Swimming with the West Smoky Legion

Swimming Success for Bezanson Kids

West Smoky Legion #244It’s been over 55 years that the West Smoky Legion #244 has been dedicated to sending Bezanson youth for swimming lessons.

“It’s a life skill” says Legion President Bruce Fenton, “swimming lessons have always been an important part of the community services we offer”.

Many of the legions active members attended these same sponsored lessons in their youth and now have children and grandchildren of their own partaking.

“The kids absolutely LOVE it!” says organizer Renee Laverick. “We have kids ranging from 5 years old right up to 15. Seventy three kids in total this year!”

The funding provided by the West Smoky Legion #244 is a huge contribution to the success of the program that ran for 6 days over the last two weeks. Covering 62% of the lesson costs as well as the transport to the Eastlink Centre makes this program super friendly to families.

Of course the volunteers are an instrumental part of the programs success as well. “A tremendous thank-you to all that come to help out. We had 19 Moms helping out this year supervising in the stands, change rooms, on the pool deck and the bus – we really couldn’t run this program without them” says Laverick.

With continued support from the community through fundraising events like the Golden Leaf Dine & Dance (Nov), the Legion is hoping to extend lessons to include life guard training to children 13 years and older in 2017. A minimum of 4 students will be required to run these classes. Students with interest in this program next summer should contact Renee.

If you are interested in helping with youth activities in our community, fundraising or becoming a member of the West Smoky Legion #244 contact us, we would love to have you on board!

Tax Deductible Receipts Now Available for Contributors!

When thinking about contributing to the Capital Campaign project, please consider the benefits of a tax deductible receipt for your personal or corporate income tax return!

The Bezanson Agricultural Society is registered as a not for profit society.  In order to issue tax deductible receipts, the organization needs to have charitable status, which can be a costly move for small groups.

As a municipality, the County of Grande Prairie is able to accept your contribution on behalf of the Bezanson Agricultural Society and issue you a tax deductible receipt.  Please understand that although you will need to make all cheques payable to the County of Grande Prairie, all funds will be earmarked for the Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Centre.   The County of Grande Prairie is acting as our banker for these funds, in order to pass along the benefit of issuing a tax deductible receipt to our valued supporters.

When deciding how much to contribute, please consider speaking to an accounting professional or check the Canadian Revenue Agency’s Donation Calculator Tool to determine your capacity to support!  We sincerely appreciate the County of Grande Prairie’s assistance with this and look forward to working with all of you to involve you in this project in a way that suits you best!

Northern Energy Basketball 2016 Season Wrapup

The Northern Energy Basketball team was created to provide another option for girls to play club basketball. Our Mission is to bring Grande Prairie area players with desire, dedication and talent together to play at a high level of competition. Not only that, our clubs vision is to ensure that players are not only developing their athletic skills but also their eating and exercising habits as well as team building skills. All of our players are dedicated students as well as basketball players and most of those girls play basketball year-round in hopes of, one day, securing a college scholarship.

This season is proof that all the local clubs can benefit from more teams in the area. Our team has been able to scrimmage with and play against other local teams, thereby lessening the travel costs for all teams. Overall, building more basketball opportunities for our region, opening more doors for our local athletes.

This years (2016) team is made up of players from Peace Wapiti School Division, Northern Gateway (Valleyview), GP Catholic, GP Public. Tryouts take place after school season and our season runs from April – July. The focus is to help girls become better skilled, more confident and give them opportunities to travel across the province playing against other club teams.

The 2016 season included tournaments in Edmonton, Calgary, Peace River/Grimshaw, Grande Prairie. The girls practice 2-3 times a week including a dry land fitness session. They also take in sessions with local sports psychologist Matt Bain. This year the team travelled to Gonzaga University to take part in the Gonzaga Women’s Basketball Team Camp. The girls spent a week on campus, taking in coaching sessions, meeting and learning from Gonzaga players and coaches, participating in team-building events, as well as game play. They finished 6-3 in the tournament to wrap up the season.

Ally Pilgrim and Anna Vandergiessen from Bezanson were proud members of the Energy team this year.

Our team would like to acknowledge all those people who help make this team a success:

Thanks to the coaches, Lisa and Jessica for all the time put in this season. Thanks to the parent volunteers and to John and Tracy for driving to Gonzaga. Thanks to our supporters and sponsors – County of Grande Prairie, West Smoky Legion #244, Dirham Homes, Lighthouse Mechanical, Jennifer and PWA, Hillside Jr/Sr High School, Bezanson School, Playfair Athletics, Deana and the team at Ernie’s Prosport….and to all our fans and parents who travel with the girls, cheer them on and help us out with organizing and fundraising. Most of all Thanks to our players who commit to 2-3 practices a week, mental skills sessions, 4 tournaments and a week long trip to Gonzaga – you make us proud and you truly exemplify what it means to be a team. Have a great summer girls!

Our website : www.northernenergybasketballclub.com

Photo credit: Carolyn Pilgram

Capital Campaign Team Launched and Moving Forward!

As Capital Campaign Team Manager, I am honored to introduce to our community the team which will lead us to raise the funds for our new Bezanson Regional Community Cultural Center.

Please check out the Advisory Board tab and match faces to names, learn more about them by reading their biography, and join me in welcoming them on board!

The Capital Campaign Team is an advisory type of group responsible for broadening the reach of our cause, helping to connect potential donors to our project, and acting as ambassadors of our mission to our community and region.

This team is made up of individuals that are community minded! All members of our team have extensive experience with working together to make great things happen! We are proud of the diversity of this team which includes a wide range of skill sets and expertise. The Capital Campaign Team has experience with accounting, law, marketing, management, government, development, real estate, sales, church & school groups, and corporations, among other valuable personal skills that make this team strong!

Although this team is made up of 10 people, this project cannot happen with these 10 people alone! This is a regional project that will require individuals, families, local businesses, corporations, community groups, and government to join forces and build this important facility!

If you see one of the Capital Campaign Team Advisors out and about in the community, please join me in thanking them for sharing their skills and time for this project. Stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved. We need each and every one of you! It’s time to go forward, we have a plan, we have direction, but we can’t do it without you too!


Bezanson Gymkhana Starting this Summer

The Bezanson Ag Society is proud to bring Gymkhana to the community this summer! Gymkhana is an equestrian event focused on fun, speed pattern racing and times games designed to establish teamwork between horse and rider.

Local volunteers Rhonda LaValley and Margaret Moon will be leading this club, both with many years of horsemanship experience. The club welcomes riders of all ages to come out tonight to participate in our first night of events, or to come out to watch! Events will include timed events including barrels, poles, stakes, flag picking and keyhole, as well as fun events such as; the cookie race, the egg race, quad barrels and many more.

We hope to see riders and their horses tonight, June 29th 2016, 7 PM  at the Horse Arena for our first night of fun!


Community Centre Rendering

Bezanson Ag Society set for Saturday shindig

Tickets are still available at the Bezanson store to the Ag Society’s Capital Campaign launch. We encourage all community members to come out to see what is in the works for us.

“It’s an opportunity for us to show the community what plans we have come up with to meet their needs and a chance to celebrate this capital campaign to”¦ make this infrastructure a reality,” said Laura LaValley, manager of the fundraising campaign.

See the Daily Herald Tribune for the full article

New beginnings in Bezanson! Hope we’ll see you on Saturday for the Shindig 🙂