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Sundre council declares two upcoming proclamations

Town of Sundre to recognize Longest Day of SMILES and Alberta Rural Health Week
MVT stock sundre office
File photo/MVP Staff

SUNDRE — Following brief presentations by administration, council recently carried two separate motions declaring a couple of unrelated, upcoming proclamations.

One is in recognition of the Longest Day of SMILES, an Operation Smile Canada campaign that aims to raise awareness about, as well as funding for, children born with a cleft lip to connect them with life-changing, cost-free surgery and comprehensive care.  

Coun. Connie Anderson moved to proclaim June 19 as the Longest Day of SMILES in Sundre.

Coun. Paul Isaac wanted to know what more the municipality does when declaring a proclamation in support of a good cause other than simply signing a piece of paper.

“Typically, if there’s a request to attend or hold an event, then we would certainly have that discussion with council,” said Linda Nelson, chief administrative officer.

“In this case, they’re simply asking us to proclaim that day as Longest Day of SMILES,” said Nelson.

Proclamations are also posted to the town’s webpage as part of the effort to raise awareness.

Coun. Todd Dalke asked administration whether the organization was researched in advance.

“We don’t typically research,” said Nelson. “If it’s a request, we will generally bring it before council for a decision.”

Speaking against the motion, Dalke said he agreed many charities do good work. But the councillor also expressed concerns about how some large fundraising efforts provide only a fraction of the proceeds from donations to the specific cause.  

“When they get down to the nitty gritty, out of $100 contribution from the public, $14 is what goes to the general fund after awareness, compensation, grants, submissions, travel (and) office expenses,” said Dalke, adding the organizing is based out of the U.S. with an office in Toronto.   

“But it is a meagre up to a maximum of $32 per $100 donated is what actually goes to cleft surgeries,” said Dalke.

Mayor Richard Warnock said the organization was not asking the municipality for funding, simply support by way of declaring the proclamation.

Council proceeded to carry a motion declaring June 19 as the Longest Day of SMILES in Sundre with Dalke opposed. Coun. Chris Vardas was not present.

Following a brief discussion after a presentation from administration, council carried another motion to proclaim May 30 to June 3 as Alberta Rural Health Week as requested by the Sundre Hospital Futures group.

“RhPAP (Rural Health Professions Action Plan) has done an outstanding job in Sundre with our health care,” said Mayor Richard Warnock, adding the organization has been pivotal in helping to recruit, retain and even house physicians.

“I fully support supporting them, and hopefully we can do something to promote this for their week,” the mayor said.

That motion carried unanimously in the absence of Coun. Vardas.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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