COLUMN: A short list of reasons to love Nelson

There’s a lot to celebrate here everyday

Happy Valentine’s Day, Nelson!

There’s a lot to love about this city. And not just on February 14.

All year long the remarkable people of Nelson are doing something special.

Random acts of kindness almost seem routine here.

At least that’s what I’ve observed since moving to the Queen City last fall.

And why not use Cupid’s Day to pass along recent events and stories that have warmed this editor’s heart.

Here’s the short list — and another reason why one of our community websites is titled

• The submissions for the Hugs feature in the Star. It’s even better when the entry is delivered in person to our Railtown office. A woman dropped off a hand-written note last week thanking “the young lady who rescued me from the ice at Chako Mika Mall.”

• ArtWalk, in its 30th year, and the inaugural Mural Festival — both set for this summer — opened to entries for artists this week. A round of applause to the organizers and volunteers. Art gives joy and relieves stress.

• The schedule for this summer’s seventh annual Elephant Mountain Literary Festival was unveiled earlier this month. Three internationally renowned literary couples will share the spotlight. Reading does many things, but most importantly it develops the mind.

• The 170 people raising almost $10,000 for five different charities, including the Food Cupboard, the Daily Bread and Haiti Rising during the Rotary Daybreak’s International Tasting Fair at Selkirk College last Thursday. Another perfect example of the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.”

• The Rotary Club of Nelson hosted a free Family Day event at Granite Pointe Golf Club on Sunday afternoon. The first annual event was held to simply thank the community for supporting their fundraising activities throughout the year. Very cool.

• The city workers clearing the roads this winter. Take a bow for a job well done.

• The Salvation Army raised a record $105,000 during its holiday fundraising drive this past December. It eclipsed the previous mark of $92,000. Giving to charity does many things, including strengthening personal values.

• The Youth Arts Festival runs this week at the Nelson and District Youth Centre and the Oxygen Art Centre. Research has shown that art can improve a teen’s confidence and academic performance.

• Kudos to teachers Kari Kroker, Angie McTague and Jeff Yasinchuk for taking an important stand against smartphones in classrooms. This is not the last story you’ll read on this topic in the Star.

• Trafalgar Middle School principal Carol Ann Leidloff was named one of the top-40 principals in Canada. School District 8 superintendent Christine Perkins described her as “a transformational leader.” Our young people are in good hands.

• The two Nelson Hydro workers who used some Gatorade to coax Polly the chihuahua back to safety. The rescue dog from Mexico had been missing in Nelson for eight days. A feel-good story.

• Local artist Vicki Issot, a big SPCA supporter for years, has stepped up again and is creating art cards of Polly to sell. All proceeds, of course, will go to the Nelson SPCA.

• The Coldest Night of the Year walk goes on Feb. 24. The fourth annual non-competitive walk raises money for Nelson CARES society, an agency that provides safe, affordable housing to the area’s most vulnerable. As Mother Teresa said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

• The 23 volunteers with the Nelson Police Department’s Restorative Justice Program will be honoured at a function on Thursday. These are citizens playing a vital role bringing a more sensible solution to criminal behaviour. A big tip of the hat to organizers and supporters.

There are many, many others who are making a big difference in our town.

And that’s why we love Nelson.


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