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Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Grace House looks to future with new leadership

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The Grace House is moving forward with a new manager and board chair, and the future looks bright.
Board Chair Donna Powell tells the Mail The Grace House has hired a new manager in Dennis Dafoe. He started in December.
“He moved here last spring and he’s well qualified to run the House and has worked with the Salvation Army in the addictions program,” said Powell. “He’s pretty new, but he has been actively updating the programming. It is really needed and has probably been needed for quite some time, except you have to find the person who is qualified to make those changes, and that’s definitely him.”
The vision of the Grace House “is to create a safe and healthy environment, empowering men to live drug and alcohol-free lives through an individualized 90-day treatment plan. We strive to provide quality care while promoting resilience, dignity, and overall well-being.”
The Grace House admits clients who are over 25 and have a willingness to live a life of sobriety. Clients have also been through a detox centre or have been clean for five days.
Powell said their clients come from a variety of places.
“They can come from detox centres in Calgary. Sometimes we get people from other treatment facilities” she said, adding that often treatment is built into their court-ordered conditions. “These guys generally do pretty good… so it is helpful for them.”
Grace House does its intakes, where its staff gauges the suitability and commitment of each client.
“One of the difficulties in Drumheller is there is no public transportation, it is a challenge to get the guys here,” says Powell.
The Grace House provides life skill programming as well as working through the 12-step program. In their 90 days, they are expected to complete the 12-step workbook and attend meetings daily. The Grace House clients can also seek out individual counselling through partner organizations.
“The facilitator works with all of them and she does the programming, so she helps with the setup,” explains Powell. “The guys pay a portion themselves. I think that’s a good model. They have to be well committed and it has to be something they want. When you are paying for something out of your own pocket partially, that is a bigger commitment.”
She adds that manager Dafoe is also a councillor himself and provides resources.
More information is available at www.grace-house.ca.


Wheatland County working towards new hospice in Strathmore

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The Wheatland & Area Hospice Society (WAHS) is planning to better serve the community, and greater region, with the most viable end-of-life care achievable, with a new hospice in Strathmore.
In a letter written on Friday, February 16, 2024, to the Village of Hussar’s Mayor Les Schultz, the President of WAHS Joni McNeely asks council members to demonstrate strong support of the project in a letter to present Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange with.
“The Wheatland & Area Hospice Society has been fundraising for eight years to open a hospice in Strathmore. With the design completed and work ready to begin, we are looking for partners who can help with operational funding,” states McNeely in the letter. “We are looking to show Alberta Health there is a need for such a facility in our community and that the local leadership supports the project.”
The new hospice will deliver and provide the best end-of-life care, ensuring the same level of care for rural Albertans in the region that those in larger communities receive, and keeping people and their families closer to home.
“We believe the hospice Wheatland & Area Hospice Society is proposing will immensely benefit our community and will help your government support rural healthcare, increase front-line services, and ensure our community remain viable, all at a lower cost to the provincial treasury than other options,” it states in a preempted letter for Hussar council to review, sign and forward to Minister LaGrange.
M3 Development LTD project managers, Derek Weiss Consultant and the Wheatland Housing Management Body Building Committee are all working together to oversee the entirety of the project.

Rowley receives grant for elevator preservation

The Rowley Community Hall Association (RCHA) has restoration plans underway to preserve three historical grain elevators, the first of which was built in 1915.
When the elevators were closed in 1989, due to the discontinuation of the railway service, the RCHA negotiated the purchase of them, saving them from being demolished. In 2008, the elevators were designated a “Provincial Historical Resource” by the Province, and they provided a large grant to have the exteriors of all three restored. The cost of the project then was approximately $500,000.
Over the years since, many new issues have surfaced, causing major repairs needed to the foundations, windows, siding and shingles. Blue Bonna Painting LTD, a contractor approved by the Province, provided an estimate for the cost of the repairs, leaving the RCHA the need to secure provincial funding through a grant.
The provincial grant awarded must be matched by the RCHA, who were successful in raising $78,560, so their total funds to start on the work needed is $157,120. The total project is estimated at $500,000, so the work will be done in three or more phases, depending upon how many more future funds and grants can be secured.
The RCHA was officially registered as a Society in 1976 and has been mandated to preserve the history of Rowley, maintaining the community hall, along with many other historic buildings filled with historical artifacts. The school, train station, saloon and church are just a few of the buildings that thousands of visitors tour each year. Students are hired every summer to give these tours. There are also many volunteers who donate hundreds of hours every year. They have been hosting a monthly Pizza Nite Fundraiser to help pay for the maintenance of the buildings. These same volunteers are counted on to help with the cleanup and hauling away debris with the elevators project.
“The volunteers, as well as the local community, are very proud of the preservation efforts put forth in this little hamlet. There is so much history here of our forefathers and our group is working very hard to preserve it here in Rowley aka ‘Rowleywood’”, states the Director of the RCHA Shirley Bremer about the preservation of the elevators.
The next fundraiser is coming up on Saturday, April 13 where the RCHA is hosting a Murder Mystery, Silent Auction and Supper Event at the Rowley Community Hall. All funds raised will go directly towards the Elevator Preservation Project.


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