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Fundraising-strapped Sundre students get boost from town

Student fundraising activities substantially hampered by pandemic

SUNDRE — The municipality decided to hire some students as part of the fundraising efforts for the 2021 Grade 8 sailing trip.

Amidst bursts of rain, students participated in helping to landscape Main Avenue this past week.

Council carried a motion giving the go-ahead to the student hire on June 22 during the regularly scheduled teleconference meeting.

Before chief administrative officer Linda Nelson presented background information during the council meeting, Coun. Cheri Funke recused herself from the discussion due to potential pecuniary interest .

Reading from an email submitted to council by Tabatha Suitor, the fundraising coordinator for the 2021 Grade 8 Gulf Island sailing trip, Nelson said, “It has been a very difficult year with the challenges COVID threw at us, so many public events cancelled or reduced in size.”

The students were not immune to those obstacles, with the pandemic forcing several fundraiser cancellations, including the May Queen program. So the committee sought to approach council to see whether the municipality would be interested in hiring some students to do some work to raise funds over the coming eight months, she said.

“Any work that the town of Sundre is willing to provide us with would be greatly appreciated,” said Nelson as she finished reading from the letter.

She added that the municipality has plans for the first phase of a landscaping project for the Main Avenue upgrade, which is due to be completed this year.

“And we do have some funds available where we could hire the students to help us with the planting of some of the flowers,” said Nelson.

“We have enough in the budget for this project to be able to do that for up to $1,000.”

Coun. Richard Warnock moved for council to support the Grade 8 sailing trip by employing students to assist with the landscaping project, to a maximum amount of $1,000.

Speaking in favour of the motion, Coun. Charlene Preston said, “It’s a fantastic idea, and I think it’s a great way for us to sort of look outside the box.”

Mayor Terry Leslie also spoke in favour of the motion, adding, “Throughout the years, council has been very supportive of May Queen, Grade 8 sailing trip, and some of the other student initiatives” such as the Grade 4 students who help plant flowers around town.

While Coun. Todd Dalke spoke very favourably of the sailing trip, he wondered whether the issue was a matter of council providing a donation, or if administration would simply hire the students to do the work, “in which council does not need to be involved.”

The mayor added since administration indicated the funds are already in the budget, perhaps a motion was not needed.

Nelson confirmed the funds are budgeted, and said administration merely sought council’s support.

In light of Dalke’s input, Warnock proposed a friendly amendment to his own motion, for council to support the initiative of hiring the students for the Grade 8 sailing trip.

His motion was carried unanimously.