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Firefighters complete rooftop fundraiser

Posted on April 6, 2016 by Lethbridge Sun Times

After four days and three nights, five firefighters descended from the rooftop of Hudsons Canadian Taphouse and celebrated a successful fundraising event for Muscular Dystrophy (MD) Canada.
The third annual Lethbridge Fire Fighters Charities Rooftop Campout for MD drew lots of support from the community, as the men spent their time in a tent on the roof collecting donations.
Lethbridge Fire Fighters Mitch Fowler, Colan Foster, Jarret Fowler, Drew Clark and Mitch Dirk had camped out since last Thursday. Money was raised online, through onsite barbeques, and by “filling the boot,” dangled from the roof by a rope.
Third time was the charm for Jarret Fowler, Fire Fighter/Paramedic and president of the Lethbridge Fire Fighters Charities Association. He’s taken part since the inaugural event.
“It was unbelievable. Each campout just gets better and better. The generosity of the community is just amazing,” said Fowler, who was especially touched to be visited by several local families affected by MD.
“Just the courage they have, they’re just amazing … that’s why we want to do it. We want to help these people out,” he said. “One of them gave us an illustrated book he made of his journeys through Canada. All of the proceeds of that book help MD Canada as well,” he said.
The International Association of Fire Fighters union has supported Muscular Dystrophy Canada as its charity of choice since 1954.
Supporting bees’ needs
Every spring, Canadians learn a little more about — literally — the birds and the bees.
But now the bees are reported in short supply, at least in part because of the spread of “bee colony collapse disorder.” In some areas, that’s putting crops of fruit and other pollination-dependent plants at risk.
Here in Lethbridge, a group is urging local homeowners and gardeners to plant more “pollination friendly” flowers this year, to nurture the bees as they arrive.
The “Team Bee Friendly” project is one of the initiatives now catching the public’s interest on the “Cheers 4 Lethbridge” website. Lori Harasem, one of the team members, explains how she has responded.
“My involvement with bees started with creating a bee friendly yard so that I could provide the bees with what they need,” she says.
“Hearing about Bee Colony Collapse Disorder made me aware of the importance of bees and being as bee-friendly as possible. Since then, I have also realized the impact it has on my fruit-bearing trees and gardens to have more bees around.”
For Lethbridge residents who want to become more involved, she says, there’s a group here that’s ready to provide information about the importance of bees.
Monthly meetings have begun and the group can be found on Facebook at “Lethbridge Bee Enthusiasts.”
Fond farewell for Jim Hillyer
Those who loved and knew former Conservative MP Jim Hillyer best came together to love, laugh, and celebrate the life of the man Friday morning at the Raymond LDS Stake Centre.
Among the hundreds in attendance were some of the most prominent Conservatives in the country, including former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and current interim Conservative Party of Canada leader Rona Ambrose.
Fred Hillyer, Jim’s older brother, said his family has been impressed and grateful for all the support they have received.
“There are so many people, we could never even thank them all,” he said. “People have had food show up at their houses, and people have shown up to clean houses, and people from everywhere have expressed well wishes and support.
“They’ve been very gracious.”
Former MP Rick Casson, Hillyer’s predecessor in the Lethbridge riding prior to retiring in 2011, said he was in “total shock” when he heard Jim had passed.
“You feel for a young family,” he said. “It’s pretty tough.”
Hillyer died of a heart attack while in Ottawa on March 23. From all accounts, he was a loving family man who left behind his wife Livi, and their four children.
He was a one-term MP in the Lethbridge riding before winning the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner riding in the last election.

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