One local service club is preparing to celebrate a major milestone not with a mid-life crisis but rather an event of some good-natured frivolity.
This spring the St. Albert chapter of the Canadian Progress Club (or CPC) marked its 40th anniversary of community service as a non-profit organization, and now it’s taking the opportunity to spread the word about what they do with a special gathering as the focus of its festivities.
Chris Turnbull has been a member for a few years now. The financial analyst is more than pleased to be a part of such an upstanding group of community-minded individuals. He said that the group is taking this auspicious opportunity, not to toot its own horns, but rather to tout the virtues of the programs that the CPC throws its weight behind.
Since the CPC’s inception in May 1973 (exactly 50 years after the national CPC was formed and eight years after the first Edmonton area group came into play), the local club has put many thousands of dollars toward worthwhile community projects and organizations.
Take Uncles and Aunts at Large, for instance. The CPC has always worked for the betterment of the next generation. That’s why it has long favoured the mentorship program for children of single-parent and low-income families.
“It’s really evolved into a social services agency to help children of low income families,” Turnbull began. “The thing about that is that it’s not just that the kids don’t have money in their pockets and that they’re hungry when they go to bed and they’re hungry when they go to school. There’s often associated problems at the household level sometimes with addiction, things like that. It’s pretty eye-opening.”
Children are the primary focus of the CPC’s efforts. That’s why the CPC has designated a special trust called the Friendship Fund, the purpose of which is to allow children in low-income families to apply for funding to go to the summer camp.
That’s at Camp Warwa, the 23-acre recreation and educational facility at Darwell, near Lac Ste. Anne. Started by the CPC in 1980, it’s dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth through outdoor experiential programming.
“This is something that we’re constantly putting money towards, to upgrade facilities. The camp is actually doing really, really well,” he said enthusiastically, adding that enrolment reaches around 600 campers each summer.
Then there’s the CPC Children’s Charitable Society. The new non-profit society created in 2001 helps alleviate hunger in the community. The organization runs the Canstruction event every year. The unique competition pits local engineering and other firms against each other as they try to create the most fantastic structures out of cans of food. Afterward, the construction materials are donated to local food banks in Edmonton, Sherwood Park and right here in St. Albert, all to the tune of more than 13,000 kg annually.
Turnbull was the event co-chair last year when 13 teams were in fierce competition to be the best builders. The group is aiming to have 18 teams battle it out for the next round on May 3, 2014. That event’s goal will be to ring up nearly 16,000 kg.
The CPC also works to benefit the Cross Cancer Institute, Transitions and the Special Olympics. In fact, the CPC is one of the largest non-corporate donors to the Special Olympics across the country.
To help drum up fundraising and interest in membership and the club’s activities, the St. Albert CPC is hosting a Lingerie Luncheon next week.
It will consist of a three-course gourmet meal, a fine host in the form of Jason Gregor from TSN 1260, and entertainment featuring lingerie fashion models. There will also be auctions, door prizes and swag bags.
Tickets are $125. It is set to take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Fantasyland Hotel in West Edmonton Mall, 17700 87 Ave. in Edmonton.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit 2013lingerielunch-estw.eventbrite.ca or contact Turnbull himself at 780-975-6875.
The club’s website can be found at www.progressclubab.ca.