Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Try a Bike Day 2016 with You Can Ride Two

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Try a Bike Day 2016 with You Can Ride Two | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

You Can Ride Two is back at Broxton Park School in Spruce Grove on March 4, 2016 (1-7 PM), adapting bikes for kids with special needs and teaching them to ride. Haven’t heard of this unique organization? Check out my previous blog article detailing the great work they do.   The Rotary Club of Spruce Grove is proud to be involved with this organization.

Exhibits and Vendors

You Can Ride 2’s Try a Bike events include exhibits by many groups supporting children with disabilities, such as the Children’s Ability Fund, Sport Central, Variety the Children’s Charity, Free 2B Me, the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta, the Paralympic Sports Association, KidSport, and many others. In addition, select vendors such as Renu Cycle, Trivel and others will be present.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship of exhibits and vendor tables goes a long way in allowing You Can Ride 2 to cover the cost of assigning, maintaining and modifying bikes to meet the needs of children. If your business or service club can help out, please contact You Can Ride 2.

Volunteers

Volunteers (individuals, service clubs, school groups and the like) are urgently needed for a variety of tasks. Bike mechanics in particular are wanted for the March 4 event. Please visit You Can Ride 2’s “Support Us” page for a list of volunteer opportunities.

Donations

You Can Ride 2’s loan pool now has about 120 bikes, and can always use more. Anyone wishing to donate a used bike to the program is asked to bring it to the event. Each bike donated enters you into a draw for a signed Edmonton Eskimos football and helps allow another child to experience the joy of riding a bike. Donations of cash are always welcome as well!

Registration

Currently there are around 110 kids registered for the Try a Bike event on March 4! Parents of kids with special needs are invited to contact You Can Ride 2 for information about this program.

One final thing:  Name You Can Ride 2’s new mascot (supplied by the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove), and you could win a $100 MEC gift certificate!

As a proud Rotarian, I’m delighted to be able to help this worthwhile organization.  Comments or questions? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamFabric ghosts fluttering from trees, big blow-up monsters, elaborately carved jack-o’-lanterns, orange lights on roof edges… Every year in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, it seems more and more homeowners decorate their homes for the visits of little superheroes and princesses out to collect treats on that spooky night.

Just how safe is the path to your front door for those little tricksters? And from a homeowner’s perspective, would your liability insurance coverage be adequate in case of an unforeseen accident? I remember witnessing a problem at a friend’s home last Halloween that could have had disastrous consequences. The home is a bungalow whose front door is reached via 4 concrete steps, built at a time when railings on the sides of such porches or stoops were not mandated. The porch luckily drops off into a fringe of shrubs at the front of the house, rather than onto a hard concrete sidewalk. Inevitably, several excited youngsters fell off the steps that night, resulting in some minor bruises and spilled candy. Things could have been so much worse, and I’m pretty sure my friend will be reinforcing those porch edges this Halloween.

Keep visitors safe this Halloween:

Check your fire safety measures

  • When setting up electrical decorations and lights, don’t overload your electrical circuits.
  • Use battery powered flameless candles in jack-o’-lanterns.

Check for obstructions and hazards in your yard

  • If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is out of reach of little hands and well secured so as not to be a tripping hazard.
  • Remove obstacles such as lawn ornaments or garden tools, and rake up wet leaves and other debris.
  • Light up any decorative elements in your yard to avoid people running into them, or make them part of your Halloween tableau by surrounding them with “crime scene” tape.
  • Light up your walkway and keep the path clear. Snow on Halloween is always a possibility in our area, and it goes without saying that snow and ice should be cleared away to prevent injury from falls on slippery sidewalks.

Check your insurance coverage, just in case

Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Movement?

People paint and display a teal pumpkin to show that they are giving out treats that are safe for all kids, including those with allergies. That usually means non-food items, such as stickers, erasers or pencils, small toys and the like.

Protect your home and property too:

  • Keep your pets indoors for their safety as well as the safety of visitors.
  • Place garbage cans inside a building or secure them so they can’t be tipped over.
  • Park vehicles in your garage if possible.

