The Baseline Cowboys were catapulted into the local celebrity spotlight over the past few weeks as bloggers blogged, reporters reported, and photographers photographed them. They’ve been in the Ottawa Citizen twice, on MajicFM radio (did I spell that right?), all over Facebook, and of course, on the couch on their front lawn, drinking beer and being friendly.
And now they’ve decided to put their unexpected celebrity status to good use raising funds for Christie Lake Kids!
Christie Lake Kids is one of my favourite local charities. It provides summer camp and year-round recreational opportunities to kids in low-income neighbourhoods. GC and I volunteer in their after-school art program, which is just a tiny part of what CLK does. There’s also guitar lessons, yoga, martial arts, cooking, homework club, and many other programs. (Plus summer camp, of course, which is where it all started, almost a hundred years ago.)
Kids growing up poor face some pretty tough obstacles. Not only are they poor, but they tend to live in crappy neighbourhoods, and some of them are living in families that struggle with a lot more than poverty.
Christie Lake Kids offers these kids somewhere to be, something to do, and reasons to feel good about themselves. It gives them encouragement and opportunities to develop their skills and build solid friendships. It provides them with role models, leadership opportunities, and reasons not to succumb to the downward pressures of their neighbourhoods.
Tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday August 3rd), instead of drinking beer on their front lawn, the Baseline Cowboys will be raising money for Christie Lake Kids. They’ll be in the parking lot at the Beer Store at College Square (corner of Baseline and Woodroffe), collecting empties and cash. So if you have some empty beer bottles or wine bottles, or an extra $5 or a jar of pennies, please bring it by between 2:00 and 6:00. Christie Lake Kids will put it to excellent use.