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WE DAY! Changing the world.


11 student Zier Zhou. “It’s the time of year we get to celebrate our accomplishments as volunteers. You can’t buy a ticket, you have to earn it.” Governor General David Johnston presented the Governor General Caring Canadian Award to Zhou and 19 other deserving students during the We Day celebration. “There are no shortcuts to caring,” said Johnston at the event. “You are literally changing the world. It just goes to show you, you are never too young to change the world, or too old.” “It’s so positive, it’s palpable,” said VCI teacher Ilze Hillier. “I feel like we can take on somuchmore. It is an incredible experience for the students, and for the teachers.” VCI grade-12 student Anika Talukder said We Day is inspiring. “There are lots of people with such incredible stories. I particularly liked the story of the girl with HIV. She is so inspiring.” Ashley Rose Murphy is a 16-year-old HIV positive motivational speaker and AIDS activist. “Our weakness can turn into our strength.” Her message at We Day was stirring and powerful. Bringing a generation together We Day is an initiative of Free the Children, founded by Craig and Marc Kielburger in 1995. When he was 12 years old, Craig Kielburger was moved by the story of a young boy who had been sold into slavery at the age of four, and eventually lost his life defending the rights of children. Iqbal Mashih fromSouth Asia was chained to a carpet-weaving loom for six years. He was just 12 years old when he was murdered for speaking out against child labour. In 2007, the first We Day saw 8,000 people at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. “In the near future, Craig andMarc Kielburger will not be able to find a stadium big enough for We Day,” said Johnston. “My dream for

The 50 th We Day celebration saw more than 16,000 visitors at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, April 1. Local schools such as Pleasant Corners Public School and Vankleek Hill Collegiate (VCI) were invited to the annual event, which had a stunning line up of guest speakers, musicians, and actors. Guests at We Day offered inspiring messages to youth to speak up, fight for what’s right, and change the world. Young Russell resident, Jonathan Pitre, received a standingovation for his courageousmessage of strength, hope, and perseverance. “Every morning, I wake up thinking about my dreams and I feel I can do anything. Great things and great deeds do not come easily. I may not have the physical ability, but I have a voice. If I can do it, you can do it.” 14-year-old Pitre suffers froma rare disease called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB). Pitre has raisedmore than $100,000 for a small charity dedicated to helping those with EB. Students cannot buy tickets for the event; they must earn the right to attend. Students from 500 schools were invited by the organizers of We Day for their volunteer work in social justice and global awareness. Some students traveled from as far as Thunder Bay to attend the event. In order to be invited, each school must have been involved in at least one local and one global initiative. The Interact Club at VCI has been raising funds and awareness on a number of issues throughout the year, with events such as Dining in the Dark, and selling Rafiki Friend bracelets made from women in Kenya. “I think We Day is really fun,” said VCI grade

Students from Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute Interact Club getting ready for the We Day celebration.

Canada is to see all kids at We Day.” We Day has reached hundreds of thousands of young people, making a difference in the world through local and global change. A year-long program calledWe Act precedesWe Day, motivating youth around the globe to be actively involved in changing the world. “The few, the dedicated, coming together to change this world,” said Craig Kielburger. Throughmentoring from family, educators, employers, and anyone else who wants to get involved, people raise awareness,

raise funds, and make small changes that together, make a big difference. Youth involved inWe Day have donated 9.6million hours of volunteer time, and $37 million in funds raised for 1,000 causes. “We have the power to change the world,” said VCI grade-12 student Connor Brown. “I loveWe Day. It’s exciting. We dance and sing. It puts you in a good mood.” More information on We Day and Free the Children can be found at www.weday. com.

Spring Potluck and Garden Sculptures at the Skelly Gallery Vankleek Hill & District Horticultural Society will be holding their annual spring potluck dinner, Thursday, April 16 at 6 p.m. at the Vankleek Hill Community Centre, 36 Mill Street in Vankleek Hill. “Join us as members or come and visit on a Thursday if you have a free evening. We will be glad to meet you. We help to make Mill Street Park and other points green and beautiful. We enjoy learning about horticulture with our programs.” Mary Higginson, president of the Horticultural Society. All are Welcome “Bring a Dish, Bring a Friend, Make New Friends” http://www.vkhhorticultural. ca – Diane Hunter

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Un gros merci à tous ceux et celles qui nous ont supportés pour La "Course à la vie CIBC ". Nous avons amassé la somme de 5 235$ pour la recherche du cancer. Merci de nous tous de l’Hôpital vétérinaire de Hawkesbury et de l'Hôpital vétérinaire Glengarry, ainsi que l’équipe Green Machine. A huge thank you to everyone who supported us at the CIBC Run for the Cure. Together, we raised $5,235 for cancer research! Thank you from all of us at the Hawkesbury & Glengarry Animal Hospitals and Team Green Machine.

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