This is a message of gratitude for our community – our businesses, our emergency services, and the people who showed so much heart.
As many of you know, last week we were host to a group of choir & band students, who were stranded in the storm. On Wednesday evening, at 8:00 p.m. we received a call that a charter bus of students from Winnipeg was in an accident on highway No. 1 during the terrible storm. All 88 students and their chaperones were on their way to Indian Head and they needed help. Without hesitation, our community sprang into action. Our emergency services guided them safely to Town, some needed medical attention and they were greeted at our Union Hospital by a team of dedicated, compassionate professionals who cared for them.
The rest were sent to Memorial Hall, where the volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Measures Organization were arranging accommodations. The schools opened their doors and sent mats for them to sleep on, and dozens of blankets were pulled out of storage at the Fire Hall. Throughout the evening, more students returned to the Hall from the Hospital as they were cleared. It was so heartwarming to see the cheers and tears as the friends reunited. Once they had all returned, they were able to settle in for some sleep.
On Thursday, it was quite clear the storm was not letting up anytime soon and our guests would be with us for the day. With the help of our local businesses, we were quickly able to arrange meals and entertainment for the day. The students enjoyed puzzles, games and quiet time at the Library and activities at the High School Gym. In the evening, Chester and Jacene put on an unforgettable magic show for them. Stage Left Players invited them to the Grand Theatre for a live performance, and in turn they were given a performance of piano and singing. It was an evening our community will never forget.
By Friday, the storm had begun to let up but highway conditions remained questionable. The Elementary School sent art supplies and games, the High School opened their doors again for activities, and the Downtown bustled with students exploring our stores.
By Saturday morning, travel was once again safe and a second bus was sent from Regina to take the students home. Before leaving, they swept, scrubbed, folded and stacked until our facility was shining. In one last show of gratitude, they treated a group of volunteers and community members to a moving choir performance that hardly left a dry eye in the building. We were overwhelmed by the maturity, respect, and kindness that these young people showed and we are grateful for the opportunity to have met them.
Our community came together in their time of need like never before. Very, very special thank you’s go to the Volunteer Fire Department, RCMP members and the healthcare staff in Indian Head. The go above and beyond for our community everyday, and we are thankful for you everyday. We want to say a very big, heartfelt thank you to our local businesses Lucky’s Restaurant, Indian Head Bakery, Bigway Foods, Sooper B’s Petro, Veramako Pizzaria, Wooden Nickel Saloon, Dairy Mart and Tim Horton’s for making sure they had plenty to eat and drink. Support your local businesses! They gave so generously without hesitation in our time of need, let’s give back to them too. Thank you to the Indian Head Library, High School, Elementary School, Grand Theatre, Stage Left Players, Chester & Jacene, for keeping the students entertained. I’m quite sure you made their stay here a memorable one. Thank you to the Town Staff who made calls, picked up meals and offered support. The staff and students of Maples Collegiate also left their own messages of thanks to the community which will be posted in the Town Office this week for anyone who would like to read them. We have always been proud of our Community, but this week we were amazed by the outpouring of generosity and support. In living memory, something like this has never happened to our town, but you all welcomed them with open arms and we know they were forever grateful.