The power of friendship: bowling event raises $100k in only second year

It's February 11, 2016 - a flurry of teams are a blur inside Calgary’s Bowling Depot. 24 teams – some in uniform, some in costume. Some are speed bowling… others dancing just for fun… all supporting a worthy cause. When the pins finally settled, the total raised was staggering, bringing many to tears. In short, the Friends In Motion: Bowl-A-Thon was an event born from the ashes. Skate-a-Kid-to-Camp had been the back bone of Between Friends’ major fundraising events and was the organizations longest standing event for 21 years. Saying goodbye to the ...

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Spread the word to end the word… forever

The Message Spread The Word To End The Word is a fantastic movement. The goal is to make the 'R' word (R****d) usage less prevalent, and further, to make any derogatory association extinct. Over the past 7 years, the 'Spread the Word' movement has gained considerable momentum, but this action does not have to be limited to one day, or one week, or one month. There is no reason this conversation can't be a consistent message year-round. More than 640, 000 have now taken the pledge. "More than 640, 000 people have now taken the pledge to end the use of the R-word, ...

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Inclusive Pathways to Physical Literacy

A number of local organizations including the City of Calgary and P.L.A.Y. Calgary have come together to encourage physical literacy, attempting to identify and solve accessibility issues for people with disabilities in Calgary and area.  Just like reading and writing, physical literacy is more than physical education. It directly relates to one’s ability to make choices and have the confidence to engage in a broad range of physical activities over the course of one’s life.  You need the building blocks of the alphabet before you learn to read and write, counting ...

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autism & bar mitzvah: can it be done?

By Rhona Shore 2012 My twin boys, Ethan and Ryan, were turning 13. Time to plan B'nai Mitzvah - a stressful process at the best of times, but when one of the boys is Autistic, the challenge is truly great. Ryan was busy with his Bar Mitzvah classes, taking Hebrew lessons and starting to learn to chant his Haftorah - but what role could Ethan play? At times I felt it would be easier to ignore this rite of passage. Would anyone really question my decision? Most people wouldn’t expect Ethan to participate in a service. Would he really understand what was happen...

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Raising Friends and Funds Helps Between Friends

Many non-profit organizations host fundraising events to assist in their overall fundraising efforts, and Between Friends is no exception.  What makes Between Friends special is how often our participants and their families & friends contribute to the success of these events and jump in with both feet to help. In 2015, Between Friends raised over $285,000 through special events. Without fundraising, Between Friends would not be able to run all of the quality programs that we do. Year after year we look at our program offerings and we factor in our participants to ...

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Seeing Green – A Therapy Garden

A little over a year ago our friends at Agrium proposed the idea of having a therapy garden down at camp. We had heard how horticultural therapy benefits people of all ages and abilities, but also how it is growing in popularity as a programming option for people with disabilities. When the idea was first presented to Katie (Program Manager) and I, we were so excited. Over the next few weeks we had so many ideas of the programming possibilities a garden would provide. Having little to no expertise in gardening myself, we recruited the help of a Horticultural Therapist. ...

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Group Hug

by: Michelle Murray Office Administrator inclusion [in-kloo-zhuh n] noun 1. the act of including. 2. the state of being included. 3. something that is included. When I was a child, I was bullied.  For some reason the other kids decided there was something wrong with me.  They’d turn their backs, walk away, and yell at me.  Worst of all, they isolated me from my surroundings. When I was a child, inclusion was never taught; most of the children I went to school with taunted and teased anyone who seemed slightly different; which always led me to think – ...

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Afternoon Tea Between Friends

by: Kelsey Claeys, Event Coordinator I love planning events, all events, but there is something to be said about a brand new event. There is no precedent, I am able to help create the vision and as a collective, we get to experience something brand new for our organization.   On May 24, we will have our first ever High Tea fundraising event, appropriately named, An Afternoon Tea Between Friends. The vision that has been created for this event is one of whimsy and elegance, with a dash of reminiscing about a childhood favourite, Alice in Wonderland.  ...

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Power Up with Girl Power!

by: Penny Coleman W.E.S.O.A.R.! Girl Power Program Leader I have always wanted to see women and girls succeed.  I had envisioned that after I coached my sons in soccer and t-ball that I would love to coach an all-girls team.  Then my youngest son, Landon started volunteering with Between Friends and that got me started.  It didn't take long to fall in love with everything about Between Friends and all who entered into it…staff, leaders, volunteers and the participants.  After a short stint as a volunteer, I quickly jumped into a role of W.E.S.O.A.R.! program ...

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Realizing our Vision – Members Give Back

by:  Mariangela Avila - Practicum Student Aktion Club and our newest program Volunteer-in-Training are two programs that live our vision and mission, giving members the opportunity to contribute back to the community that has supported them and to be appreciated for their valuable contributions. Aktion Club funded by Northmount Kiwanis and Volunteer-in-Training developed for members of Between Friends, allows for individuals with disabilities to volunteer and give back to the community. These programs empower individuals to further develop leadership skills, ...

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