Wow! Wow! Wow!  That’s all I can say, last week’s contest with WestJet and Timeraiser was a huge success and I was completely overwhelmed with all the entries!  It really is exciting to see so many Canadians who are interested and excited in donating their time to so many great causes.  This country really does rock!

A top-secret committee was able to whittle down all the entries and pick their top ten favourite entries!  I’m so glad I wasn’t involved, way too stressful for my liking!

So here we go!

Genieve (Decidedly Jazz)
“Decidedly Jazz
Is who I would choose
to bring some pizazz
to those in the blues

The art of dance
so common yet rare
give people a chance
to move without care

To follow the music
With all of their soul
Oh how it’s fantastic
to feel so whole

To look at a dancer
move so free
I want to offer
to a whole community

Because dance brings life
and joy to all
so forget your strife
and have a ball”

Sarah (Calgary Reads Society)
I wante to volluneer at with the Calgary reeds socieyete
To show grad 1 and 2 reeding can improfe,
Thare r things I can teech,
Leyke cuntexte clooos and flooency,
The moste importent thing to leern, u nowe,
Is too not give up- u r not the ownly one,
Wee stick togthre too git books red,
Silly reeding and reeding silly with me!

Ian W (Big Brothers Big Sisters)

The agency I like to volunteer at, and why? I’ll tell you with a poem….

One Hundred Years
(adapted from “Within My Power” by Forest Witcraft)

One Hundred Years from now
It will not matter
what kind of “fly ride” I drove,
What size house I lived in,
how much cash was in my bank account
nor if my clothes sported logos from Prada or Nike.
It will not matter
who won the Stanley Cup
or who won American/Canadian Idol.
One hundred years from now I will not matter; however the world may be a better place because
I was important in the life of a child.

I vote BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS. The most valuable time I’ve ever spent. Period.

Richard S (The Canadian Youth Business Foundation)
I’ll start off with my charity and finish with a dessert haiku.

I’d volunteer for The Canadian Youth Business Foundation. It reminds me of my Junior Achievement days in junior high, except the kids in CYBF aren’t proposing to sell driftwood clocks.

When I was 20, I started an independent record label. I wish I had an organization that would help me lay a good foundation and guide me through my label’s growing pains. Any business venture – whether it fails or succeeds – teaches a young entrepreneur important business-related lessons. Having CYBF around allows more young adults to succeed and not be as stressed (emotionally or financially) during the first few years.

The key to a strong Canada is having successful independent businesses that come up with innovative products or innovative ways to conduct business. Any organization that helps to promote successful new businesses by younger Canadians gets a thumbs up from me.

And now, a haiku:

A young, fresh owner;
Dreams of filet mignon, but
Forced to eat Alpo

so sad :(

Katrina B (Calgary Reads)

I would volunteer at Calgary Reads because:

A world without the written word
is a dark and quiet place
there are no adventures happening
amongst the human race

how can we see a world of wonder
when our eyes are blind
how can we teach our children
of the amazing life to find

In a world of turmoil and trouble
to be able to read is a pleasure
it offers the opportunity to move onward
to be able to read is a treasure

Megan M (Wordfest)

I give you…a Haiku:

I would feast on words
Stimulate literacy
Haaave you met Wordfest?

Caitlin F (Wordfest)
One word: WordFest. Or is that two? Maybe I could find out there.

Dawn M (Canadian Blood Services)
Are you’ Black’, ‘White’ or somewhere in the ‘Grey’ middle?
Are you Aged like a fine wine, or so new you are a Newbie?
Do you have anger in you eyes or love in your heart?
Are you surrounded by those who love you or are you lonely and in pain?
Do you want for nothing or do you have nothing?
Are you born free or ‘Born again’?
Are you A, B, AB or an isolated O?
It doesn’t matter because THEY will always be there for you!
THEY don’t hate or discriminate THEY just give-DO YOU?
It’s in you to give!
No matter who you are, what you are, or why you need them, the Canadian Blood Services will be there for you!
It’s TIME to RAISE your hand and volunteer… It’s TIME to GIVE!

Cindy G (The Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers)
I can’t say that I know much about cooking short of making a mean spaghetti sauce BUT I do know how to organize a sumptuous event with the best food and drink as well as handle everything from tickets to timing. Could it be that the YWCA of Calgary could use someone like me at their events? I honestly don’t have any ability to participate in a good old fashion quilting bee HOWEVER I can present that quilt in just the right way to ensure that anyone who sees it will want one. Does The Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers need my assistance? I might not know how to actually write a book NEVERTHELESS I adore reading and often spend more money at the book store then the grocery store. Perchance the Calgary Reads Society is for me. I am not a parent YET I relish the chance to guide the youth of today and share what I have learned so far in this life. Perhaps it’s the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Calgary and Area that requires my commitment. I must admit that I’m more of a cat person than dog STILL the sight of an elephant or whale fills me with great awe! Possibly The Calgary Zoological Society is where I should be? I don’t know what makes something a masterpiece STILL I know what I like. Maybe the Art Gallery of Calgary could benefit from my help. I don’t support bloodshed EXCEPT when it’s into a bag that could save a life. In that case Calgary Blood Services is perfect. So what am I to conclude from these musings, it’s time to stop saying I want to get involved and actually go out and do it! Thanks Timeraiser

Jacki (Calgary Reads Society)
It’s so hard to choose from those charities. Although I was a “big” to a “little” sister, I’m going to have to pick Calgary Reads Society. The children they work with – the grade ones and twos – are at such a magical time in their lives. The absolute pride and self-worth that being able to read on their own brings is simply enchanting.

I once did a co-op placement in a grade one class and there was a little girl who was having trouble reading and no one could quite figure out what the glitch was. She was ok with most words, but then she’d all of a sudden not be able to properly pronounce and read fairly basic words. She was very frustrated and it was wearing on her self-esteem. To see someone that early in life not believe in their own worth is a tragedy. As she was reading to me, she came to the word “gray” and said “g-gay”. That’s when it clicked. She was pronouncing her Rs as Gs. That was it. It was THAT SIMPLE. And once we worked with her to recognize R as “rrrr”, she was flying. No, she was SOARING. You could see her shine return.

Without that kind of intervention and help, where will these kids end up? What will happen to their self-worth? The power that reading brings is immeasurable.

Thanks Calgary Reads Society. And thanks Timeraiser!
Congrats to all ten of you!  Such creative entries!  I’ll be doing a random draw on Wednesday and announcing the winner as soon as I pull their lucky name out of…something, yet to be determined.

Thanks to everyone that entered and thanks again to WestJet and TimeRaiser for the contest!


Mike Morrison


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