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THE TAP OUT CLUB
It is no secret that time, effort and money invested in prevention saves communities many times that investment in intervention costs. That’s one of the compelling reasons for addressing issues with youth before they escalate into adult-sized crises. With support from Battle River Community Foundation in 2011 and 2012, the Family Violence Action Society is working with junior-high youth identified by their school. Within the school setting, many of these youth have been noted for varying degrees of angry outbursts, bullying or being bullied, lack of self-governance or a general lack of cohesiveness with their classmates. At the invitation of the school, the FVAS youth facilitators have had the privilege of connecting with three distinct groups of these youth so far. With no set curriculum, and only 42 minutes of class time weekly for eight weeks, facilitators probe to uncover the real issues that are masked by defiant behaviour. Students’ lack of belief in their own worth and an absence of hope for a bright future are common themes in their outlook on life. When asked if they knew why they were invited into the group, one group responded, “Because we’re the worst class ever!” The Tap Out Club, with its inference to combative sports, was created by Family Violence Action Society not to promote violence, but to drive home the deeper meaning: knowing when to step back, to throw in the towel, to walk away. Tap Out seeks to identify the many emotions teens “wrestle” with each day, and provide tangible steps to deal with those emotions. Each group that engages in The Tap Out Club works to create its own code of behaviour. Respect for others, decisions by consensus, consistent procedures and other group norms form a healthy foundation for interaction within the club. What changes for these students when they engage in The Tap Out Club? They gain an awareness of how their mood and general attitude affect not only them, but also those around them. They begin to think proactively and try to affect a positive outcome. The Tap Out Club challenges these students to think about who they are. Recognize their talents, their gifts. Consider how they present themselves to the world. Think about what they want their future to look like and how THEY are going to make that happen. The Tap Out Club has adopted a mantra that ends their Tap Out time each week. It is an adaptation of a poem well-known in 12-step circles. It helps the students to carry with them the seeds of change that are planted and nurtured within Tap Out Club. Just for today, I will let go of anger. Just for today, I will let go of worry. Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings. Just for today, I will do my work honestly. Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing. Submitted by Sheralyn Dobos Program Director Family Violence Action Society
BOB & PAT DORSET
Bob and Pat Dorset are living the good life. The couple, both in their early 70s, met and married young, raised a family, worked hard and are now enjoying the fruits of their labour. They spend five months a year in Arizona because “you never have to shovel sunshine” and enjoy golf, good friends, travelling and spending quality time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchild. Over the years they have been active in the Kinsmen / Kinette organization and are also members of the Masonic family. Bob is also a Shriner. Both born and raised in “small town Saskatchewan”, the couple married in 1959 and have three daughters. In their earlier days, Bob was a production accountant for an oil company, and Pat was a teacher. Later, the duo became the owners/operators of a hotel, which was a great experience, they say, and also hard work. After ten years, Bob and Pat sold the hotel and moved to Saskatoon, where they purchased a Dairy Queen. Living in the city seemed impersonal and Pat says she and Bob felt like “square pegs in round holes”, so they began to look around for a new Dairy Queen to purchase and a new place to call home. They found that perfect combination in Camrose in 1987. The Dorsets had been through the community many times and were happy to hear the local Dairy Queen was on the market. They decided to buy it and made an agreement with each other that they would stay ten years before going back home to Saskatchewan. Five years into that ten-year term, Bob and Pat decided to stay in Camrose permanently and operated the DQ for about 16 years. They also purchased and managed several apartment buildings, which they sold in 2007 when they “retired completely”. The Dorsets consider themselves to be “very lucky” people, because they have a life they enjoy, a very close knit family and enough funds to do the things they want to. The couple believes in taking care of their family and is comfortable in knowing that their descendants will be well provided for even after Bob and Pat are no longer here. But they also say their small town upbringing helped them develop a sense of community commitment and a desire to ensure others are taken care of too. “We come from a time and place when you left your keys in your vehicle, you helped your neighbors if they were down on their luck and if there was a project to do everyone pitched in,” Bob explains. “The community of Camrose has been very good to us, and we like the idea of being able to do something in return.” In order to do that, the Dorsets have established a fund through the Battle River Community Foundation, which will assist in meeting local needs. They set up their fund with an initial donation of $10,000 and intend to add to it on a regular basis. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from this community and we wanted to give some back".
|Battle River Community Foundation | email@example.com | 780.679.0449 | PO Box 1122, Camrose, AB T4V 4E7|