AS I WAS SAYING: Few Saturdays top last Saturday
This past Saturday, I had the honour to take part in some remarkable community building events.
The annual “Walk a Mile Quinte” event is a powerful testimony by men that violence against women BY MEN has to stop, and dozens of guys of all ages and “strolling abilities” took to the waterfront trail to raise money for the Royal Lepage Shelter Foundation whose local aim is to assist Three Oaks in funding its shelters and programs.
I have been asking people over the years to help me raise money for my walk by giving me $1. Yup. Just a loonie. If you believe that violence against women has to stop and that until that perfect day arrives that there should be a sanctuary for abused women and their children to remain safe….give me a dollar.
The point of doing it that way is this: if I set out to raise ONLY $2,000, I may be tempted to find four wealthy people to each donate $500. But if I set out to raise AWARENESS and $2,000….then I must be in touch with more than four people.
So if the end goal of $2,000 is the same, it is more important to me to talk to 2,000 folks and get the message out. Everyone has a dollar and 15 seconds to hear my pitch. And I believe that dialogue is equally as important as fund-raising. Dialogue can change behaviour.
Also, hats off to my “Team Challenge” teammates (Jim O’Brien and Tom Lafferty) who not only share my beliefs in this cause, but inspire me to reach out to more and more people. They are a couple of truly caring men.
Saturday night was the yearly “Invisible Ribbon” Gala at the National Air Force Museum of Canada to benefit yet another key organization in the fabric of the Quinte community – The Military Family Resource Centre.
Dignitary after dignitary graced the podium to pay tribute to the men, women and families who sacrifice time with their families, and in some tragic cases, their lives defending the cause of freedom that we enjoy in Canada. Through it all, the Military Family Resource Centre is the hub of that support.
As a civilian, I can only grasp a small part of its day to day mission in supporting families who often move from base to base in locating doctors, schools and services as these families continue this hectic lifestyle.
But, as a civilian, I recognize how important it is that we embrace the aims of this great organization as these families become true members of our strong Quinte fabric.
They are not transient military families. They are families. As the military supports them, we must include them. We must welcome them. Celebrate them.
Now, a few fish got snagged this weekend too, and a lot of people took to the streets of Belleville in the annual Jane’s Walk to learn more about the community in which they live and work.
Of course, there was also world-class U19 Floorball Championships playing out its own drama on the arena floors at the Quinte Sports Centre. And the Trenton Golden Hawks were hoisting the Dudley Hewitt Cup half a province away in New Liskeard.
So yes, some Saturdays are better than others, but few are as important as the 24 hours of Saturday May 7, 2016 to the growth of our little corner of Ontario.
Let’s face it: despite construction concerns, a recent rash of headline grabbing crime, we really love this place we call Quinte. So take a bow. We all did good.
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