Heartland Youth Center (HYC) and Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA) staff hosts the annual fundraiser on Friday

Heartland Youth Center (HYC) and Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA) staff hosts the annual fundraiser on Friday

Local organizations raise funds for United Way

Heartland Youth Center (HYC) and Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA) came together with Sobeys, to raise funds for United Way.

Heartland Youth Center (HYC) and Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA) came together in partnership with Sobeys to host the annual United Way barbecue fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 18.

“United Way of Central Alberta helps fund programs at ACAA and Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Christel Shuckburgh, mentoring coordinator, Big Brothers and Big Sisters at HYC. “United Way requires those that they fund to join in their annual fundraising campaign as well, so we do the BBQ where all funds raised go back to United Way in appreciation for what they do for these two organizations, HYC and ACAA.”

Being “smaller organizations”, HYC and ACAA decided in 2010 to run the annual fundraiser barbecue as a joint effort.

The HYC is a non-profit organization comprised of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program and the Boys & Girls Club.

The organization endeavours to develop and nurture the life skills of youth through community-based programming with the support of families and volunteers.

The barbecue raised $980 with the generous contributions from the Stetter community.

As a donations only barbecue, donors and visitors were encouraged to put in whatever funds they could.

“The United Way supports both ACAA and the Youth Centre programs in Stettler and Sobeys has supported many community projects over the years,” said Judilonne Beebe, executive director, ACAA. “This is our way of showing support for the United Way and also advertise the impact of their funding in the community of Stettler.”

In the late 1980s, a group of people from East Central Alberta was alarmed at the significant number of child sexual abuse cases that were being reported and the lack of services available to these victims.

This led to the formation of a community-based board representing all of East Central Alberta and a treatment service provided by professionally trained therapists.

In 1997 a formal preventive education program was established, and the child sexual abuse scope was extended to include emotional and physical abuse.

Explaining how the funds raised work, Shuckburgh said that the proceeds raised from the annual fundraiser eventually make their way to HYC and ACAA.

“The proceeds essentially come back to us, however, they go into the larger pot of money that United Way raises during this 50th anniversary campaign first,” said Shuckburgh. “The funding from United Way goes towards running our Big Brothers Big Sisters program.”

With the month of September being celebrated as the Big Brothers Big Sisters month, there are 16 kids on the waiting list, 10 boys and six girls for a big brother or big sister as mentor.

Community members are encouraged to apply and volunteer as a mentor.