July 20th, 2024

Neighbourhood Associations selected for $25,000 impact award

By ANNA SMITH Local Journalism Initiative on July 3, 2024.

Sadiki Bamperineza and Shantel Ottenbreit, Neighbourhood Association members, accept a $25,000 Community Impact Award from John Hudson, CFSEA committee chair.--Photo courtesy CFSEA


The Community Foundation of Southeast Alberta has announced the recipient of the Community Impact Award as the Neighbourhood Associations of Medicine Hat.

The award, which is $25,000 for agencies with innovative project ideas, is designed by CFSEA to support a vibrant, healthy and caring community.

“The Neighbourhoood Associations of Medicine Hat and Area is so grateful to the Community Foundation of Southeast Alberta for the opportunity to grow neighbourhood connections throughout our region,” said Shantel Ottenbreit, Neighbourhood Associations committee member.

Agencies that addressed the issues identified in the 2023 Vital Signs report – Work and Economy, Connection and Belonging, and Basic Needs including Housing, Health and Food – were invited to apply for the award.

The Neighbourhood Associations of Medicine Hat and Area was selected due to its alignment with all the criteria and its promises to “support and connect neighbours to create a sense of belonging, where everyone feels welcome,” said CFSEA.

Throughout the summer, the Neighbourhood Associations group will be supporting and attending block parties and events held throughout the community and region. Those considering hosting a block party or neighbourhood event and seeking support with advertising, invitations, or borrowing lawn games are encouraged to reach out to the group.

Other projects from the association include the beginning of Neighbourhood Walks, which are planned to launch later this year in early October. These walks hope to help residents get to know those who live in their immediate community, as well as hear unique local stories.

Over the summer, they will also be putting together a Block Party trailer for neighbourhoods to borrow, which will include tables and chairs, a tent and lawn games. By providing these items, the group hopes to alleviate some of the challenges associated with hosting a neighbourhood event like a Block Party.

“When residents join together to connect, they not only get to know each other, they get to know the needs of the neighbours and the issues facing their community, said Ottenbreit. “This builds a sense of belonging and creates a bond of common interests that leads to a vibrant community.”

Those interested in forming their own neighbourhood association, or are already part of one, are encouraged to join the registry, to keep up to date on the group’s projects and the development of the trailer.

For more information on Neighbourhood Association of Medicine Hat and Area work or to connect directly, residents are encouraged to email mhneighbourhoods@gmail.com.

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