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Rising Sun appreciates the Ponoka community

The Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse has seen some beauty come out of the community after being a victim of a recent unfortunate and upsetting event

The Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse has seen some beauty come out of the community after being a victim of a recent unfortunate and upsetting event. On the morning of Jan. 5 the Clubhouses’ newly purchased 1993 Dodge Caravan was stolen from where they had parked it the night before.

Members and staff at the Clubhouse were discouraged and heartbroken over the theft and immediately contacted the Ponoka RCMP. The local police worked together with the Red Deer RCMP and caught the thief the same day.

The van was only used twice before it went missing and its purpose was to transport members to and from the clubhouse as well as to their appointments.

Debbie Lamey, director of the Ponoka Rising Sun Clubhouse, was saddened to see the members upset and contacted the Ponoka News with the information.

After the story was published and the word spread around Ponoka, the Rising Sun Clubhouse was touched by the generosity of the community.

“It is awesome to be a part of this town,” said Lamey, “We were blown away by the giving hearts of the community, they stepped up when we were at a low point.”

After seeing the good that came out of this incident the members of the Rising Sun Clubhouse wanted to show their appreciation to all who helped out with a dinner.

“It was the members’ idea,” said Lamey. “At one of our meetings they said they wanted to do something and a dinner is something we have access to.”

The Clubhouse invited Blaine Fuller (Employment Placement Support Services), Barry Groves (Unifeed), Shawn Burnett (Reflections on 66), Brad Larson (Chrysler) and the Ponoka News to a full dinner and dessert on Jan. 29 at the Clubhouse.

Each person/business helped out in some way including donation of the Club to lock the steering wheel of the van, the use of a compound to keep the van at night, restoring the van after the damage was done, and more.

“The dinner was fantastic,” said Larson. “It was our pleasure and honour to help them out. They give so much to the community and when something happens, the community should give back.”

Corey Myles, a member at the Clubhouse, read a piece that he wrote thanking their guests and highlighting the feeling at the clubhouse when the van was stolen and how certain people came to their aid.

Burnett heard about the news of the van and was motivated to provide his services to help better the situation.

“We just thought we needed to help them,” he said. “They do a lot for Ponoka and we wanted to do something.”

The members of the Clubhouse also made and signed thank-you cards for those who helped and presented it to them at the dinner.

“It was great,” said Groves. “The Clubhouse is a great asset to the community and I’m glad we could help.”

Fuller was touched by the appreciation of the members and staff and said he didn’t even give think twice about helping them when the van was stolen.

“I had something they could use and didn’t even give it any thought,” he said.

The large dinner was made by two nursing students, Cindy Pearson and Katie Walmsley, from Red Deer College who are doing clinical at the Rising Sun Clubhouse.

“It was a big job but we had a lot of help,” said Pearson. “Everyone pitched in, it was really nice.”

Lamey was pleased with the dinner and proud of the community. Although their van had been ruined, Lamey says that everyone pitching in and helping fix the situation has been amazingly overwhelming. She is glad that the Clubhouse is valued in Ponoka and that there are people in the town who are willing to step up for those who need it.

“This whole thing has brought us together,” she said. “A lot of people know who we are and they can see we have a family here. That is what we are, a family.”