Globalization, income inequality and sweatshops are all global issues that exist that we should be aware of and concerned about. Unfortunately, these are controversial topics that don’t take priority in middle schools or high schools. So how does one properly educate themselves on these subjects? Often it requires a relative or friend to open the eyes of an individual, or a disturbing story on the news or in the paper -- but for those who are less in tuned with global issues in the media, and are not surrounded by discussion of building a democratic and sustainable world, it can be difficult to build a desire within to create change.
Enter Check Your Head, an organization that not only encourages youth to be proactive it enables them through education, training and resources to aid their individual efforts.
Recently Check Your Head held their 5th Annual Fundraiser at the Heritage Hall on Main Street. The event, set up in buffet style, featured dinner by Nuba and a spread of locally made desserts, ranging from cookies and cakes to tarts and brownies. To no surprise the food at the event was a big hit, and the deep fried cauliflower for which Nuba is known for quickly ran out. But there was no shortage of food with mounds of veggie stew, lentils, salad, falafels and hummus and pita to satiate the crowd.
Everyone left that evening with a full stomach and a clean conscience from the vegetarian spread. To accompany the meal there was a cash bar offering local wine and locally brewed beer from Dead Frog. Coffee and tea was complimentary which kept those who were saving their money for the silent auction from being parched. And the items in the silent auction were worth every penny, with a variety of options to attract every type and the money raised supporting Check Your Head. Items in the auction ranged from spa retreats and haircuts to a bike rack with panniers and rollerblades. In typical silent auction style I even caught a few people so keen on particular items that they hovered nearby with a watchful eye, ready to get the last bid in before it closed.
But for me it was the live entertainment that transformed the event from a regular fundraiser to a lively event. After a First Nations welcome and some introductions from Emcee, Riel Hahn, there was a moving drum performance by the Urban Native Youth Association.
The group consisted of ten members of mixed age and gender. They opened and closed with songs of prayer, and performed a variety of songs in between, with one focusing on major world wars, and another on Sponge Bob Square Pants. In traditional drumming style the chairs were set in a circle so each member of the band faced inward with a large drum in the middle.
Battling sun in their eyes for the duration of their performance the group stayed in unison with drum beats as they took turns with solos. They held smiles throughout and you could see the encouragement through eye contact as they performed, followed by high fives upon finishing.
After the drumming performances and a few more speeches it was time for us to eat. The Transporteers took it from there, playing music as we ate dinner, as their second performance of the evening having played as we entered the hall.
It was nice to have something playing dinner to accompany the chatter from each of the tables. The young band consisted of Jacob Schwinghammer on the piano, Noah Gotfrit on bass, Aaron Levinson on drums and Trevor Withridge on the trumpet.