ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News
It was a long journey from Calgary to Edmonton for military officer Daryl Bonar, but he received a lot of support from the communities he passed — Hobbema in particular.
Bonar, who was running a marathon from Calgary to Edmonton in support of the Youth Emergency Shelter Society, had a brief stay with Muskwachees EMS along the way, but it was an hour-long stay that could make a difference to the community.
“We heard he was running through here and we just wanted to show our support for him,” said paramedic Rob Hastie. “It’s great what he’s doing, we need a lot more people like that.”
Five Muskwachees paramedics, along with a member of the Hobbema RCMP, met Bonar during a rest time on May 25 and hooked him up to an IV to help him with his constant battle against dehydration.
Aside from the IV, Bonar took the hour-long break to ‘pick the brains’ of the paramedics and ask them about the need for youth shelters in Hobbema.
“Some of these guys have been there for many years, so they see everything that happens,” said Bonar. “Their first-hand knowledge was very valuable.”
“It was a good time to ask all of the emergency personnel about their experiences and what Hobbema has to offer in terms of youth services,” said Bonar.
Even before he stopped, Bonar says the support from the many bystanders was great.
“There was one guy in a tow truck who said that he would give me everything in his pockets to go toward YESS. After a couple seconds of emptying his pockets, there was over $100 there.”
The information collected by Bonar about the area is valuable to his cause, as 40-per-cent of children in the youth shelter that he co-founded, Da Bomb Squad, are from aboriginal descent.
Although no plans are set in stone, Bonar says that there is a possibility of involving the Hobbema area in his plans to expand the youth shelter.
“We’re looking at taking this program province-wide and Da Bomb Squad would be a good fit if we could tailor it specifically to Hobbema,” said Bonar.