Town Councillor Richard Wegener is starting the "Councillor Wegener's Charity Challenge" on November 21 to support the Strathmore Overnight Shelter.

Wegener explained the initiative is to raise funds for the shelter, and he will match donations of up to $1,000 of his own money.  While this isn't a Town of Strathmore initiative, as Wegener decided to do this personally rather than as a Town organized event, he hopes he can use his position as a councillor to create positive change.

"The reason I am doing this is because I've been fortunate with things, and being part of council has helped this," he explained.

If you take part in this challenge, Wegener said it's important to mention his name when you donate to the Overnight Shelter so that he can match your donations. While there are many important charities that could've been chosen, Wegener chose the shelter because he heard from fellow councillor Denise Petersen they especially needed help.

"The shelter is filled to capacity, they run on a shoestring budget. Donations, whether it be monetary or clothing, are greatly needed by the shelter."

While this is Wegener's first time getting involved in charity in this way, he said he plans on using his platform for similar events in the future as well.

"As long as I am on Council, I plan on doing this on an annual basis, picking a different charity each year. It may be at Christmas time, it may be when these charities are in times of need, but that's kind of my plan over the next few years."

Wegener added he was inspired by our community and how Strathmore residents are always willing to step up to help each other, and also specifically mentioned high school student Emma Moore and the various charity projects she's been running over the last several years, saying she was a great inspiration and if she can do it then he can try too.

"Strathmore is a giving town, they'll offer donations, they'll offer food, they'll offer their time. I'm just trying to build on that giving spirit that I see in the town and with a lot of the residents."

Wegener's charity challenge will run until December 21. He also encouraged people who may not be able to donate money to find other ways to contribute if possible, such as donating their time to help the shelter or other organizations. 

"Time is valuable, volunteering their time at these great charities in town is a good thing that people can do, so I think anything that we can do is helpful just pick up the phone and call a local charity and see what they need." 

If you want to make a donation you can etransfer and use the password "Richard," or you could contact Pastor Elizabeth Karp at 403-880-3171 to arrange for a donation.

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