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Martin McSween named Vancouver 2010 community torchbearer for Drumheller

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When the Olympic Flame arrives in Drumheller in just 17 weeks time, Martin McSween, nominated as Drumheller’s community torchbearer to light the celebration cauldron for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, will proudly carry it.

Martin is an addictions councilor with the Province of Alberta and is known in the community for his outstanding volunteerism in the valley. Martin’s 19 years of involvement in Special Olympics and his extensive connection with various local sporting groups, made him an ideal choice to represent Drumheller.

“We’re pleased to announce Martin McSween as Drumheller’s torchbearer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” said Mayor Bryce Nimmo. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Martin, who is one of 12,000 Canadians chosen to carry the Olympic Flame on the longest domestic torch relay in  Olympic history! On January 16, 2010, we want everyone in our community to join together with other Canadians and show the world how inspired we feel by the Olympic Flame and its message of peace, brotherhood and friendship.”

Martin’s contribution to sport in the valley is impressive. Mr. McSween has been coaching soccer in the valley since 1995 and this year his U-18 soccer team won the gold medal in the provincial finals. Martin started a recreational ski program, a Special Olympics alpine ski racing program and has coached various athletes in Drumheller. In 2005, Martin arranged a Team Canada alpine ski training camp to help prepare for the 2005 Special Olympics World Winter Games. In 2008, he was selected as one of the coaches for alpine skiing for the World Special Olympic Games in Boise Idaho.

Mr. McSween has received many accolades including the 2008 Gayle Moss Volunteer of the Year Award, 2005 Special Olympics Alberta Coach of the year and the 2005 Special Olympics Canada Coach of the Year.

Midway through the two-hour celebration program, Martin will carry the Olympic Torch on its final 300 metres to the stage where he will light the 1.3-metre high celebration cauldron, in a move similar to the dramatic highlight of what will occur during the Opening Ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

To celebrate the arrival of the flame, The Drumheller Olympic Torch Relay committee is planning various activities the week prior to the torch arriving in Drumheller.

Initial community excitement and involvement has been superb. The flame and the official ceremony will take place at the Canadian Badlands Passion Play site.

The 106-day Olympic Torch Relay, which is presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada, will visit more than 1,030 communities and places of interest in every province and territory.

On February 12, 2010, the Olympic Flame will make its way to downtown Vancouver to light the Olympic Cauldron in a magical and awe-inspiring moment before three billion people worldwide, signalling the kick off to the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.


Canadian Badlands to receive $6.2 million through federal Economic Action Plan

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    Canadian Badlands is to receive more than $6,000,000 through a federal government investment to create jobs in Rural Alberta.
    The government announced it would be investing $7,262,733 in four separate projects in rural Alberta to strengthen economic opportunities in Alberta. The bulk of the funds will go towards the Canadian Badlands.
    The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, and the
Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification made the announcement.
    “Our Government, through the Community Adjustment Fund, is investing in western Canadian communities to stimulate economic activity and reduce the impacts of the global recession,” said Minister Prentice. “The projects announced today will contribute towards creating new sources for long-term economic growth and help ensure these communities remain healthy and vibrant places.” 
    According to a release, Canadian Badlands is collaborating with member organizations and municipalities to carry out projects under the Canadian Badlands Community Initiative for Employment. The projects will utilize funding to improve tourism facilities and amenities in communities throughout the Canadian Badlands, as well as provide temporary and permanent employment opportunities to local residents.
     “This funding will allow our single industry communities in rural Southern Alberta, in the Canadian Badlands Region, to remain vibrant by continuing to provide employment locally,” said Cindy Amos, executive director of Canadian Badlands Ltd. “We are grateful to the Canadian Government for this opportunity to enhance our tourism infrastructure throughout the communities that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn.”
    Other projects to receive funding include the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation’s Water, Wings and Wetlands project, which received $875,000, the Crowsnest Pass Discovery Centre Project Implementation Plan, which received $75,000 and the Town of Ponoka’s Community Activity Centre which received $87,100.
    “I’m pleased to announce our Government’s support for four projects in Alberta,” said Minister Ambrose. “Investments through Canada’s Economic Action Plan are protecting and creating jobs, building stronger communities, and laying the foundations for our future prosperity.”
    According to a release, the Community Adjustment Fund commits $306 million over two years to support Western Canada communities most affected by the economic downturn. These are industries that are heavily reliant on resource-based industries, such as forestry, mining, agriculture and fisheries, and communities that depend on the manufacturing industry.  Western Diversification delivers the funds in the western provinces. 

Red Eye slo-pitch goes all day and night for local causes

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The HooDoo RV Resort was the site of 48 hours of slo-pitch over the weekend. The tournament's goal was to raise funds for the Morgan Jayne Project, which supplies infant formula for children facing the risk of AIDS in the Roatan. It also raised funds in the name of Chris Bolin to support the Drumheller Fire Department. By all accounts the event was a success and it is hoped to be an annual event. To start the marathon of softball Duane Bolin, father of Chris Bolin, throws out the opening pitch to Fred Makowecki, father of Morgan Jayne.
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