Leader pitching in support for youth

An Enderby politician has upped the ante when it comes to raising funds for a group that supports children.

An Enderby politician has upped the ante when it comes to raising funds for a group that supports children.

Coun. Earl Shipmaker has announced he will match personal donations made by the rest of council and city staff to the Enderby Community Resource Centre.

“They were going to have to cut their summer program because of government funding cuts so I’m challenging councillors to participate,” said Shipmaker.

Shipmaker is concerned that without activities in July and August, children at risk won’t have access to the support systems and structure they have in place when they are in school the rest of the year.

“It’s important to have programs in the summer,” he said.

Mayor Dee Wejr supports Shipmaker’s efforts.

“As a council we can’t really spend taxpayers’ dollars, but we want to help,” she said.

“There’s a recognition among council that a lot of families are not doing well because of the economy. People have lost jobs and are struggling. It’s not like we (council) are rich but we want to do something.”

A recent survey that looks at physical health, social competence, emotional maturity, language and communication indicates that the percentage of Enderby children vulnerable to one or more of these developmental issues has gone from 26.8 in 2009 to 40 in 2010.

While his challenge is only limited to council, Shipmaker is urging residents of the Enderby area to support the resource centre and local children.

“I believe residents will really get behind it,” he said.