NEW GLASGOW – John Dykstra said it best as he took to the podium at Summer Street Industries.
“Every day is Valentine’s Day,” he said. “It’s always a matter of the heart.”
Dykstra accepted the fourth annual Ed Bowden Community Wellness Award Friday on behalf of the Pictou County Heart and Stroke Support Group for their project, Your Heart Your Health Public Education.
The Pictou County Health Authority’s community health boards celebrated community wellness with the presentation of $51,000 in wellness grants.
The goal of this year’s recipient of the Ed Bowden Community Wellness Award was to host a heart health day in February of last year at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. The day promoted awareness and impact of cardiovascular disease and available resources. The day provided an opportunity for education, basic risk assessment and sharing of life experiences related to heart health.
More than 200 members of the public attended the day and 190 participated in the clinic. The event took the volunteer group one year to plan and over 300 volunteer hours in time to make happen.
The Ed Bowden Community Wellness Award was developed by the Pictou West and Central/East Pictou Community Health Boards in consultation with family members to celebrate the many accomplishments of Ed Bowden, following his death four years ago.
According to the PCHA, Bowden’s interest in improving the health of Pictou County citizens was evident when he became the first chair of the Central / East Pictou Community Health Board in 1996 and was a key participant in the development of the health authority’s first community health plan. He was a member of the board of directors of the PCHA until his death.
Ed Bowden embodied all the characteristics that make up a strong, healthy, caring community, read a press release from the authority. The Community Wellness Award annually recognizes one community group that reflects his strong community spirit, the partnerships he built in our community, his passion for leading a healthy lifestyle, his innovative nature, his volunteer contributions and his legacy as a role model for all of us.
Wellness funds are provided by the Department of Health and Wellness to support community initiatives that encourage healthy living. Among the 30 projects funded this year in Pictou County are the Durham Community Club, River John and Area Recreation (RJ Ladies Group), New Glasgow Regional Police Youth Troopers, Cape to Cape Trail Committee, Pictou County Snowriders Snowmobile Club, Pictou County Continuous Learning Association, Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Group and Pictou Landing First Nation 23rd Powwow.
In the past eight years, community health boards have allocated close to $350,000 in wellness grants to community organizations.
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