Wednesday, 18 May 2016 16:08

#FromBrooksWithLove is one of the city’s best feel good stories of the year so far

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Forget the Bandits hockey team and their national championship run being the feel good story for the small Alberta city of Brooks so far for 2016.

The ridiculously impressive and successful 12-hour fundraiser for Fort McMurray relief was held May 14 in the Centennial Arena parking lot during the afternoon portion.Then inside during the course of the evening there was entertainment including performances from dancers and area bands as well as a heartfelt address by Wildrose leader Brian Jean, who lost his home in the Fort McMurray wildfire.
Bouncy castles, food, drink and the opportunity to watch the Bandits play their first game at the RBC Cup tournament in Lloydminster, were all part of the fun.
Selling shirts, collecting donations both of monetary and from merchandise, it was a reported $100,000 total. Brooks: population, 14,000 (2011 Census).
It was an amazing show of solidarity from a community which is suffering through the economic hardship of a poor petroleum market.
To raise that much money shows how a collective group knows and understands the importance of petroleum for jobs, business and overall well being of a local economy.
While it’s quite easy to dish out a lot of rhetoric and catch phrases which talks about #AlbertaStrong, #WeGotYourBackFortMac and #GiveBackToFortMac or have promises from Alberta and provincial leaders talking about how they will (eventually) be there for Fort McMurray residents, the community of Brooks and the local organizers of this event, came through in the clutch.
It’s going to be a difficult number of months ahead for the people who have been displaced from the fire, not unlike those who suffered from the floods which hit High River only a few short years ago.
While it would be easy to go into a political analysis of Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley, the light here should be shone on the local organizers, volunteers and those who selflessly contributed in one way or another.
Event organizers used the Twitter hashtag #FromBrooksWithLove to promote the event and the city and the County of Newell really proved the Centennial city has heart.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor