We often hear that New Westminster is a small town, not just in size but in style. And that can be both good and bad. This week, in the Moody Park Youth Centre’s campaign to win a $25,000 grant in an online contest, there was a whole lot of good going around.
It seemed that the whole town pulled together for the youth centre. To win the big prize, New Westminster went head to head with the city of Nelson, both trying to muster the most votes in one day. With no restriction on the number or frequency of votes, the Kraft Celebration Tour contest was as much about passion for the community as population numbers.
Said The Royal City Record about New West’s win:
New Westminster clobbered Nelson – who were hoping to use the cash for an upgrade to their curling club – by a score of 220,531 to 154,709 in the 24 hour contest that ran from 9 a.m. Friday to Saturday. Not bad for a city with an estimated population of around 60,000.
New Westminster rallied for our youth, urging each other on through many emails, tweets, Facebook posts and blogs to cast a vote (or more) for our town. Meanwhile, a group of teens gathered in the library to stay up all night watching movies and vote, vote, vote! City councillors and staff also took time out during the day to vote during coffee breaks and lunch hour. Then, two City councillors, Jonathan Cote and Jaimie McEvoy, saw each other on Facebook that night and upped the ante, challenging each other to pull an all-nighter voting for the youth centre.
“We were both getting tired and getting ready to call it quits, so I put out the challange on twitter,” said Jonathan via email. “I thought with two kids under the age of three I would have the edge in staying up through the night.”
The wager? A dinner out with both spouses. The winner would pick the restaurant – and the loser would pick up the tab.
“Jaimie and I would occasionally check on each other on Facebook to make sure we were still up.”
All that time staring at the Kraft logo on the contest screen made both councillors crave Kraft Dinner. Jonathan said he made his around 2 a.m. and Jaimie around 3:30.
“Around 4:30, I thought I would rest my eyes a bit to get my second [wind]. Next thing I knew it, it was 7:30. As per the posts on Facebook, it looks like Jaimie made it to about 6:30. No word on which restuarant Alix and I will be taking Jaimie and Stacy to.”