In reflecting back over the past year there have been a number of challenges and highlights we have seen as a community. In each of these situations it has been inspiring to see our members, community organizations, and outside agencies come together for the betterment of people.
I believe in our community and serving on this board with these amazing volunteers. Our community deals with many issues – some complex and others simple. I thank the entire executive for all the work in organizing meetings, gatherings, and events. The core of our work is how we make others feel. I see my role, over the past four years, as supporting and encouraging members in endeavours that strengthen connections– connections that inspire others to get involved and help evolve our community. I want to thank all the volunteers who have made this year so special.
Being a volunteer means putting others before yourself and I am so proud of the work our board does. Without them this hall would be empty and our sense of connection would be loose at best. You make outstanding decisions for our community and I applaud your work. I am fortunate to be a part of this community and am fortunate to know you all.
I would also like to thank our outgoing Ward 5 Councilor, Michael Oshry, and continuing Edmonton-McClung MLA, Lorne Dach, for their involvement in our community. In my 13 years on the board, our elected representatives have never been so involved. Our community came together this year to paint the Patricia Heights Elementary Sound Barrier and the work is amazing. New faces, new talents, but always the same community pride and amazing community involvement.
This year has been unique for community activities. We have new programs being added to the fold (Hooping Classes, Karate classes, All Candiates Forum), and we had familiar events take place (Rio Swinging Summer Social, Halloween party and Breakfast with Santa). These are inspiring examples of what makes our community a fun place to live and play. Our events celebrate our diversity and connections. Our preschool program is full, and had a large number of people on our wait list. Our soccer team numbers are up, and our big bin event was another smashing success (four bins, again!). We have our second annual “Running in Rio” on October 15 that will surely be something special. We are moving forward with a green energy plan for our hall to reduce our carbon footprint. Watch for new LED lighting and solar panels.
For me, the word community means “relevant connections between people”. We have a hall and we have infrastructure that requires upkeep, but the relationships between people are what keeps our community vibrant. This is where the work is most rewarding. We have people willing to work together for the benefit of others. From my heart, I thank all volunteers who have made our three neighbourhoods one strong community. I wish to specifically thank our board. It has been an honour to work with you all. You are a talented and wonderful group of people. If you have yet to get involved in community league business I would encourage you to do so. You have so much to gain by giving to others.
President, Rio Terrace Community League