Stopped, Checked and Thankful to Donate to charity and not government coffers

  • Dec. 9, 2010 7:00 a.m.

Pipestone FlyerCheck Stop During Christmas - Wetaskiwin

By Barry McDonald

There were flashing blue and red lights on approximately 10 – 12 cars in the Safeway parking lot from 1 – 3 p.m. on Friday, December 3rd. A dozen Officers with yellow stripes on the legs of their pants and others wearing florescent coats were directing vehicles off Highway 13 into the Safeway parking lot. The window goes down, the officer leans towards the open window and the driver is asked if they have been drinking.

It is the holiday season and it is a Check Stop and a reminder of ‘Don’t drink and drive.’ You are in the warmth of your car and the Officers are out there battling a wind chill and the cold. You might expect them to be a little abrupt, demanding and perhaps even somewhat annoyed that you are warm and they are out in the cold. But instead when you pass the sniff and (no) drinking question they smile, hand you a treat and direct you to the Candy Cane Check Stop lanes and encourage you to make a donation to the local charities, Victim Services and the Salvation Army Food Bank.

The dozen or more RCMP, By-Law and other officers were happy to help out with the Candy Cane Check Stop as many have a lot of experience with similar events in other locations. As one Officer who was directing vehicles to the charity lanes said, “I have been involved in this event for both years. I enjoy this one because it’s part of the Christmas spirit seeing people giving.”

M.P. Blaine Caulkins and Mayor Bill Elliott attended the event to offer their encouragement. Caulkins congratulated the volunteers for the efforts being made that day and throughout the year. As he was leaving he showed how positive he was by advising the group, “Let me know sooner next year and I will be here helping for the entire Check Stop”.

Although Christmas holiday season is meant to be a happy and joyful time, this isn’t necessarily how everyone feels at this time of the year. Christmas can be extremely stressful and depressing for many people.

Every year many people find added financial and time pressures, isolation from family and friends, loss of family and friends, separation and divorce, reflecting on another year gone or not being able to supply their family with an adequate meal are very difficult to manage.

There are also tragedies leading up to and during the holiday season and the pressures can also lead to victim abuse.

Standing by to help in Wetaskiwin is Victim Services and the Salvation Army Food Bank. Victim Services is a society comprised of the Wetaskiwin Municipal RCMP and Rural RCMP, in partnership with the Wetaskiwin and District Victim Services Society. That is why the law enforcement officers as part of their Check Stop, partnered with Victim Services and the Salvation Army Food Bank to help raise funds for those in need. Participating in the Candy Cane Check Stop were the RCMP, City police and By-law officers. When drivers passed the no drinking test, the officer gave them a treat and directed them to lanes where they were given a candy cane by volunteers of the Salvation Army and Victim Services and provided the opportunity to make a donation to these charities.

Jeannie Blakely, Executive Director of Victim Services is grateful for the donations that the drivers so generously offered at the end of the Check Stop. “Their contributions are so important with helping us assist people in need whether it be victims’ of crime or a tragedy or people that desperately need the food they get from the Salvation Army to get through the Christmas season. We call this a friendly Check Stop.”

For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation to Victim Services phone 780-312-7287 or visit them in the RCMP building.

Just Posted

Man and a youth arrested after vehicle theft, police assaulted

Wetaskiwin RCMP respond to break and enter at Rural Property - Arrests

Wetaskiwin homeless shelter hosted 1,200 visits this season

Provincial grant of $40K made shelter possible

New firefighting ATV for South Pigeon Lake

Polaris bush buggy paid for by community donations

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is May 18

Alberta RCMP participates in Canada Road Safety Week during Victoria Day long weekend

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several days, but grew substantially Sunday

Most Read