The Bonnyville Community Learning Council (BCLC) beat their previous record for the most participants in the Community Awareness and Registration night.
Over 95 local organizations set up tables in the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre on Thursday, Sept. 6 in hopes of registering families and informing the public on what they have to offer.
“The event was spectacular, way beyond anything we could have imagined.” recalled Nicole Ferbey, executive director for the BCLC.
The field house was packed with residents eager to learn what’s available locally, and the community groups didn’t disappoint.
Booths ranged from local sports teams and volunteer groups, to local businesses.
The event showcased what people can get involved in around the Lakeland, and has become a highlight of the year.
“They all want to gather because it’s that time of year. Back to school kind of triggers people wanting to take classes, and kids get to come and choose what they like. It’s nice for them to explore, and it’s so diverse,” Ferbey said.
A big draw for the evening was the demonstration area, where groups were able to show attendees activities they do.
“The demo area has been hectic, busy and constant. We had Brazilian jiu jitsu, the Premier Academy Cheerleading and Tumbling Bonnyville, zumba, the Ukrainian dancers, you name it,” expressed Ferbey.
Along with a bouncy castle, people could visit with Odie from Bonnyville Victim Services and pet some adoptable kittens from the Bonnyville and District SPCA.
For some groups, the night was an opportunity to let the community know they’re out there.
“It’s surprising, for as many years as the Special Olympics have been here, how few people actually know it, because the area is such a transient area between Bonnyville and Cold Lake,” noted Michael Heurkens, chairman of the Lakeland Special Olympics. “We like to get out, and get our face out there so people are aware.”
The group was able to share information on their events and volunteering opportunities.
“We need dedicated volunteers. We’d like to expand our repertoire of sports but we can’t do that without a dedicated volunteers. Right now, we do bocce in the summer and bowling throughout the winter,” he said.
At the end of the night, organizations had new members, and residents got a glimpse of what Bonnyville has to offer.