Using art to combat bullying
the young contest winners received certificates and a prize of $50.
The event was organized by the lodge’s Outreach Committee. Committee member Wayne George was touched by the expressions of confidence on the kids’ faces as they received their awards.
“… And we’re also helping build confidence when it comes to friendship and anti-bullying, the contest’s main goal,” he remarked.
“We certainly had a positive reaction from the schools participating and from the students and parents,” Cotter added.
The contest idea was conceived about four years ago, when the Outreach Committee of Lodge Heart’s Content visited schools in its Trinity South Shore district.
“We interviewed each principal to see what we could engage the schools in, in a meaningful way,” explained Kinsley Welsh, Outreach Committee chair. “And one suggestion was an anti bullying poster campaign.”
The philosophy behind the campaign, Welsh says, is to perpetuate friendship as opposed to violence.
“We ran a very successful contest last year. We got a tremendous amount of help financially from the provincial government. We also partnered with a group called Communities Against Violence, a provincially funded organization. They helped out financially and agreed to do the same thing this year. And we put some money in ourselves.”
Part of last year’s campaign was to have calendars printed for 2013 with photos of students and their projects.
“The cost was in the vicinity of $4,000-$5,000 and was funded by the provincial government, Communities Against Violence and Masonic Lodge Heart’s Content,” said Cotter.
Schools were given 50-100 calendars each to use as they saw fit and Lodge members sold 100 themselves to come up with the $1,000 required as their part of the financial commitment towards the campaign.
Welsh said the committee has received strong support for the campaign and members have worked well together on the project.
“We’ve had tremendous backing and support by both masters of the lodge, Carson Evely and Rex Cotter. It’s a team effort and we feel we’re creating a positive image of the lodge,” he said.
A group of volunteer performers, the Avalon Sleeveens, have already come to offer their support for next year’s contest.
The group of performers from Dildo, who dress up in attire from the 50s and 60s and lip sync to tunes from that era, will hold a concert at Sheila NaGeira Theatre in Carbonear April 19.
“They’ve raised about $60,000 for charity and they’re doing a show for us to finance next year’s program,” Welsh said.