News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3279
Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2024 10am

DCHS students ask for pledge in support of teacher


    Drumheller Composite High School (DCHS) students are asking for your pledge to have the inside of your cheek swabbed to help one of their teachers and many other Canadians.
    Mrs. Shannon Dart, DCHS Math teacher, was diagnosed with a rare blood disease, called cryoglobulinemia with vasculitis and received numerous chemotherapy treatments over the past six years.
    What saved her life in June 2007 was receiving a stem cell transplant.
    The transplant was successful and put her in remission, until recently.
    Students at the school are desperate to help their much loved teacher, and Mrs.  Dart, mindful that there are many Canadians currently waiting for stem cells donations, suggested a pledge drive.
    A team of six Grade 7 students helped by DCHS associate principal Mr. LaPierre are working hard to draw at least 400 people to their pledge drive.
     “I am quite a private person,” said Mrs. Dart to The Mail. “So I was a bit intimidated at first. But I feel very proud and encouraged that they are willing to help.”
    Mr. LaPierre explained to The Mail, “We wanted to go big for Mrs. Dart, this is basically our support for her. Stem cells saved her life once, and it may very well do it again. Out of the 400 people we are hoping to get, none of them may match for Mrs. Dart, but they may match for someone.”
    The idea is simple.
    On Wednesday, June 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the DCHS is hosting a registry clinic in the gymnasium and is asking people from 17 to 50 years old to have the inside of their cheek swabbed.  A team from OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, managed by the Canadian Blood Services, will then test the swab to see if you are a match for any of the patients waiting for a stem cell donation.
    “If you are a match you could be the matter of life or death for somebody,” explained Dara Kendell, one of the students helping with the drive.
    If you are a match, you will be contacted for further testing, and you will then be asked to decide whether you want to go ahead with the donation.  Any expenses associated with the donation after the initial testing will be covered by OneMatch.
    Hailu Mulatu, from OneMatch, who will be on site on the day, told The Mail, “A moment of people’s time to do the swab will give a patient many more moments with their loved ones.”
    To pledge and become a part of the Canadian Blood Services OneMatch registry, contact the DCHS at 403-823-5171 to obtain a form or click on the link at the bottom of the page.
    If you cannot attend the event, you can register your pledge online at to receive a self swabbing kit.

DCHS pledge form

Newly installed murals reflect Drumheller’s history


    After months of planning and hard work, residents and visitors will have a new view of the park at the corner of South Dinosaur Trail and 2nd Street West.
    For the last year, there has been considerable work done on the plot of land across from Mac’s Convenience Store. An agreement was reached with the land owner to beautify the lot, which has stood vacant for a number of years.
    On Tuesday morning, May 25, crews were out installing a mural along the fence on the north side of the park. This six-panel work, on four foot by eight foot canvases, reflects the historic roots Drumheller has in the coal industry.
    Vicki Myers guided two inmates from the Drumheller Institution in creating the installation. She says the project has been over a year in the works, and since February they have toiled away painting the mural at the Stampede Barn.
    She said it was an exciting process. The inmates built the murals from the canvas up, and she facilitated the work.  She did a couple impromptu basic art lessons and was there to help guide the project along. By the end, the artists were playing solo.
    “The guys were great… they got right into it,” said Myers. “They were doing it on their own, they weren’t relying on me, they just kind of got in there and got at it. By the end of it, the last one that one inmate did, he did completely by himself.”
    Myers is an accomplished artist and for a time ran her own gallery in Drumheller. She is also experienced at teaching. She finds both creating and mentorship satisfying.
    “It is more about the process, that’s what it is all about for me… In the process of doing art, there are much more interesting things going on than what you come out with in the end,” said Myers.  “I like doing the teaching because many people don’t feel they have the right to be an artist, because the artist is some sort of ‘special being.’  Everybody can be creative, it should be part of your daily thinking life.”
    “You can’t go wrong, and if you do go wrong, you learn from it.”
    The beautifying of the park is a collaboration amongst a number of community organizations including Communities in Bloom, the Drumheller Institution, The Town of Drumheller and many businesses that have donated to the project.

Couple featured in STARS commercial leading up to 24-Hour Jam


    A local couple who has shown dedication to STARS by raising thousands of dollars each year are now part of STARS’s latest advertising campaign.
    Fran Nargang, owner of the Old Grouch's Restaurant, and her husband Garry have become famous for hosting the 24-Hour Jam at the restaurant. A few years ago, they began to dedicate the funds raised at the event to STARS Air Ambulance when their grandson was injured after being hit by a car. The couple credit STARS’s quick response for him today living a normal life.
    This year STARS kicked off its new Red Ring For Life campaign. This is a program where supporters can, for $60, receive a red stainless steel ring. According to,  “the ring is a symbol of survival, and worn by former patients, members of the chain of survival and supporters. It represents the many hands involved in a life-saving mission.”
    Beginning in June, a television spot will feature  people who have been touched by the work of STARS. This includes patients, family, and friends of patients; all wearing the Red Ring. It starts by stating that one out of 10 Albertans either knows a STARS patient, or has been a STARS patient.   Fran and Garry are featured in the 30-second spot.
    Fran tells inSide Drumheller the commercial was shot a few weeks ago, and commercial will be in rotation starting June 1. They went into Calgary, and Shaw Cable shot the commercial.
    “I thought it was good,” said Fran.
    The spot comes out just in time for this year’s 24-Hour Jam. Last year the event broke its $6,000 goal by raising about $6,500, and this year they are hoping to raise $10,000. Fran says they are on track to have a successful event with many items donated to the silent auction that runs during the event. Staff at the Old Grouch's also donate their wages and tips to the cause each year.
    They are also lining up some great entertainment. Fran says this year representatives from STARS will be at the event with information and merchandise.
    The 24-Hour Jam starts on Friday, June 4 at 6 p.m. and ends on June 5 at 6 p.m.
    Another addition to the event is the possibility of seeing Garry in a skort.  Pledge sheets are available for those who would like to see Garry show a little leg for the cause.
    For more information on the event, or to donate items to the silent auction contact Fran at 403-823-5755.


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