Boys & Girls Thrive In Leduc

Pipestone Flyer

In the City of Leduc, an organization has provided a positive, happy environment for local kids for many years. The Boys & Girls Club of Leduc has survived a fluctuating economy, flourishing in its spacious, convenient location within the Leduc Recreation Centre.

Grateful for its yearly sponsors who support on-going programs and staff, the Club also became the fortunate owner of a 24-passenger bus, which is used to ferry young kids from their schools to the Club after school hours, five days a week.

Shauna Bissel is the Club’s executive director. Her staff describes her as a high-energy organizer who successfully re-structured the Club and infused it with new ideas and a new direction.

Cami Belcourt is the energetic Program Director, articulate and passionate when she describes the Club’s programs. The after-school program takes the kids to the LRC Fieldhouse for one hour, where youths can play football, participate in relay races and enjoy other energetic activities.

Cami is proud of the Club’s Teams. The MAK (Much Amazing Kids) for kids ages 6 to 9, the TORCH for kids 10 to 13 year olds and Keystone for 14 to 17-year-olds. Keystone team members are the senior leaders who help the staff with programs and activities, some of them having been with the Club since they were elementary school kids.

From September to April, the Club offers employment opportunities to Grant McEwan students registered in the Social Work and Kids & Youth Programs. The full-time summer program runs from June to August and is staffed by high school students and by senior leaders who have first dibs at the summer positions.

The Leduc Boys & Girls Club has creatively planned several yearly fundraisers to support its programs, so that it does not have to rely entirely on its generous sponsors. For several years the Boys & Girls Club of Leduc held a successful gala which will skip 2015. The senior leaders work hard at the Santa’s Workshop and the October Haunted House, helped by parents and Torch members.

As spring has arrived and spirits are high despite the troublesome economy downturn, a Leduc resident has decided to do his part in raising funds for the club. Dave MacKenzie has a full plate as a mortgage broker and City of Leduc councilor. Fit and community-minded, he will use his current fitness level, step it up a few notches, and use an intrepid goal to financially support one of his favorite organizations.

He shared with us that, “I will be doing a free-standing Handstand-a-thon, supported only by my hands, not my head. I competed in gymnastics 40 years ago. I wanted to challenge myself to do a fun event for a fundraiser to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Leduc. Since January, I have been training six days a week for the event.”

This is not a Guinness World Book of Records event. The time he sets will be submitted to recordsetter.com as the longest recorded handstand by a sixty year old, as he is turning 60 in April.

On April 25th at the LRC on the Trade Fair stage, Dave MacKenzie plans to do this handstand, hoping to reach a time of two minutes. This is quite a challenge for anybody. Try it and you will see that standing upside down on your hands for even thirty seconds is not as easy as you might think.

All proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Leduc. All donations are tax deductible. Please call the Boys and Girls Club at 780-986-3121 to make a pledge.

Dave MacKenzie has already earned eager support among his close circle. He is now ready to share his plan with ‘the world’ and invites kind-hearted people to support the Club by sponsoring him in this fun and challenging endeavor.

Photo: Councillor MacKenzie, Dr. Brett Baynes, Shauna Bissel and Councillor Beckett were happy to pose to promote Dave MacKenzie’s Handstandathon at the Leduc Business Expo, April 25. Photo submitted.

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