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Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

Man injured in Standard garage fire

    On Friday afternoon, Nov. 4 the Strathmore RCMP were called to a residential garage fire in Standard, Alberta.
    A 55 year old male who lives at the residence was working in his garage when the garage caught fire.
    The male was able to get out on his own before the garage was engulfed in flames. The man received life threatening injuries and was transported to a hospital in Calgary. He currently is in critical condition.
     The garage burnt to the ground. There was some damage to the adjacent residences in the area.
    The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Strathmore RCMP and the Provincial Fire Investigator’s office, but is not believed to be suspicious at this time.


Equinox Society formed to support non-profits

    A new society is emerging dedicated to supporting non-profit arts and cultural organizations in building sustainable, healthy communities.
    The Equinox Arts and Culture Society is now active and its primary mandate is to invite non-profits to become members in order to access the services of a professional grant writer. 
    “Non-profits can use our grant writing services for as long as it takes to research and secure grants,” said Eloise Smylie, who is one of five board members, all of whom are very familiar with the struggles non-profits can face.  The service is on a “user fee” basis, so non-profits can “come and go” when they have projects in mind.  It eliminates the stress of finding an appropriate grant writer and/or having the monetary stress of having to try to secure a writer on a part-time or full time basis.
    Membership includes two hours of grant writing services to either seek out new grant opportunities or begin to write a grant, based on information provided by the non-profit organization about a specific project.   Grant writing can often be an involved, time consuming process that takes experience and expertise in order to be successful.  Most organizations don’t have the resources or skills to write effective, successful applications.
    Over time, the membership will entitle organizations to access a comprehensive database, where they can tap into resources, such as community services, professional training or fundraising opportunities.  It will be a living “bank” of resources for the arts and cultural sector creating a cultural hub.
    The second mandate of the society is to seek partnerships and encourage philanthropy amongst other non-profits. This can be accomplished by partnering in fundraising events, not just locally, but regionally. “Most organizations have philanthropy as a mandate, but can’t reach out to others because of a lack of their own strength. Together we can put on much larger and more sophisticated events,” Smylie said.  Continued partnering brings sustainability.
    The society is currently building relationships with various Chambers of Commerce to partner and assist in building relationships with non-profits in other areas. “The idea is if we could get for example, a motivational speaker for a non profit, ideally we could get them to speak in Brooks, Strathmore or Drumheller, or all three,” she said.
    “We are confident that the business sector will be supportive as the outcome can only mean increased community strength and tourism dollars,” said Smylie.
    For more information email equinox.society@telus.net or phone Signature Bookkeeping Services at 403-823-5930.

Salvation Army anticipates busy Christmas season

    The Salvation Army is anticipating a busy Christmas season, judging by the trends the past year has shown.    
    The Drumheller Church is a leader in the community in providing social services throughout the year. At Christmas its efforts focus on the season and making sure those in the community in need are provided for.
    The season is kicking off with a Spaghetti Eating Contest tonight at Boston Pizza. This is a fundraiser to help support their programs. The November food drive is coming up on November 24, and the Christmas Kettle Campaign kicks off on November 18.
    Lt. Matt Sheils says they are gearing up to start its campaign. He said it may be  a busy year, especially tracking the demand of the food bank. While there have been a couple months where the number of households that use the food bank has dropped lower than last year, the demand continues to rise.
    He explains there is a demographic shift to the numbers.
    “The singles percentage has been dropping, but the family numbers have been rising,” said Sheils. “It is not a huge shift in the number of households that is shifting, it is just what the households represent.”
    On average the number of children and youth assisted by the food bank per month has gone from 27 in 2009 to 53 in 2011, almost a 100 per cent increase.
    “The number of people we are serving is much higher, but the number of households hasn’t changed as drastically,” said Sheils, explaining this is also why the food bank has had a tougher time keeping up with the demand.
    He said that single people are more mobile and could have simply picked up and moved out of the area for work or other reasons. Often it is more difficult for families.
    “It’s a great town and there is lots of employment, but is there really employment for the mom that needs to go to work doing the day when the kids are in school? She cannot find a job during the day, so she finds a job in the evening, and she has to find care for her children… all the money you make goes into looking after your children. There is not much left over,” said Sheils.
 He said they are anticipating larger numbers over the Christmas season.
    In 2009, they helped about 130 children. Last year the numbers were close to 200.
    “If the statistics are correct, there is also going to be a lot more children this year,” said Sheils.
    The registration date for Christmas assistance is Thursday December 8 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This helps the Salvation Army plan in advance for what is needed to fill the hampers.


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