Teens Against Poverty Put on an Unforgettable Concert

March 1st was a night that many students, volunteers, and Edmontonians will never forget.   Grade Nine Leadership Students at Riverbend Junior High School, along with help from Grade Eight Leadership Students and all other class rooms, as well as volunteers, organized and hosted an impressive concert and silent auction – Benefit for Bissell 2012, presented by Lexus of Edmonton – at the beautiful Citadel Theatre.  
As guests arrived they were escorted upstairs to the silent auction tables where 65 items were on display for bidding.   Among the most notable were a signed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins jersey, a signed Taylor Hall jersey, a hot air balloon ride, numerous gift baskets and other fabulous items donated by local businesses.

Local performers (listed below) donated their time and talent to ensure the students reached their goal of raising $15,000 for Bissell Centre and in support of our vision to eliminate poverty in our community.  

Maren Ord – Juno nominee
–  Livy Jeanne – award winning country singer/songwriter
–  Madi AmyotteThe Next Star finalist
Martin KerrCanadian Idol contestant
Jeff Ramsey – local musician

The night’s host, Ryan Jespersen from Citytv’s Breakfast Television, was entertaining as always.   Also in attendance was Mayor Stephen Mandel who delivered an inspirational message about youth leadership and ending poverty in Edmonton, and Honourable Dave Hancock, Minister of Human Services who gave a speech about addressing the issues of homelessness as a community.

Year after year Riverbend Jr. High continues to raise money for Bissell Centre by organizing coin drives, hot lunches, dances, and much more.  This year they were able to exceed their fundraising goal for the Benefit for Bissell Concert by securing sponsorships, numerous donations, selling tickets to the event, and through a well organized silent auction.   Their hard work paid off and they raised approximately $23,000 for Bissell Centre!

We are extremely grateful and continuously impressed by the kind hearts and leadership skills of the students at Riverbend Jr. High School.   Keep up the great work class, these skills will take you very far in your life!

JOE FM Gathers Winter Clothing Donations

Bissell Centre got a call from J’Lyn Nye from Corus Radio’s JOE FM!   She wanted to know if Bissell would benefit from some donations of warm, winter clothes.   I said, “Of course we could!” as our clients visit our Community Closet for their clothing needs – especially when it gets cold.   When I asked her what had inspired her, she said that she was at home watching the news, when the idea came to her, “I must do something for Edmontonians who don’t have enough warm clothes!”  

One idea, a couple calls, some on-air announcements and several tweets later the Corus lobby was full of donations.

More than ten bags of winter coats, sweaters, gloves, mitts, toques, scarves and so much more were delivered to us.   A single thought from a person with a caring heart created a tremendous movement to provide warmth for those who are cold and often at risk for frostbite.

Bissell Centre is creating a movement to end poverty.   We are partnering with individuals, businesses, schools and anyone who yearns to see all people housed, employed, and living a life where their basic daily needs – and more – are met.

Thank-you to J’Lyn, her co-host Gary, and the myriad of others who made this possible!

Riverbend Junior High – Strong Supporter of Bissell Centre

For the past seven years this incredible school has held a Benefits Concert in support of a non profit organizations. This year the students decided to continue its partnership withi Bissell Centre by holding a Silent Auction and the Concert on March 1, 2012 at the Citadel Theatre. Last year students raised $10,000 for Bissell and this year their goal is to reach $15,000, building on the strong support they already have from the community. We want to also acknowledge Lexus of Edmonton for agreeing to the join the school as the Title Sponsor of this event.
The leadership team at Riverbend Junior High is comprised of students in grades 8 and 9 who want to make a difference in our community. The Benefit Concert has come a long way since its inception. It began in the school’s gymnasium and then moved to the Royal Alberta Museum and is now taking place at the Citadel Theatre.

As an added note, recently Riverbend held a food drive. The results of that effort was over 1,250 kilograms of food being delivered to Bissell Centre, which will greatly help us over the holiday season!

Many thanks to an awesome school with incredible students!

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