Facing provincial funding cuts, Heartland Youth Centre gained strong community support at its annual Awesome Auction last Saturday night at the Stettler Community Hall.
“We’re probably on track to reach last year’s total of about $90,000,” said Winnie Bissett, the youth centre’s executive-director for 24 years.
“We sold out all 300 tickets before we really advertised and we received the most auction items ever.”
Businesses and the community donated 220 items.
Currently with about 300 members for youth programs, HYC is growing in numbers and families. That’s reflected in increased support, Bissett said.
“More and more kids are coming to the youth centre and more and more families are involved.
“People were also responding to the funding cuts.”
Even many former youth centre patrons have now become strong supporters of the event.
“For me, the most special part of this is that more and more people who were youth at HYC, and are now adults, have become businesspeople and active in the community and are now strong supporters of HYC,” Bissett said.
“As an example, a woman now in her 30s, who was in our teen group many years ago, volunteered to help us for one day.
“She just wanted to give back to the community.”
Bissett said HYC is proud to bring the Kids of Hope philosophy, which believes that “all children are capable of success — no exceptions.”
Under the Big Brothers and Big Sisters programs, the Girls’ and Boys’ Club of Stettler and Area, HYC offers programs for afterschool activities and mentoring.
For more information, phone 403-742-5437 (KIDS).