Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don Scott's Big Announcement

 Today at 2 pm I was at the big announcement regarding Don Scott.  He is a person that I have the utmost respect for and was thrilled when he publicly announced his intention to seek the PC nomination for the new riding of Fort McMurray-Conklin. Things are different this year.  We are gearing up to vote in two MLAs for our region. The city is practically all abuzz with excitement over the possibilities and opportunities.
Map of Alberta showing Provincial Electoral
Divisions 58 & 59

In the foyer at Sawridge, my friend, stepped up to the plate for Fort McMurray.  Addressing a standing room only crowd Don talked about his vision and direction for Fort McMurray/Conklin.  His belief in committed action, in education, in seniors, in health care and having a effective representative in government.  He talked of putting aside past grievances for a future that we can be proud of no matter where we are in this world.  I encourage you to drop into his website to learn more about Don Scott www.donscott.ca

Don Scott: Announcement @ Sawridge

Over the last year I have watched Don Scott stand up for our community.  I have had a chance to get to know him better as a person as we seem to travel in the same circles and attend quite a few of the same events as publicly elected figures. I guess that is not unusual as both of us have made Fort McMurray a place to raise our families and our homes are here in Wood Buffalo.  I have watched him as he stops to talk to everyone who has come up to him, making time to hear their concerns and move into action when called upon.  He is someone that I have the honour of calling friend.  He is funny, thoughtful,a family man, a volunteer and he loves this community as much as I do.  I firmly believe that he will be an outstanding representative for our region. Too bad he running for 58: Fort McMurray-Conklin...it is not my voting area, because he would have my vote hands down. 
Loved your cupcakes, Don!

Classically Brilliant Shakespearean Theatre; Macbeth

A couple of weeks ago I heard the tell-tale ping of an e-mail hitting the in box.  Upon opening it, I was more than delighted to see that it was from Keyano Theatre and I was being invited for a backstage tour of the up-coming play Macbeth.  I have to admit, I totally adore backstage tours at Keyano theatre.  Each time I have gone it has been before I have seen the play and it has made the play that much more interesting when I do see it performed.  I immediately contacted a friend of mine who is also of a curious nature to invite her, knowing that she would find the backstage tour as fascinating as I do.  November 27th came up fast on my calendar and soon I found myself waiting in Keyano lobby for the production manager, Nick Beach, in eager anticipation of the tour. 
Up until this point I have been avoiding reading any reviews, blogs or newspaper articles about the play.  I don't want anything to colour my perception of what I am to see both on the backstage tour and the play that I will see that evening. We walk into the theatre and I am immediately struck by the lack of a set.  I am intrigued. I know that the stage floor has been painted many, many times over the years for each production that has run at Keyano Theatre, but this time it seems to be different.  There are 16 squares where the entire play will be performed and the floor itself seems to absorb light. Nick quickly explains that the floor has been painted as close to matte as possible with highway paint to avoid light bouncing off of it.  I look around and soon realize that this set is a work in simplicity and lighting.  The lights are set up on the side as they would for a dance production, which I am informed has never been done before at the Theatre for a play. We move to the side of the stage where we look at the daggers used in the play.  They are not stage-prop ready knives that one usually sees in a production, which by the way break more often that the actors would like in a sword fight, but are made in an armoury in Britain and tour with the company.  I am thinking that customs might be a bit dodgy at times explaining what is in your traveling case for these guys.  I notice that there are black pieces of cloth on the floor.  These serve two purposes for the play, first as a costume for the witches and second to aid the actors in fading into the darkness....kinda' like a Theatre Snuggy.  Macbeth is a military play so I was not surprised to see that they were using flak vests as part of the costumes.  So simple, yet implying so much more.  When I left the backstage tour I was seriously looking forward to seeing Macbeth that evening armed with my new found backstage Intel.  Not only do I like Macbeth, but this is the ONLY stop in Canada that Aquila Theatre  Company (www.aquilatheatre.com)  is making. 
 I arrive that Sunday night for the closing night performance of  The Tragedy of Macbeth, which is a play about a regicide and its aftermath. It is about the darkness found in the souls of humankind and the tragedy of irresistible temptation. The plot of Macbeth is set in motion ostensibly by the prophecy of the three witches. The prophecy fans the flames of ambition within Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, serving as the primary impetus for the entire play. I can not help but wonder: Would Macbeth have committed such heinous crimes if not for the prophecy? What if he had ignored the witches’ statements? Is it not really about the choices that one makes in life that set us upon one path or another?  Macbeth’s tragic flaw is that he choose to commit murder even though he could simply discard the witches words.
Photo Credit to Aquila Theatre

