Volunteers needed for Day of Remembrance


Local volunteers are needed as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women fast approaches.
“We’re always looking for volunteers to come and help us, and be present or involved in the planning or assisting in the setting up or putting away after,” said Heidi Smith of the United Native Friendship Centre, one of the local organizations working to organize the local vigil meant to remember women who have been victims of gender-based violence.
This year’s local ceremony will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Knox United Church.
Volunteers are needed for things like handing out candles or supporting the ceremony in other ways, noted Smith, adding this can count towards volunteer hours needed by high school students to graduate.
The Right Relations Circle also has stepped forward and will be providing a meal following the ceremony.
As such, Smith said some assistance also is needed when it comes to the kitchen.
Marked across the country, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women pays tribute to the 14 women killed on Dec. 6, 1989 at L’Ecole Polytechnique, in what has become known as the “Montreal Massacre.”
Ceremonies, like the one here in Fort Frances, also remember local women whose lives have been taken through gender-based violence.
This year there are 17 women who will be commemorated at the ceremony, noted Smith­.
“Every year we kind of add to that list,’ she explained, noting this list grows as more families come forward with names of women to add.
Candles are lit in memory of these women during the ceremony, along with a slide show in their honour.
In past years, family members of the women whose lives were taken have come forward to speak, noted Smith, although no one has been scheduled to speak this year.
Confirmed to perform at the ceremony are local singers Larissa Desrosiers and Erica Jourdain.
If people are interested in volunteering, can contact Smith at the UNFC (274-8541) or Peggy Loyie at Rainy River District Victims Services Program (274-5687).