Julie Matthews, Darlene Kobeluck (Quilting Angel) and
Carmen Frick, Sprouts Greenhouse
When you find yourself stuck in a soured business situation and you don’t know where to turn to for help, who are you going to call? No, it’s not ghost busters. But it might be the Global News Trouble Shooter, Julie Matthews.
The quilters from the Mulhurst Bay Quilt Club however, were not in need of a trouble shooter to assist with a problem, but they called on Julie for a different reason – to share her knowledge and experience in this unique position with over 200 women gathered in Mulhurst for the 16th Annual Ladies Day and Quilt Show. Julie attended the event, held at the Mulhurst Community Centre on October 18th, to offer tips and advice on consumer awareness and protection from business scams and schemes.
This year’s ladies day event, chaired by Club President Carol Banks, included a dedicated group of quilting members known as the “Quilting Angels”, who organized a full day of guest speakers, a catered lunch, quilting displays, entertainment, fashion show and door prizes.
After the morning’s welcome by MC Phyllis Smith, all enjoyed coffee and home baking, before Julie Matthews took the stage. A busy mother of two children, Julie has had a career in television for 17 years, with eight and half years as trouble shooter, which she said has been most challenging and rewarding.
“There is a lot of paperwork and research, so my job is not like other news reporters. Those who come to me for help have no one else to turn to. I need to ask some hard questions to try to get the answers,” Julie stated, all part of her quest in assisting consumers who have been treated unfairly in a business transaction or fraudulent scheme.
“I get around 100 phone calls and emails every day, and each request for assistance requires research,” she noted. The Global News Trouble Shooter is also on twitter and facebook.
“Some of the stories I’ve dealt with do really stick with me more than others,” she said, adding that she tries to choose stories to air that will have a chance at being resolved and also help others avoid getting into a similar situation. “I love meeting people and the results are so rewarding. Sometimes a matter can be resolved within three hours. Sometimes the power of the media prompt people to come forward to help out (the victim) , based on the stories aired. It’s exciting to have that kind of impact.”
Julie offered advice, stating “awareness is key in any business transaction to protect yourself. Get it in writing – quotes, details. Research the company – get references, check with the Better Business Bureau. Read the fine print (some stuff is pretty scary); do a Google search; ask questions. If you are hiring someone to do some work on your property be sure they have WCB coverage. If you do encounter a problem, become your own trouble shooter – document everything, take photos; record phone calls, names, dates, times; discuss situation with owner of company, and give them reasonable time to respond to your concerns before taking further action.”
And when it comes to those opportunities that seem too good to be true, one can never be too cautious. Julie warned that there are frauds and fakes out there who can be very convincing, who are seeking your sympathy and trust in want of your personal information and your money. She stated the importance of protecting your identity.
Regarding romance scams, Julie once set herself up for a TV series special report “looking for love”, in order to uncover these on-line scam artists. For eight weeks she strung two guys along so they would think she was this vulnerable willing participant, and then finally confronted them to expose their scam operation. This shut them down, but it was unknown for how long, as they may have started up again under other assumed names, continuing to seek out more victims.
“After airing this story I had many people contact me who were victims of a romance scam, some losing thousands of dollars. Global National picked up the story to run this series, so we were able to educate others right across the country on being more aware of these scams.”
So what does one do? “The key is to recognize it, report it and stop it.” Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. Julie Matthews can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie’s presentation was well received, as were the other activities that followed, which included a delicious catered lunch, an informative presentation by Carmen Frick from Sprouts Greenhouse; humorous entertainment from “Mother Nature”; and a fashion show featuring the latest in ladies wear and accessories sponsored by the Bluffton Boutique. Those quilting angels who modelled the outfits enjoyed the experience, however it should be noted that these angels were not wearing wings, as those other angels seen on the international catwalk of a notably famous lingerie line.
There is no doubt that Quilters are indeed Angels. Their creative quilted items are stitched with love and given from the heart. The display of quilts around the hall was awe inspiring, and the unending number of comfort quilts this dedicated group of quilters continue to donate annually to those in need is inspirational.
Throughout the day a number of door prizes were drawn for, and to conclude the day’s event, the winning bids on the silent auction items were announced, and the raffle winners drawn. Those lucky recipients of the raffle were: Donna Smith, 3rd; Gayle Rivett, 2nd, and Loretta Patterson, 1st, who donated her winning queen size quilt to Compassion House.
Congratulations to the Mulhurst Bay Quilt Club on another successful, informative and fun ladies day. As Charlie would say…
“Well done Angels”.