Page 12 - October 3 2016
P. 12

Giving a family ‘A Place to Call Home’

by Deanna Mitchener

We all like to know we have a place to call
home but for some a place to call home seems
far out of reach.
With the commitment of special group people
who stepped up to organize a refugee
committee they began raising money to sponsor
a family to come to Edson.
Members of the refugee committee that
include Helena Kwantes President, Lisa
Wilkinson Vice President, Jessica MacKintosh,
and Jocelyn Pettitt held a fundraiser on
September 23 at the Galloway Station Museum
and Travel Centre.
The evening described as "incredible"
included guest speakers from Edson and
Edmonton. Each of the speakers shared their
own personal story about immigration and
refugee camps and what they went through
trying to find a place to call home.
Just 78 tickets were printed and the
committee members were afraid they may not
have many show up for the event as ticket sales
were moving slow. But they sold out. They
even had additional guests who paid at the door
to attend the fundraiser.
Vice President Lisa Wilkinson welcomed
guests and was very pleased how the event
turned out.
"We called the event 'A Place to Call Home'
as we are trying to bring a refugee family here
to Edson and create a place they can call home
within our community," said Wilkinson. "The
generosity of all the people in Edson who have Khaelid Elaouimri, Houssem Ben Lazreg, Aliya Lakhani, and Jocelyn Pettitt were guest
contributed to make this fundraiser possible is speakers during the refugee fundraising event 'A Place to Call Home' held on September 23.
truly appreciated. All this kindness and Missing from photo is guest speaker Jacob Wong. photo Deanna Mitchener
generosity makes me proud to call Edson
We want to celebrate multiculturalism through different foods, art, THIS WEEK’S FEATURE
music, and the people themselves. They make our community richer.
We all know someone or a family who were immigrants to Canada," Mint Homes Ltd.
said Wilkinson.
"It is a long process to bring a family over and takes a long time. One
of the first things we needed to do was raise some money to help
support the family once they get here. A few of the schools did a coin
drive and were able to raise $1,000," said Wilkinson.
Jessica Mackintosh was the Art coordinator for the fundraiser and
found many of the art pieces that were auctioned. She collected pieces
for both a silent and live auction with a wide array of artwork donated
by residents and local businesses and a few were donated from
Edmonton as well.
Committee President Helena Kwantes, said, "It is our hope that the
evening brought awareness to the refugee crisis and was a display of
humanitarian nature. Most of our attendees proudly wore their ethnic A bungalow for the city or country . A great looking bungalow. The false
roots on their name tag and it presented a unity as we are mostly all gables set on the cottage roof, the wide trims & corners really make this
immigrants to this country whether first, second or third generation." home stand out. From the veranda enter the dropped front entry and you will
see how open this plan is. Step up into the living room and on your right you
Jacob Wong was the first guest speaker who gave a very humbling, have the dining room which features a trayed ceiling and a railing to separate
inspirational, and hopeful talk of fleeing Sudan and going to a refugee it from the dropped front entry. An open stairwell up against the kitchen wall
camp in Kenya. He was sponsored through a university group that will take you to the basement. The uniquely designed kitchen features a
brings refugees over. From there he got employment and was able to walk-in pantry, ample cabinet & counter space. A lunch bar is also available.
The breakfast nook is open to everything around it. A double garden door
bring his three siblings over in the beginning of September. "It was a leads you out to the covered rear deck. The family room has a gas fireplace
real success story what he and the other guest speakers talked about," with book shelves on each side. Next to the den there is a 2-piece 2-piece
said Wilkinson. bath. Across from the kitchen is the laundry/mudroom which gives access to
Aliya Lakhani, a chemical engineer graduate of the U of A, talked the 2-car garage. Next are 2 large bedrooms with a 3-piece bath between. The
master bedroom also has a double garden door leading out to the rear deck.
about how her parents were immigrants and her father a refugee from A sitting area at the rear of the room. His & Hers walk-in closets, a private
Uganda persecuted for his Asian roots. They came to Canada to have a toilet room is along the way to the 4-piece ensuite. A custom 60" shower,
better life. Aliya's mother studied to become an ER nurse and has been corner spa tub & two sinks make this room perfect. A plant ledge with a
working in her profession for over 20 years. Aliya explained how window adds natural lighting. The basement is undeveloped except for the
mechanical room. A double garden door will take you to the covered rear
investing in refugees and immigrants in the end will be a pay off for patio area and than to the backyard. A great floor plan. Plan 2011597
Canada with their contributions to society as hard working citizens.
Aliya works for Engineers Without Borders and loves giving back with
applying her skills to help impoverished nations. Member of National Home Warranty Program
"Thanks to the caring and giving hearts the fundraising event raised Phone: 780-723-2330
$8,000. We are humbled and happy to help a fellow family re-establish
themselves after such devastating losses in their lives," said committee Fax: 780-723-5068
president Helena Kwantes. Email:
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