Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thanks For Making The #PoliBowl 2013 Charity Bowling Event A Huge Success!

I wanted to send a huge thank you to everyone who attended the August 26, 2013 #PoliBowl event at the Century Casino Bowling Centre!  Thanks to the amazing generosity of local politicians and concerned citizens, we were able to raise close to $4500 for Brown Bagging For Calgary Kids and The Calgary Foundation Flood Recovery Fund!

There were over 150 people at this sold out event, including over 25 local politicians that are running for election in the 2013 Calgary municipal election, along with local media.  By all accounts it turned out to be a fun event and nobody reported any smashed toes, which is great news!

 Here are a few pictures from the event....


More pictures to follow!  Thanks again everyone for an amazing night.  Good luck to all of the candidates in the upcoming election.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Let's Use Social Media To Raise Some Extra Money At PoliBowl 2013!

  First off, I would like to thank everyone for their amazing support of #polibowl 2013!  This event sold out in less than three weeks, and I am blown away by this!  With three days to go until the event, I thought I would try and tie in a fun way to try and raise some additional funds for Brown Bagging For Calgary's Kids by harnessing the power of social media!

  Back in December, my pal Joey Oberhoffner had a wonderful idea to help raise money for and Inn From The Cold Christmas fundraiser that I was trying to organize.  He pulled together a "foodapolooza" fundraiser, where individuals reached out to their social media contacts to "sponsor" them in their efforts to devour Tacos/Wings at a local pub.  Through twitter, we were able to raise close to $5000 via these small individual donations (we then had a $5000 matching gift via an anonymous donor) which was amazing!  You can read about this December event here: 

1) http://www.enlightenedsavage.com/2012/12/ablegcares-it-really-really-does.html
2) http://www.calgaryliberal.com/2012/12/20/ablegcares/#.UhdyhtKsjK4

  The success of this cool idea really proved to me the power of social media and how a large number of people can make a huge difference by donating small amounts to a good cause.

 So, JUST FOR FUN.... I think we should try this at #polibowl 2013!!

  • $5/strike! 
  • $0.10 per point! 
  • $3/spare! 
  • $1/gutterball! 
 Keep track of your individual donations and have your contacts submit their donations directly to Brown Bagging For Calgary Kids ( after the event) on their website at: http://bb4ck.org/donating-to-bb4ck/

I bet than we can easily raise $500 ( maybe even $1000!) for this amazing charity and have a ton of fun using social media to do this!  Remember, this is just a fun idea and not mandatory!  

The person that raises the most money at the event will win the amazing trophy pictured above and will be able to hang that on their mantle for years to come! 

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Charity Bowling Event Invitation! Politics, Charity And Bowling....

   I am excited to announce that we will be hosting another bowling charity event on August 26, 2013.  The last event was very successful and sold out fairly quickly!  We will be inviting local citizens, politicians, media personalities and candidates in the 2013 election to come out and enjoy a fun night of bowling for some great causes.  Where else will you be able to mix charity, bowling and politics in Calgary?

As board chair of Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids ( BB4CK) I am excited that this event will be held again.  The proceeds will go to BB4CK and also to The Calgary Foundation Flood Rebuilding and Recovery Fund.  During the recent flooding event, Calgarians have again proven that its citizens are among the most generous in the world.   This money raised from this event will help many people in our area and I hope that it will be a huge success.

About BB4CK:

 BB4CK works in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Separate School District to combat increasing numbers of students attending Calgary schools without a lunch. BB4CK is delivering 1,500+ lunches each day to over 60 schools. 

  In addition to providing lunches from our main kitchen they are also supporting many community based initiatives.  These include churches, community centres, schools and individuals who want to take action and support the children in their communities.  Each program is unique and built to fit the community it serves.  BB4CK is supporting over 60 community based programs.

Since September 2012, they have provided over 232,000 lunches to needed school kids! 

How To Register?  ( Note: No Tickets Available At The Door...sorry.) 

  Ticket info and registration forms can be found here:  Invitation Form

Registrations can also be done online here....

How to Help?

If you would like to make a silent auction donation or volunteer at this event, please email me. ( calgaryrants ( at) gmail.com )

PS: No laughing at my "Twinkle Toes" bowling style.....

I hope to see everyone there! 

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Cranston Community Association Calgary Flood Fundraiser

  In an effort to help with the devastating flooding that occurred in Calgary last week, the Cranston Community Association held a Calgary Flood Fundraiser on June 29, 2013 at Century Hall in Cranston.  While we did not have much time to promote the event, the support from the community was amazing!  We were fortunate to have two of the most amazing food trucks in the city come out ( Perogy Boyz and Red Wagon Diner) to our community event and they were a big hit!

  We were able to raise over $1300 in two hours, which is amazing.  We had over close to 200 people stop by for lunch and to make cash donations to help Calgarians that were affected by the floods.  Their donations will go a long way to help and I was blown away by the generosity.

  Here are some pictures of the event....


These kids were making homemade cards for victims of the floods!

Our MP, The Honorable Jason Kenney stopped by to make a donation and show his support.  These two kids help their own fundraiser in the neighborhood and raised $100 on their own!  Way to go! 

Alderman Keating came by to donate and help also! 

Two of our board members loaded up on donations to deliver! 

  I want to send a huge thank you to our entire board for all  of the work they do.  In particular, I am amazed at how fast our board member Mark Brennan pulled this together!  We only had less than three days to make this work, so it really was amazing to see this come together.  We are also thankful to Lisa B, Michelle M. and local resident Janet for volunteering to make this event a success! 

