Great fundraiser, but input needed on recipients
On June 1 at 6: 30 p. m., Wolfville’s Mud Creek Rotary Club is holding an important needs assessment at the Millet Centre in New Minas. I was happy to see this event listed on the Valley Events web site. It is necessitated by the success of the club’s Toonie Toss, which is hauling in about $10,000 each week for the club and providing a prize of a similar amount.
The invitation says, “in order to make informed decisions around the allocation of funds in the community, Mud Creek Rotary would like to identify more clearly the needs around youth, seniors and marginalized persons.” The idea for the Toonie Toss came from another Rotary club in the Maritimes (there are no new ideas). The Montague Rotary Club, according to member Sharon Riley, partnered with the local newspaper, The Eastern Graphic, to raise funds for communities in that area.
After about 18 months, Riley termed her involvement one of her proudest accomplishments because aid has gone to “more than a dozen charities in our area as well as awarding over $263,000 in prize money.”
Montague’s Toonie Snowball Draw has helped hospices, hospitals, food banks, Meals on Wheels for Seniors, training centers, the local library and more. Riley says “more importantly, we are now the proud provider of funds for snack/lunch/ breakfast programs for every school who has asked us to help in our area.”
The club also provides much needed help to families who are dealing with crisis. President Carla Morgan adds that Montague is dealing with similar amounts of money as Wolfville – their weekly prize is about $10,000.
Our newspaper “partnered” with the Mudcreek Club when the lottery started in the spring of 2013, but we have not had the same input as the Eastern Graphic.
In the beginning, six local programs got cash contributions: L’Arche Homefires, Carey Me, Palliative Care in the Home, local food banks, school breakfast programs, the VON and children’s library books.
At some point that changed and I wasn’t able to find out when; however, both the AVR and Magic 97 websites continue to refer to the proceeds going back to the local area while “supporting six Kings and Hants County charitable organizations.”
It is my understanding that much of the proceeds lately have been plugged into the Rotary Clubs of Kings County Charitable Foundation, which began in 2007. Again, according to the foundation website, it has accumulated more than $950,000.
The foundation’s donation history certainly includes local charities, but also support for causes like Pakistan Flood Relief and Operation Lifesaver, which is a public education program designed to heighten public awareness of the potential hazards of rail/highway grade crossings.
What got me thinking about transparency and the public good was a recent letter in the Cape Breton Post about the Chase the Ace phenomenon, which has pulled in millions.
John Inch of Glace Bay wrote, “The bottom line is that close to $10 million was taken out of the local economy and no consumables were used up.”
Inch went on to say that the lottery “concept, while having the best of intentions, is doing much more harm than good. It really needs to be rethought by people a lot more knowledgeable than I.”
Obviously people like to take a gamble – there are at least three Chase the Ace lotteries now in the Valley. When piles of cash flow in, it is right and good to see openness cultivated by service clubs.
There was a tragic fire in Fort McMurray, so the Grade 4 class collected money from each class at WFDS.
The Grade 4 students decorated donation cans and made posters. They wrote on each can “Donate to the Red Cross” and “Save Fort McMurray” and “Give a Helping Hand”. A can was put in every classroom for two weeks for students to put their donations in. They also drew pictures of Fort McMurray fires. The posters and drawings were put in the gym to draw attention to the fundraiser. There was $342.45 raised!
The Doctor’s Nova Scotia Youth Run was held May 21. Mrs. Crouse and Mr. Austen took the WFDS Run Club. There was a two-kilometre route and a 4 km route. There were more than 4,300 people running…imagine how many people did the Bluenose in total! Some people were pushing strollers, and some were wearing tutus (like Mrs. Crouse). Everyone got a t-shirt and a medal. There was food after the run for kids and even parents. After the run we all met by the food court. Then we took a picture in the Scotia Bank Center. We almost lost a classmate, but we found him! Phew! And it was FUN!
As the many years go by, Windsor Forks still continues to do Head for the Cure hair donations. Many students, staff and family members signed up to cut and donate their hair to the Canadian Cancer Society through the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. The children that participated in the event donated at least eight inches to make wigs and hairpieces for people undergoing treatments for cancer.
When you donate your hair, you sit in a chair and wait for the hair cutter to come and cut your ponytail off. When she or he comes they cut exactly eight inches of your hair, slip it into a small bag and you’re done.
On May 27, the hair donations were sent to Pantene to be made into wigs and then give to the people needing them. I’ll bet they can’t wait for them to arrive.
The reason we do this is so that people who have lost their hair to cancer can wear realistic looking wigs made from real hair. This how we are giving back and reaching out to others that have struggled with cancer.