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Spaghetti Eating Contest brings Christmas wishes

    They came, they saw they ate.
    And along the way raised nearly $3,500 for The Salvation Army as it prepares for the Christmas season.
    The annual spaghetti-eating contest was held last Wednesday, November 9 at Boston Pizza. The restaurant was abuzz as competitors old and new lined up to take on their nearest competition in an all out eating frenzy.
    In the children’s category, Dylan Lowen narrowly beat out Jordan Armstrong at the table, posting a 1:03 time.
    In the ladies category Kadina Pierce was back at the table to defend her title from last year. She did in spades, posting a time of just 1:24.
    After a few years at the table, this time it was finally Ryan Semchuk’s chance to shine. While he has been close in his previous appearances, this year he was the fastest eater in the men’s category.
    Another familiar face was in the winner’s circle this year, not for how fast he ate, but for how much he raised. Dylan Jensen alone raised $2,510. Wal-Mart helped him realize this total and matched $1,200 of the total. This was up almost $1,000 from his total last year. Over the last four years, the eleven year old has raised almost $6,000.
    In all, the event raised $3,398. This was a little bit short of last year’s total of $5,483.  The funds realized by the events goes to The Salvation Army Community Services. This includes the food bank, the Christmas Assistance program, youth and senior programs.
    “Thanks so much Boston Pizza for hosting this event,” said Lt. Matt Sheils of The Salvation Army. “It is just a wonderful thing to be a part of.”
    The event was also a great kick off to the Christmas season for The Salvation Army.
This Friday they kick off their Kettle Campaign at the Drumheller Dragons home game. On November 24, the community wide food drive takes to the streets.


Tipple Restoration Project recognized by industry professionals

    The tipple at the Atlas Coal Mine is a landmark of the valley, and is recognized not only by locals but the scores of visitors who make their way to the eastern points of the valley.
    It is also now recognized by building professionals in winning two 2011 Alberta Wood WORKS! Prairie Wood Design Awards.
    The Atlas Coal Mine Restoration won the Jury’s Choice Award. The Restoration project undertaken by Cascade Engineering Group was also awarded Engineering Advocate.
    Linda Digby, executive director for the Atlas, says the tipple is representative of the history of the valley.
    “It is important because the tipple is the icon representing Drumheller’s roots as a mine town, where every community was overshadowed by coal tipples. It is a rare and important structure, toured by thousands every year, designated at the national level, and unique in Canada,” said Digby. “We hold the tipple in trust for the people of Canada, and this project is a big step in preserving it for the long haul.”
    The Atlas has been busy with the restoration of the tipple to make sure it lasts into the future. It was made possible by funding through Canada’s Economic Action Plan and Alberta Lotteries. The Jury’s Choice Award was to recognize this work.
    “The jury wanted to give a special acknowledgment to the entire team involved in the restoration of the Atlas Coal Mine Historic Site. There was unanimous support of this project because of the respect given to the original structure. They felt the team’s approach to the project was humble and inventive, their philosophy gave equal respect to all the materials used in the restoration and in their attention to details. New did not mean better than old, but created a fusion of the two that will carry the past into the future,” stated a press release. “The jury felt the entire team worked well together to come up with smart and effective solutions without undermining the original beauty of the structure. They also wanted to applaud the funders and the museum society for the integrity of the project and recognizing the importance of preservation.”
    The awards were presented in front of 150 design and building professionals at a gala on November 7 at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton. The event included architects, engineers, project teams and industry sponsors along with Minister of Infrastructure Jeff Johnson. There were 40 projects nominated in seven different categories from across western Canada.
    “It is an honour because Atlas is a small organization with a big job to do. Although we are stretched to the limit, we try to fulfill our mandate to the highest possible standards.  This is only possible because everyone involved is passionate about the value of our work, and pulls together,” said Digby.

Badlands soon to be alive with The Sound of Music

    The Kaleidoscope Theatre will soon be presenting a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic musical The Sound of Music. The  production runs November 24-26 and December 1-3, 2011. There will be both matinee and evening performances on Saturdays.
    At the moment the entire cast and crew are busy putting the show together. Typically parts are rehearsed individually, but now is the time when everything is practised as a whole.
    “For a musical it’s probably the hardest part to direct,” said Megan McLauchlin. “It’s the most fun time, but it can be the most stressful too.”
    The Sound of Music is set in Austria just prior to World War II, and the events are influenced heavily by Anchluss, the German annexation of Austria.
    The musical follows the story of Maria Rainer as she is sent forth from an abbey to be the governess for the seven children of World War I veteran Georg Von Trapp.
    “If you dig deep it’s at a very difficult time in our history,” said McLauchlin. “What we think of as a light hearted musical grows deeper and darker near the end.”
    The musical achieved widespread fame when it was adapted for film in 1965. The film starred Julie Andrews as Maria and Christopher Plummer as Georg Von Trapp.
    The stage production is different from its big screen counterpart. A few songs and characters are different. “If you’re used to the movie this will be a neat change,” added McLauchlin.
    The Kaleidoscope Theatre production is directed by Dianne Bertsch and stars Amy Burks as Maria, Lewis Frere as Georg Von Trapp, and Becky Neuman as Mother Abbess.
    The cast and crew are excited to get back on stage. “It’s the next big show and everyone is really excited to get back on stage in the Kaleidoscope’s original home,” said McLauchlin. “They’re ready to bring this esteemed musical to Drumheller.”
    For tickets and information call 403-823-PLAY (7529), or purchase online at www.kaleidoscopetheatre.ca.


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