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My reflections on the conference: The Road From Georgetown

About 5 years ago, in my hometown village of Port Williams, it was noticed that there was no playground or park for the kids to play. Parents were driving to neighbouring towns just to take their kids to play.

So, a few parents got together and decided to do something about it. The Village of Port Williams had an empty lot scrub land and the conversation went like this…

“Here you go girls!” as they handed us the land. In less than a year, we had fundraised over $100,000 and built a park that has become the heart of Port Williams.

This story is not just about celebrating this success.

As we were celebrating the grand opening, one of the gentleman on the village commission said to me, “You know, we never thought you girls would do it (the park). We thought you’d raise a few dollars, get bored, and move on. Did you ever prove us wrong!”

This story summarizes what I learned at Georgetown.

Find a need and fill it… No Matter What!

Finding needs and filling them has been the focus of my life for the past 5 years.

–          Building a park in Port Williams where none stood

–          Building an appropriately-sized playground for the new KCA school

–          Creating my websiteValley Family Fun.

Through Valley Family Fun I have proudly created a community of over 2000 families living in the Valley. I saw a need for one central place for families to go to for information, but more so, a need for communication. People want to be told what is going on in the area. They want to feel connected.

With my background in Public Relations and communication, this is a core value for me.

While at the Georgetown Conference, we were challenged to think about what we could do for our communities? What will you pledge to do for your community?

We also talked a lot about what to do if you have a great idea and you are met with nay-sayers? How do you make change in the face of resistance, or when people don’t think you’ll be able to do it.

Find a need and fulfill it no matter what. There is always a way.

My personal goal? I would take the lessons that I have learned from Valley Family Fun about the importance of communication and apply them to Kentville where I live now. A common complaint from town council is that people do not come to meetings and that they are not engaged in the issues. A common complaint from residents is that they have no idea what is going on in Town nor what the issues are! Why not bring these two together?

Communities like Centreville, Margaretsville, Canning and Wolfville (which is a leader in this) have community-wide e-newsletters to let residents know what is happening in town and what the issues are. I would love to have this implemented in Kentville. I would love to be a part of this process and hopefully the catalyst for this happening.

Will they embrace the idea? Will I meet resistance? Will they see the need? Will they think that their current methods and Facebook page are sufficient?

I’m not sure, but it is my pledge to try.

I have found a need and I will try to fill it, no matter what!

Thank you Georgetown.