Red Deer RCMP presented cheques to two local agencies from the proceeds of the Regimental Ball held last month.
Red Deer Victim Services and the Red Deer Food Bank each received half of the proceeds ($7,500 each) raised at the Sept. 15th event.
Sheila Wetherelt, volunteer coordinator with the Red Deer Food Bank, said the donation will be put towards the hamper program. “Three things that we do buy – what we call the three m’s – meat, milk and margarine – are things we ensure go into every hamper,” she said, adding that the other items are typically donated by the community.
She added the funds have come at a perfect time.
“Everything is down now – monetary and non-perishables,” she said. “It’s dire straights at the food bank right now,” she said. “But it’s an annual thing – it’s right before the giving season so hopefully we take in 70 per cent of our donations within the next three months.”
Susan Bontje, who accepted the cheque on behalf of Victim Services, said the money will go to things like ongoing staff training, training of volunteers and basic supplies.
“Any donations are always great for us. We depend on government funding, and sometimes that’s topped and capped off at a certain level, so this will be great for extra training and there is a lot of training for our people to attend. And for direct assistance to victims as well,” she said.
Meanwhile, Supt. Ken Foster said it’s been a special time for the Red Deer RCMP of late.
“We celebrated our 75th anniversary of serving the citizens of Red Deer by hosting a Regimental Ball on September the 15th. The planning of the ball was led by Inspector Dean LaGrange and his Regimental Ball Committee, and it was a roaring success – a beautiful evening of camaraderie, looking back at our policing traditions and looking towards the future with optimism.” he said.
Funds raised at the evening totalled $15,000 and, as mentioned, have been split between the Red Deer Food Bank and Victims Services.
LeGrange said 320 guests attended the ball, and that funds were raised through silent and live auctions and the sales of raffle and 50/50 tickets.
“It’s fitting that we should present these organizations with $7,500 each on our 75th anniversary,” he said.
“Red Deer Victim Services is a non-profit and volunteer-based registered society, and their work is crucial to the RCMP. Their staff and volunteer advocates work with victims of trauma and crime in the Red Deer area.
“They provide support and referrals to individuals involved in traumatic events including domestic violence, sudden death, motor vehicle collisions, sexual assault, child abuse, theft and robbery. They also help victims prepare for court, and go with them for support when needed.”
LaGrange said the Red Deer Food Bank has served the community since 1984.
“The Food Bank supports individuals through food hampers and also provides food to other Red Deer agencies including the Boys and Girls Club, Women’s Outreach, the Mustard Seed and the Salvation Army,” he said.
“The Red Deer Food Bank also provides food to other food banks in Central Alberta,” he said. “Their work is important, and their impact is far-reaching.”