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  • Vermilion Voice

Annual Mental Health Art Gala

Vermilion Is Being Empowered (VIBE) hosted its 9th Annual Mental Health Art Gala at the Vermilion Regional Centre on May 10.

This year’s theme was, ‘The Great Outdoors,’ and families had fun participating in activities like building a kite, or decorating a football, Frisbee, or plant pot.

There were 918 pieces of children’s art on display from surrounding communities and program manager Pat Calyniuk said, “It was a successful evening. A big thank you to all the volunteers including Battalion 26 from Lakeland College. They had over 20 volunteers and were extremely helpful.”

Outside the event, some of the Lakeland College Emergency Services Technician (EST) students volunteered to show the fire truck to children.

“The children love the fire truck and get so excited; it’s so cute,” said Elizabeth Meisner.

“We have to look at mental health in every aspect; being under a lot of stress as students as well as on the job. With the things you see, you need to be able to take care of yourself,” said Zach Deck.

For perspective, these students were part of the group that just returned from supporting emergency efforts in Entwistle, where they rotated 12-hour shifts.

“For me, it was the first time really even seeing fire out in the open, and it was pretty cool to have a chance to help the community,” added Meisner.

As for the art gala, there were 525 attendees, and many were enamoured with the different styles of artwork and creativity surrounding mental health. Leanne Smith said, “We began coming when we moved here five years ago. It’s a nice event; a super fun way to get together as a community. The children get to see their friends, do crafts and activities, and have a great time. It’s a special night out.”

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