Ron and Claire Noseworthy discussed Shelterbox Canada as the featured speakers at the Emergency Cervices Appreciation Dinner on Saturday, October 26 at the Kerry Vickar Centre

Emergency Services are important and the Rotary Club of Melfort wanted to recognize them. That is why they hosted the first annual Emergency Services Appreciation Dinner at the Kerry Vickar Centre on Saturday, October 26.

“We are so fortunate to have the level of emergency services that we do have in Melfort and area and we just thought they should be shown their appreciation every day, Ken Singer, president of the Melfort Rotary Club explained.

“Tonight is a good night to bring them all together, we have got representatives from all of the emergency services here tonight as our guests. And we also wanted to use this evening to showcase Rotary’s emergency service Shelterbox,” Singer explained.

All funds raised for the evening went to Shelterbox. Shelterbox Canada representative Ron Noseworthy and Claire Noseworthy were the featured speakers.

“There is a huge need in the world. I will just give an example the UN is estimating right now that there is about 80 to 85 million displaced people in the world. And that is going to grow they are predicting to 200 million so there is a massive need.” Ron said.

Shelterbox Canada is an international disaster relief charity that specializes in providing immediate emergency shelter for families around the world who have become homeless because of natural disaster.

A Shelterbox consists of a tent, a water purification filter, stove, blankets, tools and other essential items for survival.

“So we have been able to see the difference we make and we have saved lives and we save lives we truly save lives. You know when people have lost everything by giving them a Shelterbox it can save their lives and give you a means to filter water,” Claire said.

“That’s a big part of it, it gives people hope. Let’s say you have lost your home and all of your belongings. No one wants to live in a tent the rest of their life they are just thrilled to get these,” Ron said.

According to Ron about 85 percent of funds raised go to the box, while only 15 percent is used for support. The office is run with five people.

“We operate on donations only and we need many volunteers,” Ron added.

According to Singer the idea for the evening came from Rotary member Gailmarie Anderson as an idea for an early fall event.

“We have got a really nice turnout of people tonight and some are here just to show their appreciation and others are here as family of some of the firefighters and police,” Singer said.

“I think the message tonight will be one of thank you and just how grateful we are for the things that they do and put your life on the line for the community everyday” he added.

Greetings were given by Melfort MLA Todd Goudy and Mayor Rick Lang. Remarks were given by Melfort Fire Chief Jason Everitt, Cody Osborne of the Conservation office, Kyle Wyonzek of the Melfort RCMP, and Wayne Therres of Melfort Ambulance Care.

“We just take for granted that we are always safe. It’s because of the level of emergency services that our community has and I mean the list is endless. I mean it is everything from firefighters to our medical personnel to ambulance people on the ground and in the air,” Singer said.

Rod Gantefoer of STARS Air Ambulance made remarks and also introduced Kurt Ferguson who was saved by STARS after a construction accident.

“A great evening to bring our community together and the emergency services people and just say thank you,” Singer added.

A pie auction by Barrie Jung raised nearly $4,000 for Shelterbox. The entire evening was a success according to Singer.

“Thanks to our Rotary Club members that worked hard to put this together, their partners, friends of Rotary, you know there are lots of people who put this together,” he said.