Some of the most famous and poetic lines from Macbeth are expressions of remorse and guilt. “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” exclaims Macbeth after he stabs Duncan (II ii 58-59). Similarly, Lady Macbeth is plagued by a “spot” that she cannot remove from her hand: “Out, damned spot! Out, I say. . . What, will these hands ne’er be clean?” (V I 30-37).  These are the lines that I think everyone knows.  I can hear people around me as Lady MacBeth says her famous lines both uttering the words with the actor, and smiling(and yes you can hear a smile) in recognition. 
Photo Credit to Aquila Theatre
The performance by Aquila Theatre was classically brilliant Shakespearean Theatre. When Shakespearean Theatre is done correctly, which was done with this company of British actors it can transport the patron into a world of intrigue, and open questions to our human psyche.  Since seeing the play I have had time to read the reviews, blogs and entered into discussions on the impressions this play has left on many people in Wood Buffalo.  I must admit that I  thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this production and while some might not agree, the play held true to the art of Shakespearean theatre.  The thoughtful minimalistic use of  colour, and the inventive lighting techniques made this one of my favorite plays that I have had the opportunity to see.

While doing some background on The Tragedy of MacbethMacbeth by name while inside a theatre, and sometimes refer to it indirectly, for example as "the Scottish play" or "MacBee", or when referring to the character and not the play, "Mr. and Mrs. M", or "The Scottish King". This is because Shakespeare is said to have used the spells of real witches in his text, purportedly angering the witches and causing them to curse the play. Thus, to say the name of the play inside a theatre is believed to doom the production to failure, and perhaps cause physical injury or death to cast members.  One particular incident that lent itself to the superstition was the Astor Place Riot. The Astor Place Riot occurred on May 10, 1849 at the now-demolished  Astor Opera House in Manhattan, New York City and left at least 25 dead and more than 120 injured. Because the cause of these riots was based on a conflict over two performances of Macbeth, this is often thought of as having been caused by the curse. Several methods exist to dispel the curse, depending on the actor. One, attributed to Michael York is to immediately leave the building the stage is in with the person who uttered the name, walk around it three times, spit over their left shoulders, say an obscenity then wait to be invited back into the building. A related practice is to spin around three times as fast as possible on the spot, sometimes accompanied by spitting over their shoulder, and uttering an obscenity. Another popular "ritual" is to leave the room, knock three times, be invited in, and then quote a line from  Hamlet. Yet another is to recite lines from  The Merchant of Venice, thought to be a lucky play.
As far as I am concerned we are very lucky intend to have had the Canadian debut from Aquila Theatre company in the production of Macbeth here in Fort McMurray. Thank you to all that made this possible and thank you Nick for an enlightening backstage tour. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Santas Anonymous; The Quest for Christmas Love

Over the last 26 years there have been over 50,161 people which have been helped  - majority of which have been children - by Father Mercerdi High School Santas Anonymous Program.  The community has entrusted the school with the noble calling of supplying citizens of Wood Buffalo with a week's supply of food, including a traditional Christmas dinner and gifts for each child in the house. Last year the number of hampers requested was the highest ever,  topping out at 650 families in need of help. 
It is no wonder that I found myself driving to Father Mercredi High School on November 27th for the Christmas Market in support of Santas Anonymous.  As I walked into the transformed foyer at Father Mercredi I was welcomed by three of Santa's happy Elves.  It was quickly apparent that the students thoroughly enjoyed helping out with this cause.

As I made my way through the market I stopped to talk to people I knew, and vendors that peaked my interest... and there were quite a few. I was immediately interested in Tocara jewelry (www.tocaraplus.com).  Anyone who knows me at all would attest that I am one to stop for good jewelry and conversation which was both found in abundance as I talked to Lesley Abbott.  I totally adore homemade cards, but lack the patience and more importantly the time to make them myself, so I was extremely happy to to run across P-Ink Creations (p-inkcreations@hotmail.com). They had a great assortment of products and to top it all off they will make custom made cards if I need them.  Definitely keeping that on my list of things to remember, although cat's out of the bag now it would seem.  So if you get a homemade card from me, know two things.  First, I didn't make it and  two it is the thought that counts.  I also missed Festival of Trees this year, as I have unfortunately done for the past two years because it falls on the same weekend as two very important general meetings in Edmonton, so it was wonderful to see Blissful Occasions (www.blissfuloccasions.webs.com) there.  They had those clay snowmen that I have purchased every year since my son was born for the Christmas tree. Most happy circumstance indeed.
Tocara - Lesley Abbott

