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    Community coming together through tragedy

    Life's Too Short's

    The annual Life’s Too Short’s event has been showing the community that slowing down, and not taking things for granted is important. Previous Life’s Too Short’s activities have included a hockey tournament at John Peake Park, and Random Acts of Kindness by giving out coffee and gift cards. This year, Life’s Too Short’s is going back to the basics by hosting a free community barbeque, games, music, and afternoon full of laughs at Camp Chestermere, on Sept. 9 at 12. Photo by Michelle Wilson.

    The annual Life’s Too Short’s event is going back to the basics and bringing Chestermere together through a string of tragedies the community was endured together.

    “Life’s Too Shorts is basically a big block party,” said event organizer Michelle Wilson.

    On Sept. 9 from 12 until 4 p.m., there will be a free barbeque at Camp Chestermere, a variety of games including three legged races, sack races, water balloon tosses, and a giant kerplunk. Throughout the afternoon there will be music, and the fire department will be hanging out as well, Wilson said.

    She added, the Life’s Too Short’s event was first born after the sudden death of a local teenager, Jaydon Sommerfeld.

    “A few days before the accident he tweeted ‘Life’s Too Short’s,’ it was laughed off as an autocorrect mistake, but a lot of people close to the family took it too heart and decided that was a way to honour him.”

    Shortly after the accident another tragedy hit Chestermere, where another local teenager, Markus Lavallee, his grandmother, and family pet were in a collision, Wilson said.

    “The boys knew each other, kids around town knew both the boys. It was something that rocked our community, it was unimageable.,” Wilson said.

    Wilson realized that after the accidents occurred the community needed to help the youth, and show them that the community cares about them, and that the community is there for them.

    The first annual Life’s Too Short’s event was a hockey tournament, as both the teenagers played hockey.

    “They lived their lives so authentically,” Wilson added, “If they said something, they did it.

    “They respected people, I think that a lot of people can learn about life from these boys, who were amazing kids, living their lives, living their dreams.”

    Wilson added, the Life’s Too Short’s event last year went digital instead of having a physical day of activity.

    As part of the Random Acts of Kindness campaign the Life’s Too Short’s committee went around Chestermere handing out coffee, gift cards, and cards with inspirational messages on them, which went out as far as Medicine Hat Alta., Wilson said.

    However, as the youth in the community who knew the teenage boys grow up and begin graduating it was important for Wilson and for the Life’s Too Short’s committee to show the youth that the community is still there for them, and still support them.

    She added, Life’s Too Short’s is about people taking the time for an afternoon, relaxing, having fun, laughing, being together, and counting your blessings.

    “I think that people do [Count their blessings], but in this day and age life is just so busy, sometimes we might not have the time to slow down and remember what we have, or tell people that we love them,” she said.

    “Our goal is to remind people that the little things in life are what’s important, take the time to slow down, and just be together.”

    Wilson said, “I am guilty of this, we’re just too busy running around, it’s hard to just slow down and say let’s have a meal together and talk.”

    The ultimate goal for the Life’s Too Short’s organizing committee is for residents in the community to realize that it is possible to be together, slow down, hangout, and have fun for an afternoon.

    Wilson added, “Our hope is to garnish some more interest and keep the event going for a bigger event next year.”

    Although planning the Life’s Too Short’s event has been stressful for Wilson she is looking forward to hanging out with her community, and family, and enjoying the afternoon.

    “When we see other people happy, we’re happy. It’s great to see that I had a small part in organizing an event that made people happy,” she said.

    Wilson added, mothers in Southern Alberta who have lost children have come out to support the Life’s Too Short’s event, and share their stories of becoming “Angel Mothers.”

    “You always hear that tragedy brings us closer, but we want happiness to bring us together too,” Wilson added, “We’re all together, we have empathy for each other, and that’s what connects us.”

    For additional information regarding the Life’s Too Short’s event visit the Facebook page, or to volunteer for the Life’s Too Short’s event email lifestooshortschestermere@gmail.com.