How Safe is Your Spruce Grove Home for Halloween? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamOnce you’ve made your home safe, fill up the treat bowls, dress in your spookiest costume, turn on all the lights, and prepare to welcome all the little ghosts and goblins!

Do you have any more tips to add for a safe and fun Halloween? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

YouCanRide2: A Great Way to Help Kids

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

I’ve written before about some of my activities with the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove. I enjoy helping other people, and I find that this club allows me to get involved in causes I might not have otherwise been aware of.

Recently, Spruce Grove Rotarians were asked to volunteer in support of a local organization called YouCanRide2.  This organization held an event a few months ago at Broxton Park School in Spruce Grove that was both rewarding and inspiring.

You Can Ride 2 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYouCanRide2 adapts bicycles for kids with special needs and teaches them to ride. These kids suffer from conditions such as Down syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and autism. In some cases, these kids may never walk, but they can be taught to ride a bike. This one thing can have a major impact on these children and their families, bringing mobility to children who may have never experienced it before, and improved mental health to the most vulnerable in our community.

At the heart of YouCanRide2 are 3 pediatric physiotherapists: Janine Halayko, Melanie Harris, and Trent Magis. These three core people coordinate the large team of dedicated volunteers needed to run the “Borrow a Bike” program. The need for this program became evident when Janine was working with a child with cerebral palsy to teach him how to ride a bike. After 8 months of effort, and trial and error, she realized that no ordinary bike even with adaptations would do. The $3000 bike this child needed to be independent was far too expensive for the family, and could not be covered by any other agency. With the support of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society and Trent’s help, the idea for the “Borrow a Bike” program was born.

You Can Ride 2 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis story is not just about the children and families who are helped. It is about determination and volunteerism. Determination happens when everyone around you tells you what you are trying to do is too difficult to accomplish. And this is also about volunteerism – on steroids! Two of YouCanRide2’s core people are working moms with 3 children each of their own. Yet, they can volunteer 20-30 hours a week supporting this cause, and inspiring and leading dozens of other volunteers to help needy children.

YouCanRide2 is unique to Alberta and probably unique to all of Canada. Some of the bikes are donated, but they still require adapting to a specific child’s needs. For some of the more severely challenged, specialized bikes can run as high as $5000. Money is also needed for storage and transport of the bikes. This year, the goal of YouCanRide2 is to adapt 100 bikes for kids in the Edmonton area.

At the Rotary Club’s annual Lobsterfest, held this year on May 30, 2015, I made a video appeal for funding for this worthwhile organization, and I am delighted to report that the astounding sum of $91,000 was raised! I am overwhelmed by the compassion and generosity of Spruce Grove and area residents, and I know that YouCanRide2 will be able to do so much good with the money.

If you would like to contribute money, bikes that could be adapted, or expertise, please contact me, or get in touch with YouCanRide2 directly through their website.  Believe me, you’ll feel good for helping out!

Can you help? Please call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Photos used in this post are from You Can Ride Two’s website at http://www.youcanridetwo.ca/)

 

Easter in Edmonton: The Best Events Happening Around Town

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Easter in Edmonton- The Best Events Happening Around Town  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamEaster Sunday falls on April 20 this year, which means that with a little luck there will be some warm weather in town to lighten the mood of Easter festivities. If you’re new to the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, or if you’re a long-time resident, there are always lots of great events happening around town where you and your family can celebrate Easter in the community. These are just a few of the events you can take part in this year.

Hop to It at the Edmonton Valley Zoo

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is holding their popular “Hop to It” event again this year. Visitors will get to participate in science experiments and craft making. You can also get a temporary airbrush tattoo, experience the sensations of an egg-themed touch table, and go hunting on a scavenger hunt. The “Get Closer” feature offers guests some fascinating encounters with the zoo’s animal residents, and you can watch the animals hunt for their own Easter eggs. Depending on who finds them, the eggs might be played with, eaten, or even smashed.

