Our Community: Pink Shirt Day, breakfast with Chris Hadfield, lighthouse picture contest

Pink Shirt Day encourages anti-bullying messages

Almost half of Canadian parents report ­having a child who has been the victim of bullying, whether it be verbal, social, ­physical or cyber, according to the ­latest statistics from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. And as activities and courses move online, the risk of cyber-­bullying increases, making it the most common form of bullying.

On Pink Shirt Day, which takes place Wednesday, youth get positive and ­encouraging anti-bullying messages to remind them that they are not alone. Sales of official Pink Shirt Day T-shirts, toques, bracelets and buttons at London Drugs will go to the CKNW Kids’ Fund to support youth anti-bullying programs across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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In 2020, the fund supported programs for more than 59,000 children and youth.

Pink Shirt Day got its start in 2007, when two Nova Scotia students wore pink shirts to school after witnessing a younger student being bullied for wearing one. The students bought 50 pink T-shirts and encouraged schoolmates to wear them to send a powerful message of solidarity to the bully.

For more information, go to pinkshirtday.ca.

How Cowichan Valley nurtures artistic talents

The Cowichan Valley Arts Council is ­accepting applications for its mentorship program for students at the high school or university level who want to develop their visual fine art, literary, technical or ­performing arts practices.

The youth mentorship program is now sponsored by the family of Dale Nigel Goble through sales of the late Cowichan ­Valley artist’s prints. “We are so pleased to help nurture the artistic talents of students ­interested in ­pursuing their art,” said Janet Magdanz, president of the group. “The family’s ­commitment to Dale’s memory is inspiring.”

During the three-month mentorship ­program, students will receive feedback while working alongside experienced artists and professional members of the arts group.

Participants also receive a free one-year membership to the Cowichan Valley Arts Council and a chance to exhibit work in the annual student art show in April. The group operates a community art gallery and workshop space for youth and adults at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan.

For more information or to apply, contact manager@cowichanvalleyartscouncil.ca.

Breakfast with Chris Hadfield, anyone?

Enjoy a morning of inspiring talks at a virtual Breakfast to Remember, a fundraiser for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. on March 4.

This year’s event features astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield as its keynote speaker, with a question and answer segment after.

“People fear dementia more than anything else when they get old,” said Geri Hinton, a founding member of the group. “It’s important that we provide information and resources for those who develop dementia as well as those who provide their support. We must ensure that people receive compassionate, appropriate care.”

When her husband received a diagnosis of dementia, Hinton started a support group for spouses of people living with dementia — and has remained an advocate for families ever since.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada works toward a dementia-friendly society, where people with dementia are welcomed and included.

Tickets for Breakfast to Remember are $75. The event runs from 7:30 to 9 a.m. March 4. Tickets also include access to a research event featuring a live discussion with Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava, a leading dementia researcher, that takes place at 6 p.m. March 10. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to breakfasttoremember.ca.

Royal Roads award promotes diversity

Donneil McNab, an alumnus and current staff member at Royal Roads University, has established an Award for Diversity and Community Building at the university.

The $1,000 award will recognize students of Afro-Heritage descent within the Royal Roads community who serve their communities through volunteering, applied scholarship or leadership.

Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need.

The competition runs from March 1 to May 1. For more information, or to apply, go to royalroads.ca.

Root Cellar raises funds for Rainbow Kitchen

The Root Cellar’s ninth annual winter fundraiser has raised more than $14,000 for the Rainbow Kitchen, which provides daily hot meals and food hampers on Admirals Road in Esquimalt.

The grocery store matched all donations collected at its tills during the campaign. The total amount includes donations received in-store from initiatives throughout 2020.

“A donation of this magnitude will fundamentally enhance our hot breakfast program and give us the flexibility to support all of our other programs as needed throughout the year,” said Patrick Johnstone, director of the Rainbow Kitchen. “We consider The Root Cellar to be instrumental to the daily magic that happens in our organization.”

For more than nine years, the grocery store has also donated thousands of kilograms of fresh goods to the Rainbow Kitchen to support its programs.

For more information, go to rainbowkitchen.ca.

Photo contest puts lighthouse in focus

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society last week launched a photo contest, with the 13 photographs that get the most votes earning a spot in a 2022 calendar.

Every dollar donated to the society in support of a photo counts as one vote. There is also a donate-to-vote option for the People’s Choice Award.

Photos have to be taken within the last two years — from 2019 until mid-April of this year — and photographers must be at least 14. The contest closes on April 17, and winners will be announced May 15.

The society, responsible for the Canadian Lighthouse Heritage Site at Sheringham Point, is hosting the competition as a way to both fundraise and raise awareness of the site.

The iconic lighthouse is already a favourite subject for photographers.

“We’ve seen hundreds of beautifully crafted photos sent via the internet over the seven years the site has been open to the public,” said John Walls, vice-president of the society. “We want to recognize some of the best photos.”

An fee of $5 is charged for every photograph entered.

Proceeds from the contest will support restoration and preservation initiatives at the lighthouse. Tax receipts are available for contributions of $20 and more.

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, located near Shirley, was built in 1912 following the fatal wreck of the S.S. Valencia.

Details can be found here.

Take a cold plunge for Special Olympics B.C.

British Columbians feeling ice-olated can make a safe splash in the first-ever virtual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics B.C., now until March 7.

There are many ways to get freezin’ for a reason, say organizers, and you don’t even have to be close to a body of water to take part.

Alternatives include an icy bath, a run through a sprinkler, being blasted by water balloons or even jumping into powdery snow.

Participants are encouraged to tape their plunges and share videos and photos on social media to qualify for prizes.

“The Polar Plunge for Special Olympics B.C. is an absolute blast — and we can’t wait to see participants from across British Columbia show their courage and creativity in this year’s virtual event,” said Dan Howe, president and CEO of the charity. “Taking the plunge is always an exhilarating experience, and it is wonderful to see so many people having such a great time while supporting Special Olympics athletes.”

In a typical year, thousands of people get bold and cold to charge into icy waters at polar plunges held in Victoria, Vancouver and Revelstoke.

The event raises funds and awareness for Special Olympics B.C., whose goal is to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport. The event is staged in partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

You can register as a team or an individual and then get up close and personal with your own icy waters until March 7. For more information or to register, go to plunge4specialolympics.com.

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