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EDITORIAL: St. Albertans raising millions; representing Canada

Rock'n August is working on topping their $1.2-million total raised for diabetes research, while the U13A White St. Albert Angels are off representing Canada at the Little League Softball World Series.
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In the midst of summer, while many families are off on holidays abroad; splashing around at the lake; or getting close to nature in tents, trailers, and cabins, a couple of big, good things happened in our city over the past week.

The first — Rock'n August — is so much more than the rumble of engines and the glimmer of hot cars revving their way through St. Albert over the course of the five-day event Aug. 2 to 6.

Hundreds, thousands, of visitors arrive from all over North America to take part in show and shines, a street dance, a lottery, and car raffle, all the while shelling out for registrations and merch.

Volunteer organizers, such as Cheryl MacKenzie, work all year to make sure every spare penny raised goes to fund a cure for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

It's not far off, according to researchers. 

Lindsay Burnham, executive director of the Alberta Diabetes Foundation, told The Gazette last week, "the only thing that’s getting in the way of finding a cure is funding.

"Events like Rock'n August provide critical funds to allow us to get that money out to researchers as fast as possible."

MacKenzie, a type 2 diabetic herself, said Monday that although organizers haven't yet completed tallying up the total raised for 2022, in 2021 the event racked up $91,000 in donations for a diabetes cure, and she anticipates this year's funds will far exceed that amount.

She confirmed that, after just a week of Rock'n August fundraising this summer, organizers have reached the funding benchmark it took 12 months to hit last year.

Since its inception 26 years ago, the event has raised and donated $1.2 million.

Check out the photos on page 26 of today's Gazette for a glimpse at how much fun was had at Rock'n August this year.

In another show of heart and St. Albert spirit last week, the U13A White St. Albert Angels softball team marked a historic winning streak that culminated in a Canadian championship win in Victoria, B.C., over the August long weekend.

Now, as we write, the team is representing Canada at the Little League Softball World Series in North Carolina until Aug. 15.

Assistant coach Dean Borys said he couldn't be more proud of the young athletes' success, which is likely in no small part due to putting their hearts fully into working together.

It's advice Ella Stranaghan, who has pitched for four years, wants to pass on to younger players who may be watching the team right now.

“Put your whole heart in it," Stranaghan told The Gazette in an article last week. "Every play you make, it’s for your whole team — it can’t be individual.”

We wish them luck as they take on teams from the Philippines, Italy, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.

The Gazette will keep readers updated on how the team does on our website, www.stalberttoday.ca, and in our Aug. 17 print edition. Stay tuned.

As we look around we can see that, with a lot of heart and hard work, St. Albertans can, and do, achieve great things.

Editorials are the consensus view of the St. Albert Gazette’s editorial board.