P-Ink Creations - Pamela Clark
With a good start on my Christmas shopping completed I made my way back to my car.  Even though I was done I could see people still driving into the full parking lot searching for a parking spot to support this worthy cause.  You see.....the people who live in Wood Buffalo will come out to support a good cause. 
There are many more opportunities for you to get involved if you missed the Teddy Bear Toss at the Oil Baron Game or the Market.  To get the latest up-dates you can go on the Father Mercredi Santas Anonymous website http://fmsantas.com
December 6, 2011
- Father Mercredi Musical Christmas – 7:30pm to 9:30pm at Father Mercredi Cafeteria – Come listen to our student bands and choirs perform Christmas performances to get you in the Christmas spirit. Donations will be accepted for Santa's Anonymous. I can't wait to go.  It is already in my calendar.
December 8, 2011
- Pancake Breakfast – Father Mercredi High School – 7am – 8:30am where I will be serving breakfast from 7:30 until 8 am
December 9 and 10, 2011
- Miracle Marathon – Continuous Radio Coverage supported by Safeway Canada and 93.3 Country and Rock 97.9
- We will be accepting new toys, non-perishable food items and monetary donations. This is a great time for local businesses to donate and challenge other local businesses to do the same.
December 16, 2011
Packing Day – Hampers will be packed and delivered. Call 780-799-5725 if you are interested in delivering hampers.

If you know of a family that is in need and could use some Christmas love please have the referral form http://fmsantas.com/santas-anonymous-referral-form  submitted to Father Mercerdi Santas Anonymous by December 9th, 2011.  I have both packed these hampers and delivered around Fort McMurray and I have seen the joy on people's faces as we drop off toys, and food with nothing more than a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in exchange.  If you have time to spare the return for your time is more than worth it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

An Act of Remembrance

This was the first year that the Remembrance Day service was held in the field house at MacDonald Island.  It has been traditionally held in the Keyano theatre. With it being down at MacDonald Island the attendance of the service effectively doubled with people coming together to celebrate, honour and remember.  I think it may have been more than that as I looked up to see people on the second level of the facility.  This year was chalk full of interesting numbers as it turns out.  You have heard of the eleventh hour and the courage that people find there, and this year on November 11th of 2011 over 1300 people found the fortitude to come to a service as a reminder of the foundation of courage on which Canada rests. The passing of time can make "remembrance" increasingly difficult as we fill our lives with the act of living. However coming together in an event such as this we can pause to pay homage to the achievements and sacrifices made by those that served and continue to serve Canada in times of war, peace, armed conflict and to promote an understanding of the significance of these efforts.

Photo by Matt Youens

Phase 1 of the Remembrance Day service was complete with O'Canada, March of Colours, and messages from the various stage guests.  As I sat in the audience listening to words of our leaders from both community and government I was struck by a reoccurring theme.  To honour what these women and men have fought for we need to be aware that it is more than the act itself and understand the reason why there was action in the first place. As a Country.....As a Province....  As a Municipality... As a Community... we have prospered because we have citizens who are willing to stand up and answer the call to serve in hours of need in ways both large and small. We see it in the soldier that has laid down their life in the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and way of life.  We see it in the Canadian citizen who has enlisted in a life of service to our Province to find a better way of life for all Albertans.  We see it in a woman I have the utmost respect for, who through her dedicated service and compassion for the citizens of Wood Buffalo has helped make this community a place that all residents are proud to call home. We see it in the loving eyes of  a parent as they look upon their child hoping for the best possible future, wrapping them in the protection of love and dedicating their life to improving the community for the benefit of their entire family. All actions based in a belief that we have a duty to others and stand accountable for our actions for lives more than our own.

