A ‘more intimate’ Wounded Warriors Weekend coming back in 2018

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

You’ve heard the rumours; now comes the confirmation.
“August long weekend, 2018, the Slave Lake area will once again be host to servicemen and women, veterans and first responders for a weekend of fun, friendship and healing.”
That’s from a press release from the Wounded Warriors Weekend Foundation, delivered in person to The Leader last week by Larry Willis, co-chair of the 2018 Wounded Warriors Weekend committee.
“We’re having our first volunteer meeting on Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m.,” Willis says.
Readers may recall the Wounded Warriors Weekend being held in Slave Lake on the August long weekend in 2014. It was a big event, with over 200 guests from all over Canada and the U.S. Since then, two others have been held, in Nipawin Saskatchewan and Lloydminster. A few lessons have been learned along the way.
“We have found that smaller is better,” Willis says. “We’re looking at about 60 guests this time.”
There will be no gala and no ‘hoedown’ events this time around. Willis says it turned out many of the guests just weren’t comfortable in large crowds, or being ‘on display.’
So those have been cut out, and considerable expense with them. No free flights this time either.
So it’ll be smaller scale and lower-cost, but funds are still needed, and fundraising “will commence immediately,” says the press release. Also recruitment of volunteers.
“This is a chance for local citizens to show their appreciation to those who have served our country,” says Willis. “One way to do that is to volunteer.”
Willis can be reached by email at woundedwarriors.slavelake@gmail.com. Wounded Warriors Weekend also has its own Facebook page. The meeting on Jan. 25 is in the board room at the Rotary Club of Slave Lake Library.

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