By Lindsay Ducharme
The youth of Fort Chipewyan are taking a stand in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and in remembrance of one of their own. On March 1st the LAYC Athabasca Youth Council will be hosting their first annual “Shayna’s Song, A Red Dress Event”.
“It is going to be fashion show, silent auction, as well as entertainment, and healthy canteen. It will be held at the community hall in Fort Chip,” explained Tina Fraser, coordinator for LAYC Athabasca Youth Council.
“We wanted to host an event this year because the youth wanted to do something to promote awareness of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The youth want to be involved, they wanted to create awareness and raise money. Half of the money is going to go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the other half will go to LAYC.”
Fraser explained that Shayna’s Song, A Red Dress Event was created in remembrance of a young girl named Shayna who previously lived in Fort Chip. A few years after moving to Fort Providence with her mother, Shayna unfortunately passed away due to an undiagnosed heart condition. The following year Shayna’s mother hosted the first event in Fort Providence.
LAYC is looking forward to their first foray into the Red Dress Event and have been busy gathering community support. “ We have already collected over 25 items for the silent auctions. We encourage everyone to wear a red dress or a red outfit and come out and participate in our fashion show that night. We have babies right up to grandmothers planning to participate. There is no preregistration required,” Fraser said.
LAYC is a non-profit youth lead organization within the community of Fort Chip. Fraser said the organization is dedicated to supporting, teaching and empowering the youth of the region through real life experiences and opportunities.
“Instead of people coming in and telling us what we need in our community, the youth actually seek out things that they want to do and bring it before the board. We sit beside them and plan everything together; it’s iPad beside iPad. If they want to go on a hockey trip they have to research the hotels, they have to research how to buy tickets online. It’s very experimental learning, what do they need to fly, what will going through security involve, the whole thing. It’s not just providing trips for them, it’s engaging them in the whole learning process to get there so they feel like they own it a little more.”
Tickets to Shayna’s Song, A Red Dress Event will be available at the door at a cost of $2. For more information on the event like “Shayna’s Song, A Red Dress Event” on Facebook.