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Last updateTue, 21 May 2024 12am

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.

Growing Kneehill events in the works

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Multiple markets and an AG Celebration are coming to Kneehill County this summer. At the Tuesday, March 12, 2024, Council Meeting, council heard a presentation from Administration about what ideas and options have been planned so far.
“The concept of ‘Growing Kneehill’ has been an ever evolving one. Council, through the Committee of the Whole, has had considerable discussions around the purpose and intent of these events and has explored a variety of options to meet their standards and expectations of a successful event.”
Horseshoe Canyon is being cited for the first ever Horseshoe Canyon Country Market, where local agri-food and artisan businesses can gain exposure. With vendors, an agricultural information booth, fun for kids, live music and door prizes/raffles, visitors will get a full agricultural experience. There is also talk happening about Open Farm Days, a possible food market with live entertainment in Trochu.
There are two options being discussed about an AG Connection Day or AG Community Celebration where the first would have an Agricultural Learning Show, where people can learn more about where their food comes from, and the other would have an open catered dinner and entertainment. Both options will include entertainment, fun for kids and door prizes.


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