After a break we begin Phase II, the cenotaph service.  This is the part of the service where I have the honour  to lay a wreath on behalf of Kinette Club of Fort McMurray.  The Pipers Lament and Reveille set the mood for what we as a community are about to do. It begins with the stage guests laying their wreaths followed by all those who have purchased wreaths coming forward to honour our women and men who have and continue to serve our Country in their unyielding dedication and sacrifice. Canadian soldiers are our sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.  They come in every possible type, as varied a group as any Canadian city or town.Some families wait and worry in silence for the safe return of their loved one from their misson, while other families have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our Country. It is for this reason we have come together to lay wreaths in our community's act of Remembrance.This is the reason we wear a poppy.  This is the reason we cannot forget.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Parent Teacher Interview Season

It is that time once again...parent teacher interview season.  Last night my son and I went to Father Mercerdi School for this most important piece of the school year.  It started at 6 pm so after I impart a quick lesson in gentlemanly manners, we walk through the front doors at 6:03 pm.  We quickly make our way to the  back of the school to his classrooms...we have five teachers to talk to this evening and he is my guide.  I am a firm believer that whatever can be said to me about his school ethics and performance can be said in front of my child.  We are all in this together....school, student and parents....for his academic success.  We need to support each other. 
The historically scripted story of how parents and school are to interact has changed over the years as we enter into a shared world within the educational fields.   A child’s primary education starts long before they enter the front doors of the school and I believe that it is through continuing active engagement and open communication that children’s educational success is secured. I believe that when school and home reach out to each other with genuine interest and support they can build a relationship fostered in mutual respect. Educational success does not happen on its own. It is only through continued engagement that we can move forward. By linking together we can help bring the wraparound services needed to help each individual student achieve their personal success.
I am there not because my son's marks are low or that he is struggling in any way that I can see.  He is a smart, capable young man.  I am there to connect to his teachers.....that they can put a face to Connor's mom....that I can let them know that I think they are doing a good job....give them my contact information in case things change so we can get to it early.....to offer my help if they ever need anything.... to be engaged in his education.  It bothered me more profoundly than I realized to hear in the hallway a parent talking to their child; " If you would only do better I could have stayed home tonight."  There is so much more happening this night. I believe it is important to have the home and school connection not only when the student is struggling, but when they are succeeding.
There is another side to parent teacher interviews that happens as well.....socializing.  As parents cool their heels in the hallways waiting to talk to their child's teacher we can catch up on things that are happening in each other's lives.  Granted it helps that there are cookies and water provided.  I talk to people that I have not had the chance to see in quite some time, chitty chat with parents that I have just met in the line-up, my son's friends and with random school staff.  Two hours after we walked through the front doors we head back home.  Even my son agrees that this has been time well-spent. On the way home I let him know how proud I am of him, how I liked seeing the photos he had a chance to show me from his option class, offered areas for improvement in LA..liked his story though about Zombies, and how important math is for his career choices later in life.  He smiles and says, "Thanx for coming to my school.  I liked that."  For a teenage boy, that's the most totally awesome statement ever.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Remembrance Day Liturgy at Holy Trinity School

I was recently blessed to get an invitation from the Holy Trinity principal, Lucy Moore, to attend the Remembrance Day Liturgy.  As I drove over to the newest member of the Catholic School Family, Holy Trinity, this morning I must admit I was seriously looking forward to it.  I walked into the front doors and headed into the office to find out where exactly the Liturgy would be taking place.  I am greeted by the Theatre/Business Manager, Ms. Loraine Humphrey, who both welcomed me and reminded me to get  my poppy...which are conveniently placed on the counter in the school's office, to which I promptly in put my loonies and take a poppy...then guided me to the gym.