 As president, I am humbled to work with such amazing people.  I truly believe that while the Cranston Community Association has only been around for a few short years, we have one of the best community association boards in Calgary. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brown Bagging For Calgary Kids Annual General Meeting

  Many of you may know that I am a long time kitchen volunteer for one of Calgary's most dynamic non-profit organizations, Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids.  This amazing organization helps to address child hunger in our city by providing nutritious lunches to Calgary school kids.  What was supposed to be a "one-off" volunteer morning in 2009 has turned into one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I have been hooked as a Monday morning kitchen volunteer from the moment I started.

  It amazed me to realize that in a city as wealthy as Calgary, that so many kids are going hungry every day.  I was drawn to this organization not only for the amazing work that they do, but by the community based model that supports this initiative.  This program is funded by volunteers, community groups and private/corporate donations.  It truly is a community based solution, which inspires me.

  BB4CK helps to directly feed thousands of kids in our area every day and for some kids, it may be the only food they get each day.

  After serving a few terms on the board as treasurer, I am honored to take over as the 2013 Board Chair for Brown Bagging For Calgary's Kids.  I would invite you to take a few minutes and watch our Annual General Meeting video below.

This is what makes me tick.....

To volunteer or donate to this great organization, please check out www.brownbaggingit.org and follow us on Facebook/Twitter.


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Friday, May 17, 2013

My First ( And Last) Attempt At Stand Up Comedy!

  Last month, I had the unique opportunity to be part of a cool fundraiser for Ward 11/13 Calgary Public School Board trustee, Sheila Taylor.  This fundraiser was held at the Laugh Shop at the Blackfoot Inn on April 15, 2013 and featured twelve regular people performing stand-up comedy in front of a crowd of over 200 people!

  Luckily, we were fortunate enough to be put through some fun classes and shown the ropes by the host company, Zeds Communications, who helped us to write the material and learn some basic comedy techniques.  I personally was blown away to learn how much science is actually involved in delivering stand up comedy and the classes were a blast.

  I have attached a video below of the event.  All I can say is.... I survived.   My favorite part is the whacked "Nenshi/Higgins/McIver/Fech/Carter Stampede Wrestling" bit.  Something is definitely wrong with me....

While I never imagined having the opportunity to do this, I am grateful that Sheila asked me to take part.  This is another "bucket list" item that I now get to check off.   I should also apologize to my poor wife Becky for being the center of so many jokes......


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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Buckshot For 2013 Calgary Stampede Parade Marshal?

  With the Calgary Stampede just over two months away, I am surprised that we have not heard who the 2013 Stampede parade marshal will be this year!  I have always enjoyed watching the parade as it sets the tone for the next 10 days of stampede.  Over the past 100 years, the parade has had some great marshals leading the event including, Ralph Klein, Walt Disney, Prince Charles and Roy Rogers.  Unfortunately, we have seen far to many questionable choices ( Jet and Cord McCoy?, a few Vancouver mayors and whatever random cowboy actor is in the area filming another western....)  and I am hoping that the Stampede board gets it right for 2013!

  I was happy to see that Ian Tyson led the 2012 parade as it is important to showcase your local icons.  Personally, I would love to see Ron "Buckshot" Barge and Jim "Benny The Bear" Lewis lead the charge in 2013!  Buckshot is a local icon and generations of Calgarians grew up with his iconic CFCN show "The Buckshot Show", which aired from 1967-1997.  I think that Mr. Barge exemplifies what the parade marshal should be and that he would be an ideal fit.

Here a classic video that will bring back some memories!

 Its probably too late for this year, but I have my fingers crossed!  Maybe if I take this to twitter we can make some noise and avoid Jillian Harris from The Bachelorette from snagging the gig.


( PS....For fun, be sure to post any cool Buckshot stories in the comments!) 

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Monday, January 28, 2013

My Thoughts On Premier Redford's Calgary Town Hall Meeting January 28, 2013

  As part of her commitment to continuing the 2013 budget "conversation" with Albertans, I had the good fortune to attend a unique "town hall" style meeting today at the McDougall Centre in downtown Calgary, featuring Premier Redford as the speaker. There was about 50-60 people in attendance, from many different parts of Calgary and I was pleased that the Premier took some tough questions and answered them very well.   

  Naturally, the main focus of the conversation surrounded the upcoming 2013 budget and where the government is looking to go over the next few years.  While she couldn't release specifics ( it will be in the budget, she joked...) about the line items, the government is looking at all cost saving options and will release a long term budgeting plan based on more stable revenue models.  She did confirm that there were no new taxes coming ( including sales taxes) and that the government would not be bringing back the Alberta Health Care premiums.  When asked about the AHC premiums, I loved her answer "it could raise +/- $1BB dollars....but that is not going to solve our problems."

  I also like that she stated "there are no sacred cows" in this budget.  Every department is being reviewed and while she hinted that there would be no "straight across the board cuts" this year, there is a long term budget plan that will be released in detail when the budget is released in March.  Based on the tone, it would appear that they are serious about getting their financial house in order starting immediately.

  While many people were frustrated at the lack of details in the Premier's TV address last week, I think that the government is finally understanding the importance of communication with Albertans.  These town hall meetings, the telephone townhall tonight and the online forums will allow people to share their thoughts, which is something rather unique and refreshing in Alberta politics.  For too long, it has been a one way conversation in this province.

  Like many Albertans, I will be watching the budget on March 7, but more importantly, I want to see solid planning going forward.  I think that Albertans are getting weary over continued budget deficits and are looking for long term leadership and practical solutions to the budget issues going forward.  This budget and long term plan will set the tone for the next few years and will follow PCAA into the next election, for better or worse.  And as a fiscal conservative, I am not sure how much more I can personally take.

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