A dedicated group of young woman from Rimbey Christian Reformed Church recently took part in the Rimbey Coldest Night Walk event, raising $3,500 – and counting – for the local food bank.
Members from GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Saviour) from Rimbey Christian Reformed Church were thrilled to participate in the walk, said their leader and counsellor Judy Fairfield.
“Five GEMS girls and three counsellors walked around Rimbey for about an hour – stopping at the exercise equipment and accepting pledges for the Rimbey Food bank or Rimbey Family Community Home Help Services Association,” she said.
This is the third time the girls have taken part in the walk, which was was held on Feb. 19th.
“They are great,” said Fairfield, who has been involved with GEMS since 2016.
She has five girls in her specific group, as GEMS is divided into a few different groups according to age. “They go from Grade three all the way up. I had two girls in Grade 10 this year, and three in Grade nine,” she said.
“Prior to COVID, we met every second Thursday of the month. It’s similar to Brownies in that you work for badges. Three years ago, our theme was ‘Blessing’. How can you be a blessing to people?
“So we spent a year being a blessing to other people who we thought of. We went to the food bank in Red Deer and peeled apples and carrots one afternoon. And later, the whole group of GEMS – all the grades – went Christmas carolling around to certain houses, the lodge and the long-term care at that time, too,” she explained.
“We have lots of fun distributing ‘blessings’ in and around the community!”
Fairfield recalls telling the girls about a fundraising walk-a-thon that was planned.
They were immediately interested, so out went the pledge sheets and letters to local businesses for support.
“The first year, there was the six of us that went for a walk – we usually go for the loop from our church around the town and back to the church. We also have cookies and hot chocolate afterwards. And that first year, we made about $1,000.
“The second year, I said, ‘Okay, let’s try a little harder and see if we can beat last year’. They were like, ‘Great!’
“Jamie Costen from Rimbey FCSS came with us, and the girls are always happy to have extra people along. They do stop at the exercise equipment and the playgrounds, too.”
An inspirational discussion is usually part of the walk as well.
“This year, with COVID – it was also really on my heart. So I went to the girls and said, ‘I’m willing to do this if you are’. They were all onboard. It was like, ‘Yes! We are doing this!
“So I said, ‘Let’s double what we did last year’. That’s a lot of money, but we (surpassed) our goal! Rimbey and the area has wonderful people, and they are all behind us,” she said.
“These girls are also amazing and ready to work,” she said. “I see wonderful things coming from them in the future as well.”