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EDITORIAL: Affecting the community in a positive manner

Editorial
Editorial - SaltWire Network

The Town of Stephenville has placed its confidence in Maria Churchill, who has taken on the new position of new recreation and wellness coordinator.

The area she is working in has been talked about for a number of years by former town councils and finally the position was created as a temporary position for a year.

At the end of the one-year term the position will be re-evaluated to determine whether there is a continued need to keep it and make it permanent.

Churchill, who has been a career firefighter with the Stephenville Fire Department since she made a permanent move to the town in 2010, is no stranger to recreation as she worked in that field with the City of St. John’s from 2003 to 2010.

She also has experience working with the Bay St. George YMCA and on a volunteer basis was responsible for the creation of the Adam Piercey Memorial Skate Park in Stephenville.

Churchill has always enjoyed working with young people and her new position involves putting things in place to serve not only them but everyone else, right up to seniors.

The position is about listening to people and organizations in the town and coordinating not only engagement between them but also helping them access financing from the town in different categories and funding from other sources.

When she took on the position in mid-June she hit the ground running as she took on the organization of Canada Day and according to Coun. Laura Aylward at the event, Churchill did a fantastic job in just two weeks after being seconded from the Stephenville Fire Department.

Since then she organized a successful Stephenville Day activity and is now preparing for a community engagement session, specifically for recreation and wellness on Sept. 6. During the month of September she will also be doing a volunteer engagement program.

To continue with special events this fall she is planning a youth talent show at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre on Nov. 4 called “The Goods” that will showcase different types of talents by anyone up to the age of 18 years.

This can range from drama, music, comedy, dance and indigenous arts to martial arts and beyond.

As part of listening to the community, Churchill has also received suggestions on additions to the town, with one of them being an inclusive playground.

Together with a company in that field, they have come up with a plan for a structure in Blanche Brook Park and put it before council, who will make a decision on approval or not. If council gives its approval, the next step will be to go looking for financing for the project.

Churchill has an awful lot on the go and sometimes it’s difficult to get all entities together and on the same page, understanding how to help each other but it’s been recognized that is what needs to happen.

Coordination is the key and it’s now in her hands to make it come together, which is crucial if she wants her current position to become full time and have positive effects on the community as a whole.

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