‘Around the World’ with CARE

  • Apr. 15, 2015 3:01 p.m.

An exciting means of celebrating international culture is coming up via Around the World with CARE.

Staff and volunteers at the Central Alberta Refugee Effort are gearing up for the event, which will feature international cuisine, live entertainment and exciting cultural displays. It’s set for April 24th from 5 to 10:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley.

C.A.R.E. is holding this event to raise funds for much-needed support services for immigrants and refugees who settle in Central Alberta. “Everything is coming together really well, and it’s going to be a fantastic evening,” said Kerri Wilkie, executive assistant at C.A.R.E. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.

“We have also never had a fundraiser of this nature before.”

The evening starts with cocktails and the presentation of cultural activity booths, followed by food and entertainment starting at 6:15 p.m. In keeping with the international theme, participants are encouraged to dress up as tourists, to ‘travel the world’ in one evening. That will also lend to the casual, relaxed feel of the event, she said.

Booths about various countries will help guests to feel like they are experiencing aspects of that given culture.

They will sample a variety of cuisine from different parts of the world, prepared specifically for the event by the Holiday Inn, and experience fascinating cultures and entertainment. There will also be a silent and live auction.

C.A.R.E. was formed in 1979 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to help with the settlement of Indo-Chinese refugees fleeing the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The Red Deer Ministerial Association had asked for help with assisting these folks as they looked for places to live in the Central Alberta region.

In 1980, C.A.R.E. became a registered non-profit society and the first C.A.R.E. office opened in May of that year. In early 1982 it landed status as a charitable organization.

Since its beginning in 1979, the organization has helped thousands of newcomers to Canada find their way in settling locally.

C.A.R.E.’s mandate is, “To support the efforts of immigrants and refugees to overcome barriers and participate fully in Canadian life as valued members of the Central Alberta community by providing coordinated services and by encouraging a welcoming environment.”

To that end, they provide a wide range of programs and services to folks settling in Central Alberta from English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and translation and interpretation services to an immigrant youth program and immigrant men’s and women’s support groups.

Ultimately, it’s about helping people feel comfortable with the new aspects they may find they have to deal with across North American culture. One example of a new program is employer engagement, which is about creating a culturally inclusive workplace.

It’s also a special year at C.A.R.E. this year as the organization is marking its 35th anniversary. Meanwhile, staff and volunteers at C.A.R.E. are putting so much into the fundraiser – Wilkie said between 40 and 50 volunteers will be helping out for the evening.

“As much as it is a fundraiser, we also realize that it’s about putting C.A.R.E.’s profile out there, too.”

For more information about ‘Around the World with CARE’, contact Kerri Wilkie at 403-346-8818 or visit the web site at http://immigrant-centre.ca/.