Ken and Betty McIntosh are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on Nov. 12 by raising funds for the Seniors Services Society.
The couple is joining forces with the River Market for a fundraiser that will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the market. Community members are invited to drop by and enjoy free snacks, tea provided by Great Wall Tea and bid on some silent auction items.
Funds will go toward various services provided by the New Westminsterbased society, including Wheels to Meals and programs that help transport people to Maple Ridge for cataract treatment. Ken is the chair of the society's board.
"It's so hard to believe - 40 years flips by. The years just go," Betty said. "Ken kept saying, 'I'd like to do something different.'"
With a civic election approaching, the couple decided a vacation wasn't in the cards at this time and decided to host the fundraiser in celebration of their marital milestone. Having the event at the River Market was a natural choice, as it's a place they've been trying to support.
"Ken's calling it 'A Snack with the Macs,'" Betty said.
Betty hopes people will visit River Market for its Crafty Saturday's event that starts at 11 a.m. and then drop by the fundraiser. The Seniors Services Society will have display tables about its various programs.
"There will be a donation box that staff of Seniors Services Society will oversee," Betty said. "We have been gathering silent auction items."
A number of baskets are up for grabs, as is a birthday party for 14 children at the Vancouver Circus School. Ken's longtime connections with the Vancouver Canadians helped him secure a Vancouver Canadians "celebrity for the day" package that includes 20 tickets to a game during the team's 2012 season, with one of those people getting to throw the game's first ball.
"It's priceless to be the person on the mound throwing in the first pitch," Betty noted.
Ken and Betty will still celebrate their anniversary with their family at Gino's Restaurant in Sapperton - a McIntosh family tradition.
SWAP MEET SET
New Westminster's early child development parent advisory committee is giving families a chance to swap what they no longer need.
The committee is hosting a kids' swap meet on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Centennial Community Cente, 65 East Sixth Ave. The event is a chance for people to buy, sell, or exchange toys, books and other items for children.
For more information, call Pat at 604-525-9144.
The Elizabeth Fry Society is hosting Canada's first-ever symposium addressing women's safety in emergency shelters.
The symposium, Effective Shelter Design to Promote the Safety of Women and Families, being held on Nov. 15, will bring together experts from every part of shelter design and management to develop cost-effective recommendations to create shelter options that homeless women will feel safe using. The symposium is taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m. at Vancouver's Morris J. Wosk Centre.
"Women and children make up a growing portion of our homeless population," said Shawn Bayes, the society's executive director. "Unfortunately, their safety needs are often not met in co-ed shelters, and as a result, women may decline shelter services even when they desperately need somewhere to go."
The society operates three emergency shelters for women and children in the Lower Mainland and is a strong proponent of gender-specific shelters.
According to the Elizabeth Fry Society, shelters are often designated for men or are co-ed for cost reasons. Despite growing numbers of female homeless, men still make up the bulk of the homeless popu-lation.
"Shelter operators have the best of intentions, but there are currently no industry-wide design standards, operational policies or staff training requirements in place," Bayes said. "We believe that by connecting people involved in every aspect of shelter design and operation, we can collaboratively identify cost-efficient opportunities to improve safety and explore some alternatives to traditional shelters as well."
The symposium will include the perspectives of architects, shelter operators, clients, academics and members of government.
Registration is open to anyone wishing to contribute to the conversation about how to ensure B.C. has safe shelters women feel comfortable using.
For more information or to register for the symposium, visit www.elizabeth fry.com/symposium.
NEW HYACK HEAD
Douglas Smith is the new executive director of the Hyack Festival Association.
Smith joins the association after serving as managing partner of Alliance West Sports and Entertainment, which produced a highly successful street festival in Kitsilano this summer. Hyack president Rick Molstad believes that Smith's enthusiasm and experience in delivering major community events will be a huge asset to the Hyack Festival Association.
"I am very excited to be joining the Hyack association with its rich, 40-year history of organization celebratory events in New Westminster," Smith said.
"We have an outstanding annual event calendar to build on and a very committed core group of members and volunteers.
It's going to be fun to work with everyone.
"One of our key focuses will be to take the pulse of the community and determine how best to move forward. There are some great partnerships that can be cemented, including our long established relationship with the City of New Westminster."
Smith has been an economic development officer for the City of Parksville and has organized major annual events in Surrey, while serving as that city's manager of filing and special events.