumheller artisan gifts drum to Red Deer drumming community


    A Drumheller man is sending a bombastic gift to the drummers of Red Deer.
    Artisan and drummer Bob Richardson has been in the valley for about two years. His latest creation measures about a metre in diameter, has a rich tone and made its debut this weekend, Saturday October 24 at an artsparks session.
    Tanya Schur of Red Deer will lend a hand at the drumming workshop Saturday afternoon as a part of the artsparks series. Tanya is a drum circle facilitator and holds a Masters degree in leadership and training.
    She will also participate in leading morning worship at Knox United Church on Sunday.   
    Richardson has known Schur for years and has drummed with her in the past. He stumbled upon the material needed to make the community PowWow drum.
    The body of the drum is constructed from a giant cottonwood stump that used to grow  where Riverside Terrace Condominiums now stands.
    Robin Digby rescued the stump years ago and it sat at Jim and Tony Wilson’s farm for years. Richardson came upon the stump last year working on the farm, and Robin graciously gifted the stump to Richardson to make drums. The enormity of the stump was such that it was cut into three, and was still  too big for a single person to lift.
    After the centre of the stump had been hollowed, it was more manageable. The soft cottonwood contributes to the  resonance of the drum. The head is made from elk hide which is stretched and held in place with some antique hardware, and is held taut with a tensioning system. The whole instrument is suspended by rope on a stand. It is big enough to accommodate four to six drummers.
    Following the workshop, the drum is destined for Red Deer for drummers in that community to enjoy.

Greentree participates in UNICEF’s Schools for Africa program


    Students and teachers at Greentree School are helping change the lives of vulnerable children worldwide.
    This year UNICEF will give hope to Malawi and Rwanda by raising funds to create safe learning environments. To be able to learn, play and have washrooms with clean water with hand washing facilities.
 “Every child has the right to education, yet millions of children around the world do not have access to schools, teachers or a safe environment,” said Nigel Fisher UNICEF Canada president and CEO.
    Greentree Elementary School will be participating by sending home trick or treat bags from UNICEF, with the hopes of collecting as much as possible to support the program.
    “All the children have had discussions with their teachers about how their involvement will impact the children of Africa.” said Anne Morgan Principal of Greentree school.
    Over the last three years 750,000 children in Malawi and Rwanda have been helped by Canadian school children. This year UNICEF hopes to reach their milestone goal of $100 million since 1955.
    Since 2005 Canadian children have helped bring 108 classrooms in 39 schools and over 772 "school in a box" kits to Malawi, as well as 4770 desks, 594 classrooms in 54 schools each with girls and boys washrooms with hand washing facilities in Rwanda.

Morgan Jayne Project sends out Christmas appeal


    Miracles are what the Morgan Jayne Project is all about, and they are hoping to create miracles in the lives of children this Christmas.
    The project is hoping to fill a long list of Christmas wishes for children in Roatan who are affected by the world Aids epidemic. The Christmas appeal is in full swing.
    This year, Fred Makowecki says because of the events of the previous months including the tragic death of Dallas Martens and the volatile political situation in Honduras, the need is even greater.
    He says they usually begin the Christmas campaign in September.
    “That allows us from the end of September until the end of October to gather and ship,” said Makowecki. “With the murder of Dallas it threw everything out of  kilter, but we still have to get it there.”
    He says because of the political climate the need is dire. Due to travel restrictions, the economy of the island has stalled.
    “The people who were desperate before, living hand to mouth are in even more dangerous situations,” said Makowecki. “It means what we are doing is a little window of normalcy in a life of despair.”
    Allowing Santa to come to the poor children of Roatan and the families served by Familias Saludables has become a tradition, and last year Drumheller residents helped give gifts to some 100 children that had never seen Christmas before.
    This year there is a list of 85 children they hope to provide presents to, and situations of the families are desperate, such as the appeal for Jorge 4, Daniela  5, and  Faviola 11.
    “Faviola has had another tough year. Her parents could not afford to pay for the bus to send her to school so she has missed so much that she will have to repeat the grade. Her dad lost his job when he was attacked with a machete and cannot walk properly any more. She is shy and timid and her self-esteem’s pretty low. I think she would appreciate something to remind her that we think she’s great. Let's avoid school supplies and send her some jewellery or girly stuff. Danielle, in her usual tough way, has decided she should have something that has “Dora the Explorer” on it and Jorge likes cars, animals and soccer,” the list states.
    “For every name you see on the list there is going to be three kids watching from outside when the presents are being handed out” said Makowecki. “Last year we sent 650 kilos of presents and that just barely covered all the kids that ended up there.”
    “It is more than just giving Christmas gifts to kids on the Island. It is parents who every day have to decide what they are giving up or how they are going to get one meal a day on the table for their family.”
    Makowecki stresses  time is of the essence. The packages must be shipped within two to three weeks to reach the island in time for Christmas.
    To see the list of items requested go to
    The list is simply suggestions, and Valerie Nelson who administers the program says feel free to send extra gifts for kids missed or who will join the program before Christmas; foodstuffs, towels, perfume or lotions for the moms; outdated electronic games or cartridges; office supplies, in particular HP printer cartridges 22 and 27 for the Familias Saludables office; vitamins, especially infant liquid vitamins and children’s vitamins;      Christmas decorations, even if used, and baby formula of any powdered kind, but not liquid.


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