“One Day” brings community together
Under sunny skies on September 11, 2010, close to 600 self-advocates, families, children, seniors and service providers gathered for the second annual One Day Together event to play softball, have a BBQ, play games and make new friends.
The event was held on the fields behind the Juan de Fuca Centre in Colwood, BC. In addition to the food and softball, there were a range of activities for attendees, including face painting, clowns, bean bag toss, a dunk tank, ring toss, banana fling, basketball, hockey and bowling. The Colwood Fire Department was also there and entertained the crowd by firing their water cannon, and giving tours of the fire truck. Organizers also tried to make the event as green as possible by providing recycling and compost onsite.
Heather from CLBC’s Start with Hi initiative helped to launch the day by saying a few words and throwing the first pitch. Cliff, also a Start with Hi self-advocate, was there and invited people to come visit the Start with Hi booth, where people could pick up bracelets, pins and posters, and play a networking game that supported the event’s theme of making new friends. Later in the afternoon, Brian Price, an Olympic medalist, spoke about the importance of living one’s dreams and building friendships.
It was also a day full of music. Self-advocate Michael Langridge was DJ for the day, and played music ranging from jazz to heavy rock. In the afternoon, the Punjabi Dance Troupe entertained people with their lively dancing, self-advocate Peter Bourne sang and played guitar, and a local band, The Pony Club, provided dance music.
One Day Together brought together a community, but also demonstrated how big things can happen through co-operation. Event organizers included Becon Support Services, Community Living BC, Community Living Victoria, The Cridge Centre for the Family, Integra and Kardel staff who worked tirelessly for several months to put on an exciting event. A local Starbuck’s donated coffee that Self-Advocates for a Brighter Future, an advocacy group, sold at their booth to help raise funds. Thrifty Foods, a local grocery store, donated hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and drinks for the BBQ. St. John’s Ambulance provided paramedics and first aid. VI Rentals donated a generator, Budget Rentals the flat bed stage, Island Farms provided a freezer and ice cream, and Bone Creative also donated graphic and website design support for the event. Local community members, like pharmacist Ron Liew, also made cash donations to support the event.
The day was summed up by the words of one self advocate. “I’m having so much fun!” It was an opportunity that built and strengthened the community.