Life-saving logic

While I’m not prone to turning this column into a pulpit, there are exceptions to every rule.
I’m in the writing business, not the preaching business, but there’s a piece of common sense that is hopefully gospel to all of you, not just next week but every day after that, as well.
With the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship looming, so does the spectre of thousands of people partaking in their favourite alcoholic beverage. I was told shortly after arriving in town last September that during tournament week, the amount of alcohol consumed per capita in the community is second only to the Calgary Stampede in the entire country for the year.
It may be the stuff of rural legend, but considering the Stampede, which wrapped up Sunday, brings upwards of a million revellers to Cowtown each year, for Fort Frances to be thought of as even close to being on that level is mind-boggling.
Now I’m all for having a good time. The fact I don’t drink certainly doesn’t have me looking down my nose at people who choose to bend their elbow at any time, and certainly during the biggest event in this community’s calendar year.
The truth of the matter is that the welfare of the tournament basically rests on the amount of alcohol sold. The money from those sales goes directly into covering the approximately $200,000 cost of operating the event each year.
In plain language, this tournament doesn’t happen without there being a high availability of alcohol. And that’s fine.
But what isn’t acceptable is the thought that, for whatever incomprehensible reason, it’s still okay to imbibe themselves on their favourite spirits and then choose to get behind the wheel.
The tournament organizers do a marvelous job of giving intoxicated partygoers no reason for having to travel home by their own hand.
There are a multitude of options for those looking to make the trek back to their residence after an evening—or full day—of merrymaking.
There are free rides available Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and not just for a chosen few. Everybody who wants to drink and return home safe and sound will be taken care of, no exceptions.
As for Tuesday and Wednesday night, well, if you’ve spent $20 or $50 or $100 at the beer gardens, you should probably be able to squirrel away $5 for a group cab ride at the end of the night.
Making the smart decision might make the difference between you—or somebody else—getting to see another sunrise.
If you’re sensing a mood of personal involvement on this issue, you’re right.
I lost a friend who fell victim to an oncoming impaired driver. She had a bright future ahead of her, and because of someone’s lack of judgment, it was stolen away from her in the blink of an eye.
It’s senseless, it’s tragic, and it doesn’t need to happen.
Please, all of you, if you have any respect for your own life and the lives of others, think twice before making what could be an irreversible mistake.
Don’t drink and drive. My friend and I thank you in advance.
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Best wishes to Alex Parent as he travels to Edmonton this week for the SWAD (Swimmers With Athletic Disabilities) long-course national swimming championships.
Parent has had an amazing competitive year, including six gold medals at the SWAD short-course nationals and making it on to the Team Canada roster that travelled to Sheffield, England for a major international meet last month.
Also, a tip of the hat to Alex Hyatt, Kim Councillor, Kate Basaraba and Rachel Kabatay as the quartet travels to the University of Waterloo to take part in a two-day camp as part of the Northwestern Ontario junior regional volleyball team.
The four members of the defending NorWOSSA-champion junior Muskies squad were selected to join the best young talents in their sport from the region. The experience and wisdom they bring back with them should provide a tremendous benefit to their Muskie teammates when the NorWOSSA season kicks into gear again in the new school year.
• • •
It was a difficult week for Dean and Peter McLean, the former Fort Frances residents who participated in the wild horse racing and wild cow milking events at the recently-completed Calgary Stampede.
The McLeans, along with team captain Todd Munro from Bassano, Alta., were shut out of the points during the nine-day wild horse competition. The same fate was suffered by Peter, as he and team leader Ronald Manyberries from Siksika, Alta., also were blanked in the cow milking challenge.
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If you are planning any sporting events, or have some sports-related information or scores, feel free to call me at 274-5373 ext. 237 or by e-mail at

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