Why the tragedy in Humboldt Saskatchewan has rocked Canadians

Humboldt Broncos

The tragedy in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team has rocked Canadians this week. Regardless of whether you are a fan of hockey, this story cannot help but move you. The accident between a bus loaded with young hockey players and a truck loaded with peat moss was a hockey parent’s worst nightmare. The parents, families and friends of the 15 victims of the accident are all currently living that nightmare. The rest of us can only shudder in horror imagining how unbelievably awful this past week must have (and continues to be) been for them.

Whether you live in a large city or a small town in Canada, hockey cannot help but touch your life. After all, hockey is Canada’s sport. Whether you play, watch, or coach hockey, serve as team trainer or manager, your involvement in hockey means you love the sport and cannot help but get emotionally involved with your team.

The hockey community is very tight across Canada.  Whether we know them personally or not, we all cheer for and keep track of our hometown kids as they grow up and follow their dream to play in the big league.  We celebrate and share their victories and achievements.  This week we mourn the loss of these talented, hard working, ambitious, young athletes and the adults with them as the Humboldt Broncos team travelled together on their final hockey road trip.

As the country watches, listens and mourns, Canadians and others around the world have stepped up to show their support for the Humboldt Broncos team.  A Go Fund Me account has raised over 9 million dollars to date to help the families of the victims.  Professional hockey teams and players have offered their condolences. Families are leaving hockey sticks and lights on at their front doors.  Students and parents alike are wearing jerseys to school and work.

Humboldt Broncos
Nokia Kanata on Jersey Day

 

As difficult as this tragedy has been to watch unfold, the heartfelt response has made me (even more) proud to be Canadian!

 

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Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal for community service

My nephew, James Sliter, was recently awarded a Sesquicentennial Medal from the Senate of Canada for his volunteer role in making our community a better place to live.  He was nominated by current Senator and former police chief of Ottawa, Vern White.

James has shown dedication and commitment towards the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ottawa organization (BBBSO) for many years.  He is a former big brother, a former Board President and currently sits on the business development committee.

Unfortunately, there was controversy swirling around the dispersion of the rest of the medals. These awards were supposed to honor community activists and volunteers or unsung heroes.  The Canadian Mint created the medals as part of our 150 birthday celebration.  That’s where the word sesquicentennial comes in.  Our 93 Canadian Senators were each supposed to nominate 12 deserving individuals to receive the 1500 medals.  However, many of the Senators, 47 to be exact, kept the medals for themselves or gave them to former senators.  The last time I checked no senators can be termed volunteers or unsung heroes.  This is pure greed on their part.

sesquicentennial medal

 

Regardless of the controversy, Vern White got it right with his nomination of James.  The rest of my family and I are extremely proud of him!

 

sesquicentennial medal
L to R my brother Jeff, James, and Vern White

sesquicentennial medal sesquicentennial medal

 

 

 

 

Find a purple bin to donate used clothing to BBBSO

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Did you know donations of used clothing has become a competition?  Many organizations (charitable and otherwise) have contracts with distributors to make money from your donations of clothing and small household items.  This is not a problem when the proceeds fall into the right hands, to be used for the right reasons. Unfortunately, there are those that prey on the opportunities intended to promote generosity and compassion for the less fortunate.  Donation bins are popping up everywhere, and not always in approved locations.  If not approved and supported by the City of Ottawa, they will be removed.

If you wish to keep reusable items out of our overflowing landfills and support a non-profit organization that provides mentors to at-risk youngsters in our community, check out this option.  The Ottawa branch of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association (BBBSO) is spreading the word and dropping off their distinctive purple bins to collect donations of old clothing. These PURPLE BINS are approved by the City of Ottawa, maintained and monitored by the BBBSO, with all proceeds going to the BBBSO.

There are many ways you can support the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.  Individuals can donate money or donate time by mentoring a youngster.  The emergence of the purple bins in Ottawa has now made it even easier for individuals and organizations to provide support in our community.   Organizations can organize a clothing drive or apply to have a purple bin (maintained and monitored by BBBSO) at their location.

The Big Brothers and Big Sisters program has always been somewhat of a tradition in the Sliter (my maiden name) family.  My cousin was the first executive director and co-founder at the Cornwall branch for many years.  My brother, nephew and I have all mentored several youngsters.   My nephew is the past president and on the board of directors here in Ottawa.  He also drops off purple bins to approved locations:

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Check out the purple bin link above for details on how you can get involved in this wonderful cause.  You may start a family tradition!

Vote for my outdoor Christmas lights display

 

Our outdoor Christmas lights display has been nominated for a prize in our community here in Ottawa.  You can vote  for “Bulmer” at

http://www.ottawacommunitynews.com/whatson-story/7022495-holiday-lights-voting