Immediately following the Strathmore Stampede parade, Bow River MP Martin Shields on July 30, and Chestermere-Strathmore MLA Leela Aheer once again hosted their annual hot dog fundraiser.
This year’s event marks the seventh year the fundraiser has been hosted in support of the Strathmore Municipal Library. Shields said following the parade is a perfect opportunity to get people to come together.
“On rodeo weekend in Strathmore, a lot of people are here and a lot of people come to the parade, so (Aheer) and I, years ago, we decided, why don’t we do a hot dog barbeque after,” said Shields. “All the money is donated, and people make a donation of whatever they feel like donating. Between the MLA’s and the MP’s offices, we work to support the library.”
He added that as he and Aheer believe reading is critically important, it felt only natural to continue doing something to support the library.
“They are a service centre, they’re open more hours than any other service centre in the community, and people not only want to go there for books, but they also answer a lot of questions for people in the community,” said Shields. “They are an information centre, as well as what you might think of for books. They provide a lot of services for the community, so we’re really supportive of that.”
Aheer said she believes it is always a positive to be able to give back to the community in a way that is outside the normal scope of politics.
“(Shields and I), we’re both involved in politics, and it’s toxic. It can be very negative and frustrating … so when we are able to do something like this and bring people together … it’s nice to be able to contribute,” said Aheer.
Though they did not give exact numbers, Shields added the rough goal was to raise between $500 and $1,000 for the library.
Similarly, the overall impact of the fundraiser for the library was not specified. Both Shields and Aheer said simply that they continue to enjoy the opportunity they have created to do something positive for the local community.
“You promote literacy, you promote the library, and you promote people going to the library, and we hope that has a positive effect,” said Shields. “The library tells us that it does, and that’s the best part of doing this.”
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times