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December 3, 2004 - SaskEnergy/TransGas Alumni Help North Central Neighbourhood

December 3, 2004

SaskEnergy/TransGas Alumni Help North Central Neighbourhood

With snow on the ground and winter officially on its way, a group of SaskEnergy/TransGas retirees from across southern Saskatchewan today donated a snowblower that will allow youth to help out seniors and other residents of North Central Regina. The snowblower will be an important part of the North Central Family Association's Youth Empowerment Program.

Begun this past spring, the Youth Empowerment Program provides employment for at-risk youth while at the same time helping area residents care for their homes and yards at a reasonable cost. The program has given these youths work experience and a sense of accomplishment, while at the same time providing a valuable service for North Central residents.

The Gas Division Alumni's snowblower donation could not have come at a better time, according to Sandy Wankel, Executive Director of the North Central Family Centre.

"The Youth Empowerment Program was a real success throughout the summer and fall, but we were going to stop the program for the winter," she explains. "That would have been a shame for the youths who have been involved in it for the past six months. Thanks to this generous donation, the program will transition into the winter months, and our youth are very excited about the prospect of having winter employment and acquiring additional job skills."

Mel Williams, who delivered the snowblower and two snow shovels, says he and his fellow Gas Division Alumni are happy the donation will make a difference for so many people in the North Central area.

"We wanted to find a way to give back to one of the communities we worked in for so many years, and this was a perfect fit," he said. "Now these kids can gain some work experience all year round while revitalizing their neighbourhood - helping seniors, for example, and others who might not be able to clear their own snow or do all their yard work."

Approximately 60 SaskEnergy/TransGas Gas Division Alumni from as far away as Maple Creek and Moosomin contributed funds at their quarterly meetings to help purchase the snowblower. SaskEnergy and TransGas then matched their former employees' contributions to make the donation possible.

The North Central Family Centre is a non-profit organization that delivers more than 40 structured programs - including the Youth Empowerment Program - to North Central Regina's inner city children, youth, families and seniors. Approximately 20 youths have participated in the Youth Empowerment Program by doing yard clean-up, hauling away rubbish, helping residents move, and providing painting and a variety of other home improvement services.

Anyone wishing to hire Youth Employment Program workers to clear snow or perform other home improvement services can call either Sandy Wankel or Program Co-ordinator Rob Sanderson at 347-2552.

For more information, please contact:

Sandy Wankel
Executive Director
North Central Family Centre

Candace Weimer
Communications Coordinator
777-9048 (office)
537-3565 (cell)