Good Neighbours: Annual event puts focus on young entrepreneurs

A group of crafty kids will cut their entrepreneurial teeth at the Biz Kids Market on Friday.

The market showcases the talents of more than 40 children, some as young as five, who have created arts and crafts products for sale.

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There is no lack of creativity and ingenuity among these young entrepreneurs.

Meah Preboy, 9, started making fuzzy Angry Bird toys after she noticed that an empty pistachio nut shell resembles the computer cartoon bird’s beak.

She happily eats the pistachios to supply material for her creations, which she sells for $1.

Brothers Isaac and Jade Wilson, 10 and 7, are woodworkers, making toys, buttons and toothbrush holders from branches and other wood picked up from the forest floor.

Both started young in the family workshop — Isaac when he was three and Jade boasts he was two when he started to help his brother. They take turns creating or finishing their products.

Making money for a trip to Norway led Zander Turpel-Stewart, 12, down the road to self-publishing. Already 140 copies of Afternoon Tea with Zander have sold. The book consists of a collection of recipes and some history on tea. Zander is considering creating more books.

The market runs 2 to 4 p.m. at the Fernwood Community Centre, 1240 Gladstone Ave. Admission is free.

For more information, go to vhlnbizkidsmarket.weebly.com.

Art show designed to get message out

The Downtown Story Collective is putting together an art show/open mike night to create awareness about its initiative.

The non-profit group provides homeless and disadvantaged individuals with a safe and welcoming place to tell their stories and express themselves.

Participants can use various creative mediums, including visual arts, poetry, music and writing.

Members strive to encourage, critique and teach each other writing and photography skills.

The artists are free to sell any pieces on display. The collective does not get any commission on sales made during the show. A large collaborative piece may be put up for auction, with the money going toward supplies for the collective.

The show runs Saturday from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at Dales Gallery, 537 Fisgard St. Free admission.

Details can be found on the group’s Facebook page or thedscollective.wordpress.com.

Big donations help health foundation

The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island recently received two significant donations:

• On Nov. 15, National Philanthropy Day, the Canadian Police Canine Association and the Saanich police donated almost $25,000 to the foundation’s Jeneece Place.

Owned and operated by the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, Jeneece Place is a residence available to families whose children need medical services in Victoria. This is the largest gift (not counting estate gifts) that the foundation has received since the residence opened last year.

The money was raised through sponsors, raffles, donations and merchandise sales at the 2013 Police Canine Championships held at the University of Victoria in September.

“The Saanich Police K9 Unit unanimously chose Jeneece Place as the charity to benefit from the championships,” said Sgt. Glen Mackenzie of the Saanich police.

“The members of our unit all have children of our own, and we had all watched Jeneece as she grew up over the years. We admire her courage and selflessness and know that Jeneece Place is filling an important role for many Island families.”

The association is a non-profit affiliation of peace officers employed in the handling of service dogs in Canada.

• Last week, Shine*ola Communications and Events presented the foundation with a cheque for $31,000 raised during their Enchanted Halloween attraction at Heritage Acres, held over two weekends in October.

More than 8,500 people visited the attraction, which featured train rides, a Trick or Treat trail with costumed characters, carved pumpkins, crafts, musicians and performers.

The proceeds benefit the Children’s Health Foundation’s Bear Essentials Program, which provides funding for families to cover extraordinary expenses related to their child’s health.

For more information, go to childrenshealthvi.org.

Grocer, consumers fill some dreams

Grocery shoppers at every Country Grocer location on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island can support the Help Fill a Dream Foundation every time they purchase a special bouquet of flowers, donate at the till or buy an island-grown Christmas tree between now and Dec. 14.

“All the funds raised from this promotion help Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands children achieve their dreams,” said Craig Smith, executive director of Help Fill a Dream.

“For a child facing the uncertainty of a life-threatening condition, hope and happiness help the healing process.

“They are carried from a place of uncertainty and are shown that good things can still happen in their future.”

This is the third year of the promotion.

Last year, the grocery chain’s seven stores raised $13,000 for the charity. This year, the goal is to surpass $15,000.

To date, the Help Fill a Dream Foundation has fulfilled the wishes of 2,000 children with life-threatening conditions. It has also provided hope and support for their families.

For more information, go to helpfilladream.com.

A match played for Mustard Seed

A polo match and high tea held in celebration of the Rotary Club of Victoria’s 100th anniversary netted the Mustard Seed $18,000.

The sale of tickets, sponsorships and donations from the more than 300 people who attended the event raised $9,000. The sum was matched by The Rotary Club of Victoria.

The donation will be used as part of an ongoing Victoria Rotary project to purchase a refrigerated truck to pick up and deliver fresh food for those in need.

The Rotary Club of Victoria is a diverse group of 100 local businesspeople, retirees and volunteers who raise funds for local and international projects to further education, health and wellness initiatives.

For more information, go to rotaryvictoria.ca.

Runners lace up to support Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Oak Bay is holding its fundraiser, the Merrython Fun Run next Sunday. This is the 34th year of the annual event that sees people can lace up their sneakers for an eight-kilometre run, a 4-km walk or a children’s 1-km event.

The run began as a way to draw attention to fitness programs at the Henderson Recreation Centre. The Rotary Club of Oak Bay has been organizing the run for the last three years.

The event regularly attracts about 200 runners, walkers and joggers, raising approximately $3,000 to support Rotary Club projects.

Registration is $25 for adults (13 and up) and $5 for children. Participants can join in a Jazzercise warm-up at 9:45 with the event starting at 10 a.m. The children’s event starts at 11:15 a.m. at the Henderson rec centre, 2291 Cedar Hill Cross Rd. For more information, go to oakbayrotary.com.

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