Ward 14 communities BBQ
Community Associations are an important part of Calgary's framework. They are a rallying point for neighbours who wish to achieve common goals, and they build strong, loyal relationships. They embody everything good that the word community conjures up; a very important, but increasingly tentative concept in our fast-paced society.
Ward 14 is home to many vibrant communities. They are represented by 11 community associations. Promoting the benefits of those community associations has become a passion of mine. My position as Councillor has allowed me the ability to shed light on these hardworking groups of volunteers.
In June of 2011, a group of curious individuals braved the rainy weather in the Southcentre Mall parking lot to get to know their local community association. We gathered with the goal of giving away free community association memberships, raising awareness of these hardworking volunteer organizations, and putting some extra money toward their individual projects.
Fast-forward to a sunny day in September of 2012 with almost 1,500 people gathered in the parking lot for the exact same reasons as the year before. We ate delicious burgers, listened to music, enjoyed some wonderful line-dancers, and learned a little bit about some of the City of Calgary's various services; all while Ward 14 Community Associations reaped the financial benefits provided by some generous and community-minded business sponsors. CBC even covered the event in their September 22nd, 2012 news article entitled "Calgary alderman trying to boost community involvement".
The Ward 14 Communities BBQ is an initiative that I am very proud to call my own. In the six times that it has been held, we have raised nearly $34,000 for the 11 Community Associations in Ward 14, not a dime of which came from tax revenue (view the BBQ Expenses), and added nearly 1300 members to their ranks. Because it has been so successful for organizers and attendees alike, I plan on keeping the annual BBQ going well into the foreseeable future.