P.E.I. mother shares story of dealing with grief and moving forward
Dianne MacLean takes a breath and steadies herself behind the podium.
Winterfest activities include a prize for snow sculptures such as this one from a previous year.
Donna Best is a prime example of a supported employment worker who is committed to her job.
Her co-ordinator, Kem Young of the Green Bay Community Employment Corporation who has been mentoring her over the years. Young says the Rattling Brook resident has come along way in her level of confidence since finishing high school.
Fifteen years ago, Best may have been singled out and not have been so easily accepted for who she is, said Young.
More confident in part due to the progress made around inclusive living, the 33-year-old has been travelling to Springdale to work as a childcare assistant at New Fun Day Care for 13 years. For Best, it’s about the children, helping out and meeting new people, she said.
Working with the children, she said, helped her get through bad memories of the bullying she was the target of at high school.
Best said she has been buying Christmas, Easter and gifts such as crafts and movies, regularly on special occasions since she first started.
“I like giving,” she said.
Young said if their employment corporation hadn’t started to provide those with challenging needs, opportunities, she feels Donna might still be stuck home in the house. The Green Bay Community Association for Community Living, an advocacy
for persons with disabilities has been in existence for 20 plus years in Springdale.
Recently, the group has been focusing more on communities that include everyone, with the local association promoting this, while the employment corporation applied for an inclusion grant with the Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Community Living. She said the goal was to educate residents what an inclusive community should look like and that everyone should have a fair quality of life as a citizen.
The Green Bay Community Association for Community Living has been partnering with other services group and organizations such as annually hosting Winterfest.
Back when they first met in the Grace United Church basement, Winterfest was only a one-day event, progressing to a three-day event.
“This brings all of our community people together for a fun day filled with activities to promote us as an inclusive community,” Young said.
Members of the organization are hoping many others will participate from the general community. Leading up to the events, Scotiabank challenged other businesses in town to participate in the Winterfest 2016 Snow Sculpture contest.
6:30 p.m. — Opening Ceremony and Entertainment, Manuel Hall
7:30-8:30 p.m. — Free Family Skating
9 p.m. — Youth Night at the Icecap (Grade 7-12)
10:30 a.m. — Children’s Variety Show and Clowns, Springdale Curling Club; Face Painting, Curling Club; Youth Bingo at Manuel Hall (Ages 10-16)
Noon — Free lunch, Manuel Hall
1:30 p.m. — Adult Prize Bingo, Manuel Hall; Children Activity, Training Wheels Center (Ages 0- 6); Teddy bear picnic, 1:30-3 p.m., Springdale Public Library (Ages 7-9); Movie, Indian River High School Lecture Theatre (Ages 10 and over)
3 p.m. — Music/Singalong by Kelly Burt Hewlett, Manuel Hall
5 p.m. — Free supper with many prizes to be given out, Manuel Hall (Please bring non-perishable food item for food bank)
2 p.m. — Family Sliding, George Huxter Memorial Park and activities on bottom of hill
6 p.m. — Family Ecumenical Church Service, Springdale Pentecostal Church
9 p.m. — Fireworks, behind College