As I walk into the gym I immediately know that things are going to be a bit different than the usual Remembrance Day Liturgy as I spot the school band set up at the front of the gym.  I am escorted to my seat by vice-principal/ city councilor, Sheldon Germain.  As I wait for it to begin, Lucy comes up to let me know that we have a guest of honour that is also seated up front; a World War 2 Veteran.  Immediately I go over to talk to him.  I introduce myself and let him know how honoured I am that he has come to the school's Liturgy.  We talk for a short time and then I find myself squeaking out a choked up Thank You as I begin to thank him for the sacrifices made for us.  I can't finish much more than that so I  retreat back to my seat to compose myself.  The Liturgy hasn't even started yet and I am already in tears.  Resigned to fact that I am going to cry at some point I fish into the bottom of my purse to find some Kleenex and sit down.
The children start to fill the gym and I hear "Hello, Ms. McKinnon." I look around and I see a child that was at my son's old school walking by.  I smile and say hello back, to which I see her hit the other student she is walking with on the arm and say with knowledgeable authority....That's Ms. McKinnon. As I look around the room and notice many students that I know from my years of volunteering in the school district.  It is nice to see them again. They have all grown and matured so much over the summer. They are turning into amazing young adults.
We all turn to the front of the gym as the Liturgy began with the mournful sound of the horn. Soon the Holy Trinity band sets the tone of the Liturgy by playing Amazing Grace.  The sound of bagpipes at the back of the gym announced to all of those present that the Honour Guard, Flag Bearer, cadets, Gospel Bearer, and our guest of honour are making their way to the front of the gym. The Liturgy is a moving ceremony that is the perfect blend of Catholicity, Fine Arts and Respectful Remembrance.  There is an interpretative dance by a group of students, the powerful voice of a student accompanied by a pianist and the drama students that materialized from the stands to enact the tragedy of loss, prayers offered up to God in Remembrance, a PowerPoint presentation that has students voices fading in about the importance of the sacrifices made, and a dramatic presentation of the Flanders's Field poem. At more than one point throughout the one hour Liturgy I struggled to get my emotions under control and the Kleenex that I had earlier retrieved was put to good use. When I turned to leave the gym I noticed that I was not alone.  Many of the parents, staff and students in attendance today were wiping tears from their eyes.  This was by far the most thought provoking, emotional and beautiful Remembrance Day ceremony I have ever had the honour to attend. 
On my way out I stopped to talk to our honoured guest from the Liturgy.  We talked about the Liturgy and how wonderful it was.  He was very impressed with the quiet respect of entire the student body, and how artful the Liturgy had been.  Then he said something that brought back the stark reality of Remembrance Day and why we had gathered that day in the gym; " I fought in the war so these children would not have to.  I was in the war to end all wars, and still today we fight and send our young people to die.  Why can't we learn?" 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Enjoying a Gala through new eyes.

I have had the tickets to go to the Keyano 2011 Diamond Gala from the Thursday they first went on sale. I am looking forward to going but not because of the fabulous food, amazing auction items, or  the black tie attire. All of which I know will be there, and are extremely valid reasons for going. In all honesty,  I am looking forward to going to bring my good friend to experience a gala.  She has been a solid rock in my family's life since our kids first meet in Grade 0, or as everyone calls it .... kindergarten.
From the moment I ask her to come with me I know that it will be a good night for her. I listen as she begins to plan....I have put it on the calendar...I am so excited to go....I hear it is unbelievable...and the list goes from there.  As it comes closer and closer she tells me of shopping for the perfect dress, and of hair appointments and shoes.  I can tell she is excited.  As for me...well....I am looking to the back of the closet for a dress I have not been seen in lately, and a half hour before I walk out the door I am breaking out the straightener to try to fix my hair so it is good enough.
I am driving for the night so I let her know that I will pick her up at 6:30 pm. When I arrive and open the door, the excitement of the night is contagious. She looks marvelous in a blue gown and her kids are taking her picture as she poses for the camera.  I am smiling already. 
When we arrive it is clear that they have outdone themselves again at this year's gala.  It is stunning.  Walking around with my freind, we stop and talk to people I know and people that she knows.  It is clear that she is having a wonderful time.  It brings me back to the first time I went to a gala.  It was all so wonderful and new. For me the whole goal this night is to make sure that she has a memorable evening at this event.  I explain how things will happen during the night, scope out a place to sit, bring appetizers for her to try, make runs to the bar for drinks, and spend the night in comfortable conversation with a good friend. 

Although I had considered not going this night, watching her expereience this black tie event has made me realize how lucky I am. I have a blessed life.  I know people say that all the time, but this was the reminder that I needed to snap me out a blue funk I had started to spiral into.  God has an interesting way of sneaking in through the back door to remind you of things when the front door is busy. Now this may not be the typical experience that people walk away with from an black tie gala, but as I have come to realize...I am not normal..thank goodness. 
A lesson in friendship has been reinforced this night.  What it means to work through personal issues to be there for a person you respect and has been there for you.  Not to take for granted what we have been given in life.  Make sure you give back when you are able.  And smile when someone comes into your life to remind you of this whether they know it or not.
Best quote of the night: " Every one should know what it is like to go to a Gala at least once in their life."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ladies Night at Home Hardware

I was out for lunch with a good friend of mine when she said that she was heading out to Ladies Night @ Home Hardware the next night.  When I asked her what it entailed her response was...no idea, but she was going.  Being an adventurous type I decided to see what it was all about.  Leaving lunch I head to Home Hardware to pay my $5.00 to register.

