When 13-year-old Michael Mastracci attended an event this past spring dedicated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada, his first reaction was to sign up as a volunteer.
But the Kerrisdale teen was disappointed to discover he's too young.
"I was so impressed with what they do for these seriously sick kids," Michael told me over the phone Tuesday.
So instead of volunteering for the foundation, Michael has organized a concert to raise funds for Make-A-Wish, a group dedicated to granting the wishes of children with serious medical conditions.
Michael, who will be attending Grade 8 at Vancouver College in September, has organized the Kids for Kids Concert in aid of Make-A-Wish. The concert will showcase the talents of a group of young singers and musicians, including J.J. Cepeda, Deanica Galo, Austin Kamin, Josh Kamin, Sandy Liu, Gabrielle Sanatani, Michelle Sung, Mina Zhou and Tosia Scarfe. Michael plans to play the guitar and sing three songs during the concert, including Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing."
"I was too young to volunteer, but all of my friends study music so I thought why not a concert," says Michael, who adds he's performed in New York, two of his friends are about to release a CD and another has performed on the TV show Canada's Got Talent.
"We're all pretty accomplished," adds the 13-year-old, who has a love for blues and jazz music.
The Kids for Kids Concert takes place Saturday, Aug. 18 from 2 to 3 p.m. at MyCup Coffee & Tea, 2098 West 41st Avenue.
Do you realize there are only five months left until Christmas?
Christmas was the last thing on my mind until I received an email from the Credit Counselling Society, after which I immediately started to panic.
But according to the society, there's no need. The non-profit group is hosting a free, one-hour webinar called Christmas Without Credit Aug. 14 from 5 to 6 p.m., and Aug. 22 from 6 to 7 p.m. (PST). Anyone can register by calling 1-888-527-8999 or visiting mymoneycoach.ca.
After months of planning, an empty parking lot on Hastings Street is one step closer to becoming the Strathcona Resource Park, which will eventually include eight wooden sheds that will be used to store materials, as well as hold compost and recyclables.
In the spirit of an old-fashioned barn raising, a "shed build" is taking place Friday, Aug. 10 and Saturday, Aug. 11 at 1245 East Hastings St. The build, organized by the non-profit group Projects in Place, will be ongoing all day with volunteers from various corporations and the Strathcona Business Improvement Association.
The park will serve as a testing ground for several composting technologies, house reusable materials and act as a recycling station. The park will also, for a small fee, accept materials not always recycled, such as some plastics and metals, as well as food scraps for composting.
The park will also eventually include an urban farm and green space open to the public during daylight hours. For more information, visit strathconabia.com.
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