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 such as breakfasts. I thank you all. At the core of our work is how we make others feel. I see my role, over the past three years, as supporting and encouraging our members in endeavours that strengthens connections to others – connections that inspire others to get involved and help to build our healthy 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 Ward 5 Councilor, Michael Oshry, and Edmonton-McClung MLA, Lorne Dach, for their involvement in our community. I can truly say that in my 12 years on the board, our elected representatives have never been so involved. From attending our board meetings to selling community memberships at doors to picking up our bike parade signs, Lorne Dach has shown what it means to be a servant leader. Councilor Oshry has done a great deal for our community. For examples, he has ensured that our Syrian refugees got to play soccer this year AND he was the dunk tank guy for us on a cold August day where we raised more money for our spray deck. I thank you gentlemen.
This year has been unique for community activities. We have new programs being added to the fold (ladies Ringette, Little Ninja’s), and we had new events take place (World Record Ball Hockey attempt, Rio Swinging Summer Social). These are inspiring examples of what makes our community a fun place to live and play. We have strong programming for kids and families with events such as our Halloween party, Christmas breakfast and the Pedalheads program. Our events celebrate our diversity and connections. Our preschool program is full for the first time in a number of years (a truly remarkable story centered on our commitment to renewal). Our soccer team numbers are up, and our big bin event was another smashing success.
We have other new initiatives coming up. Our “Running in Rio” on October 29 will be something special. We will be looking at a green energy plan for our hall to reduce our carbon footprint.
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. 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