Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 20, 2008
Wetaskiwin pitches in for Sign of Hope
'Friend-raisers' help local group raise profile of CSS
By RAMON GONZALEZ
One is held each year on Family Day in February. The event is free to anybody and everybody and is held at Lake Park. “And we provide free hot dogs, donuts, coffee and hot chocolate,” Cole said.
“So we encourage families coming out together, celebrating together the day. We don’t raise money that day. It’s awareness and friend-raising. We make people aware of who we are and what we do.”
The Wetaskiwin Rotary Club also takes part in the event.
“So alongside the Rotary Club we provide all the food, sleigh rides, face painting, different activities and all the free food,” Cole continued. “The point of this (Family Day) activity is awareness for the Sign of Hope; and it’s bringing families together, encouraging families to come out as a unit.”
“We have a lot of community donors because we raise awareness about the campaign (throughout the year).”
- Sheila Cole
And for more than 15 years now fairways and greens of Montgomery Glen Golf and Country Club were full of golfers July 11 as part of a Catholic Social Services friend-raiser.
Like the Family Day event, the golf tournament is not meant to raise funds for the campaign but to raise awareness.
“It’s to build awareness and do as much as we can to get the word out,” Cole said. “We have a lot of community donors because we raise awareness about the campaign (throughout the year).”
Sign of Hope dollars go mostly toward family counselling services provided by CSS in the Wetaskiwin-Camrose region.
CSS also offers residential programs for mentally challenged people.
“We have children’s homes, we have outreach programs that allow people to live in the community with support and we have host families that take in clients with mental challenges,” Cole said. “We have 19 residential programs that we operate. Four are children’s homes and 15 are for the mentally challenged people.”
CSS has more than 120 staff in the Wetaskiwin-Camrose region.
Russ Kyba, current chair of the CSS board and a Wetaskiwin resident, said the purpose of the Sign of Hope Campaign is to provide funding for programs that are not funded by the government.
One such program — apart from counselling — is the Fetal Alco hol Spectrum Disorder program, which provides direct support, community outreach, advocacy and information sharing to assist children and families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
This program also provides training and workshops to other professionals, agencies and organizations about FASD.
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