The next night I pick up my friend and we head out.  Immediately I know that this is going to be a different kind of evening as a group of men walk by heading back to their vehicles after they have been turned away at the doors ...."Sorry, guys. It is ladies only this evening." I am intrigued.  We walk up, give our names and are promptly given a bag and a door prize ticket. My friend hits my shoulder and says. " Look! Does that man has a glue gun? "  As we sipped our drinks we watched in curious awe as this man did a demonstration on how to make 3D Christmas cards with nothing more than a stencil, paper and a golf tee! Then topped it off by making an envelope out of another glittery designed paper to put the card in.  Beside him is a lady painting a table to demonstrate the differences between rollers and brushes.  Then we make our way to the other side of the room where the appetizers are being served.  I follow along behind my friends when I hear an excited; "They are serving on real plates!"  I have to tell you this is turning out to be quite a fun experience.  We look through the store to see if there are more demonstrations.  Sure enough, they are all through the store.  There are people on hand to answer every question you might have about home renovations.  In the back of the store is the strategically placed desert table where another group of employees are demonstrating some of the products for sale...there is one lady making sliders on the tiniest grill I have ever seen, and another making cupcake from a cupcake machine. I leave my friends behind at the desert table to explore the store.  I ran into alot of people I knew there happily doing some Christmas shopping and reconnecting. Over and over I heard the same responses..."Isn't this great!?"....." Now this is the way to shop."....."I am definitely coming back next year."   It took some time to work my way through the throngs of customers, but I finally found who I was looking for.... the organizers of this event.  Apparently this is the 6th year this event has been running.  There was over 220 women in the store that night and next year the event is going to be bigger yet because Home Hardware is expanding.  And to top it off, Home Hardware is donating the money raised that night to the Food Bank.  
I am impressed. I know that they are making money that night on sale, and I firmly believe in free enterprise.  There is also something more than that happening this night.  This local business is doing their bit to give back to the community.  I am pretty much sure that my five bucks did not cover the expense of the food, wine and prizes that were walking out the door that night.  Even I won a door prize that night.... a Stainless Steel Meat Slicer.  I texted my husband about the prize to which I got the response, " Nice." No idea what I am going to do with it, but Ken seems pretty happy with the door prize. Probably because I used the words stainless steel in the description.

This is just one reason why I love this city. It is not for the fabulous door prizes that they gave away, but because we are a community of givers.  We live to expand our mandates to include others.  We do it better than anywhere else I have lived.  This is why I am proud to call Wood Buffalo my home and have such fierce pride in my community. Thank you to all the businesses who do their part to give back and people who get involved.  We are a better community in the middle of the woods because if it.  And yes.....I really do like my new pink screwdriver.  Thanx.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

KAOS at Family Skate

As many of you already know I use to be an on-air host...apparently you can't say deejay anymore...politically correctness and the like......for KAOS 91.1 for about a year and a half.  I volunteered for this. And who wouldn't?  Great station.  Positive message.  Doing good things for the community.  Right up my alley. I had my own mid-day show from 10 until 3 pm Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.  I loved doing it.  Anyone who knows me knows that the saying. "just give me a mike, a room and a crowd of people and I am all good" applies to me.  Unfortunately I had to give it up in May of 2011.  I hung on as long as I could,  but my time commitment with my Board lives made it impossible.  The station holds a soft spot in my heart and always will.  They are a good group of people. 
One of the things that I loved doing , believe it or not, was hanging out handing out hot chocolate and coffee on the Family Skate days.  KAOS 91.1, in conjunction with local sponsors provides a free family skate on Sundays down at MacDonald Island from 2:30 until 4:30 pm.  I have had more than a few jobs during the family skates, but my favorite has always been handing out those delicious beverages to people. For me it is about giving back to a community that has given so much to our family.  It is about reconnecting with people I have not seen since the last Family Skate.  It is about more than hot chocolate.  It is about community.
If you have not had a chance yet to partake in this event with your family I would strongly suggest that you do.  I was there on October 30th for the Heroes and Heroines Costume Skate. There were children and adults all dressed up in Halloween costumes hitting the ice....some literally.  There were smiling faces and the incredulous statement. " It's free?!  Really?!"  My answer is, "Absolutely.  I hope you enjoy yourself today and have fun.  Don't forget to come out again and bring your friends." People have a hard time understanding that concept of free..no strings attached idea.  When they realize that you mean it, their face breaks into a uncontrolled smile.  For me ...that's it....that's what I came for.
You can find out more about the Station and how they are giving back to the community in many ways by going to their website. www.kaos911.com