News | DrumhellerMail - Page #2919
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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.


Breast cancer screening returns to Drumheller

    Screen Test is urging residents of the Drumheller Valley to participate in their breast cancer screening program to be held December 9 to 22, 2011.
    Screen Test is a mammography service within Alberta Health Services that provides screening mammograms at two permanent clinics, in Edmonton and Calgary, as well as a mobile facility. Screen Test provides services that exceed international standards for the early detection of breast cancer.
    One in eight Albertan women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
    Risk factors include being female (though rare, men can develop breast cancer as well), greater than 75 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50 years of age, having a mother, sister, or daughter diagnosed with breast cancer increases a woman’s risk (although 80 per cent of women who develop breast cancer have no family history),  or a previous diagnosis of breast cancer.
    A screening mammogram uses X-rays to detect breast cancer. It is regarded as the most effective way to find breast cancer, especially when it is still small, because it can detect breast cancer two to three years before a physician can feel it.
    If interested in booking an appointment with Screen Test between December 9 to 22, call 1-800-667-0604. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more effective treatment can be.

Finnegan Ferry closes for season

    Motorists are advised the Finnegan Ferry southeast of Drumheller is closed for the season.
    The ferry carries Highway 862 traffic across the Red Deer River. The ferry is expected to resume operating in mid to late April, weather permitting.
    The Alberta government operates seven ferries on the provincial highway network.    
    Visit www.transportation.alberta.ca/1965.htm for more information on Alberta’s highway ferries.


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