November 07, 2013

Jeem's United Way adventure in North Vancouver

My work at the United Way of the Lower Mainland has passed the half way mark. It has been a busy and rewarding time.

Recently I had the pleasure of being involved with the City of North Vancouver, and yes it involved another escapade inside the strange red creature-mascot known as Care-y. This time it happened for the City's kick-off at seven in the morning. I managed to stay out of trouble, except for a minor altercation, and even though virtually blind within the costume, I still managed to find the bacon and sausage, though eating is quite impossible.

Co-chairs of the City of North Vancouver's United Way Campaign, Tim Ryce, Assistant Manager in Community Development, and Dave Owens, Assistant Fire Chief, posed with Care-y during the breakfast. The Mayor didn't want anything to do with the mascot, which might have had something to do with accidentally grabbing him earlier; I really can't see much of anything in that thing.

The next day a barbecue was put on at Fire Station No. 1 and Care-y was not invited, thankfully. It too was well attended and introduced many City staff to a first hand experience at a fire hall. It has a pole that firefighters slide down. I wanted to try it myself but was told very clearly, "No Jeem."

Interestingly one never grabs the pole with hands. You are to lean into the pole and when your shoulder nudges it, you then wrap your arm and leg around it and slide down. No hands prints are allowed.

The barbecue involved a group of City employees including those in Bylaw Enforcement, responsible for cooking burgers and hot dogs on this day. Though that guy with the shades might be from CSIS. Why is he looking at me?

Hey, that's the Mayor mingling with City staff! At least he won't recognize me, out of costume.

Fire fighters generously offered people the opportunity to use a fire hose and extinguishers. Alas, we did not get to start any fires.

A highlight for many was the chance to go up in the basket on Ladder Truck 10. At full extension the basket is about 35 metres above the ground.

And again, alas, when it came my turn to go up the ladder, wouldn't you know it, but an alarm came in and the truck had to take off into the city's traffic. I of course offered to go along and help, but of course.... "No Jeem."

Great things happen when people work together. The City of North Vancouver's United Way Campaign is an example of what can happen when people come together to make their city better: raising money for a good cause and building community within their workplace.

Still, it would have been nice to go up the ladder. Maybe next year? What if I pull up my socks?

Photos by Jeem. 
Care-y photos courtesy 
Rupi Cheema. 

Copyright 2013 by Jim Murray.

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