How to Make a Monster at TELUS World of Science

If you’re looking for something a little different on the Easter weekend, it would be a perfect time to visit the How to Make a Monster exhibit at TELUS World of Science. The exhibit will show you the latest tricks and techniques that Hollywood uses to bring big screen creatures to life. You will see the work of Academy Award winning effects artist John Cox, including aliens from Pitch Black, the crocodile from Peter Pan, and the ape from George of the Jungle 2. You can also take control of a creature and try your hand at being an animatronic puppeteer. The exhibit’s last day is April 21, which is Easter Monday.

Chop Suey on the Prairies: A History of Chinese Restaurants in Alberta

You can put some “East” into Easter by visiting the Royal Alberta Museum on Easter Sunday. That’s when they launch “Chop Suey on the Prairies,” an educational look at the history of Chinese restaurants in Alberta. The exhibit will examine the popularity of Chinese food in North America and look at the many different settings in which you can find Asian cuisine. What you learn might surprise you.

Easter Eggstravaganza at Rutherford House

The Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site has established a great tradition of hosting an Easter Eggstravaganza. This family event lets visitors explore the historic home of Alberta’s first premier, Alexander Cameron Rutherford; he first moved into the house in 1911. The event features an Easter egg hunt, a sampling of cookies that are baked traditionally in a wood burning oven, and fun Easter-themed crafts.

As you can see, you won’t have to look very far to find great family fun on Easter weekend in Edmonton, no matter the weather.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about your home or Edmonton real estate. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

New to Edmonton? How to Settle Your Kids Into a Brand New Neighbourhood

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

New to Edmonton_ How to Settle Your Kids Into a Brand New Neighbourhood | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamMoving is tough on kids, whether you are moving across town or across country. It usually means that kids have to leave their old friends, change schools, and, sometimes, adjust to a different climate. Fortunately, children are incredibly adaptable and with a little preparation, the transition can be smooth and painless. If you are moving to the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, there are many community resources available to help make you and your children feel right at home.

Prepare Your Children for the Move and Familiarize Them With the New Neighbourhood

Before you move, you should make a number of trips to the area around your new neighbourhood. Visit the local parks, drive around the streets, and drop into the area community centers. If possible, enrol your child in sports or lessons in your new community before you move. That way, they will have established friendships before enrolling in a new school. With weekly events and an eye toward families, the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre in Spruce Grove is a great place to check out if your move is taking you to the Parkland County real estate area. A vital community centre such as this is invaluable, especially if your new home is located within Parkland County acreages or Edmonton acreages. Although the land is beautiful and spacious, your neighbours are not very close and an active community centre helps you connect socially with the people in your district. This is very important for both children and adults.

Visit the School Your Children Will Be Attending

No one likes to be dropped off in a new situation, never mind a brand new school. Before you move to your new community, call ahead to the school or schools your children will be attending. Make an appointment for the whole family to visit the school, meet the principal, the new teachers, and perhaps take a tour of the school. Almost all schools encourage new students to come and have a look around. If it helps the students make a good transition, it is as good for the school as it is for you. If you are planning a summer move when the school is closed, ask for a tour and make an appointment to meet the teacher when you register your children for the semester. If you are unsure of which school your child will attend, you can consult with your realtor or check out the Alberta Education website. Here you can look up the schools in your area. For example, for the Spruce Grove Real Estate area and Stony Plain Real Estate area, you would look at schools in  Parkland School Division No. 70 or Evergreen Catholic School Division.

Get Involved in Your New Community

The best way to become involved in the community is to become a part of it. The wider and more far-reaching your social circle is, the better your children will fit in. Throw yourself a housewarming party and invite your neighbours and people from the community. Volunteer to coach a little league team, or run a reading program at the local school. Moving to a new area can be difficult for shy children, but the more involved your family is, the more opportunities you give them to make friends.

The most important thing about settling your kids into a new neighbourhood is not to worry. Children make friends fast and will likely know all the ins and outs of the community before you do. If you prepare them well and keep them involved, they will be happy and well-adjusted, whether they live in a home bought through Parkland County Real Estate, Edmonton Real Estate, or even North Pole Real Estate.

Moving is a stressful event and I am always willing to answer any home-related questions you might have! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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