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11 Years of Pancakes: Friendship, Gratitude, and Community Partnerships

Eleven years is an awfully long time, and a whole lot in our world has changed since 2006. New programs were introduced, a new CEO arrived, and the community in which we serve continued to grow. One thing that has remained constant, however, is our annual Community Pancake Breakfast—a give-back event set aside for community-building, networking, and the celebration of the people who support us in our efforts to make Alberta a more inclusive, welcoming province.
Given its impressively long history, our Pancake Breakfast is always well-attended, and draws guests from all imaginable walks of life. We can usually count on a few hundred hungry people including families, politicians, and local partners. This year, for example, Councillor Tony Caterina made a speech, the Highlands branch of the EdmontonTony Caterina giving a speech Public Library set up a table, and the Alberta Federation of Labour made an appearance. Friends, neighbours, partners, supporters, clients, and members of the general public flock to our yearly breakfasts in anticipation of delicious free food, fun outdoor activities and, of course, the chance to show their support to us and the people we serve every day. Proud as we are of our work here at DECSA, this is a time for recognizing the efforts of our surrounding community.
First, we give thanks to our volunteers, who took photos, served food despite intense heat, helped supervise tables, and made themselves useful in every way they could find. We could not hope to succeed without exceptional souls who donate their time freely and gladly. A special nod to a dozen students from CDI College is in order, as they all arrived bright and early and were chiefly responsible DECSA volunteers from CDI college serving food to the guestfor ensuring the breakfast ran smoothly.
Second, we must recognize our wonderful guests, who skip the chance to sleep in to eat, laugh, and enjoy the sunshine with us. We could not ask for a better neighbourhood, community, or city. We are truly blessed to be surrounded by such lively, active support from so many.
Finally, we express immeasurable gratitude to our sponsors, without whom we could not have hosted our breakfasts at all. Northlands has been our chief sponsor for years, and this year was no different. We thank them for helping us provide food for the breakfast, as well as the equipment used to prepare and serve it. Without a contribution from Northlands, our Community Pancake Breakfasts wouldn’t be possible. We must also acknowledge Re/Max, who lent us tents, a bouncy castle, and other equipment to ensure all our attendees would have everything they need for a comfortable and enjoyable morning. Edmonton’s Food Bank, which has been a loyal partner and provides ongoing and essential support to DECSA on a consistent basis, enhanced our breakfast by  DECSA guest are enjoying their breakfast in front of the RE/MAX tents providing beverages for all the guests. Given the high demand for food bank services across Canada and in Edmonton itself, we are doubly grateful for this assistance. We must also mention CIBC and Sun Life Financial, as staff from both companies have been long-time friends of DECSA and can be counted upon to lend us support during important events and milestones. Last but certainly not least, we owe many thanks to the kind community member who donated his petting zoo. The animals were a welcome addition to the event, and their gentle dispositions allowed us to give our young visitors an especially memorable experience.
And so, for now, we put the photos away, and move along to other exciting events planned for the coming months. Next year, though, we hope to see you all at our 12th Community Pancake Breakfast. Help us keep this treasured tradition going for another 11 years!

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The Value of a Library Card

PancakeStill wondering if you should attend our 9th Annual Community Pancake Breakfast on Wednesday, July 8 from 7:30 – 10:30 am? Wonder no more!

Alongside DECSA staff and volunteers serving a delicious breakfast of free pancakes, sausage, eggs, coffee, orange juice, and strawberries with whipped cream, there will also be staff from the Highlands branch of the Edmonton Public Library offering free EPL library cards!

We asked Margaret, one of our friends at the Highlands branch, to tell us about the value of a library card. This is what she had to say:

Why sign up for an EPL membership? Here are the top FIVE reasons:

  1. DIGITAL RESOURCES Edmonton Public Library has an extensive and diverse digital collection that Edmontonians can access from a computer, tablet or even a smartphone. Everything from language learning to video streaming is available in a variety of formats, at your fingertips with a library card!
  2. COMPUTER ACCESS Not only does every EPL branch in the city offer free WiFi, we all also have free public access computer stations.
  3. BOOKS AND ENTERTAINMENT Many people think of libraries as synonymous with books, but we are so much more than that! EPL is Edmonton’s largest lender of all things information and entertainment related. In addition to books, your library card grants you access to movies, CDs, audiobooks and video games which are available in many languages.
  4. ME LIBRARIES If you have an EPL membership you can sign up to ME Libraries and access over 10 million titles from 300 libraries all over Alberta!
  5. IT’S FREE!! Library cards are absolutely free for all Edmonton residents. Even without a library card you can come into the library to enjoy the space and take part in one of our popular programs. Did I mention these are all FREE?

If you have any questions our friendly library staff is always willing to help you find what you are looking for. For more information about the Edmonton Public Library or our programs and services, please visit the Highlands Branch at 6710 – 118 Avenue or online at www.epl.ca.

We invite all of our clients, agency partners, service providers, and neighbours to come together in the spirit of community on July 8 for a morning of good food and festivities.

We hope to see you there!

Our thanks to Margaret at EPL for contributing to this blog post.