New West councillors pull all-nighter voting for youth centre in Kraft contest

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.

Mac & Cheese. Photo: Angie Torres (via Flickr)
Fortified by Kraft Dinner, New Westminster Councillors Jaimie McEvoy & Jonathan Cote pulled an all-nighter voting for the Youth Centre in Moody Park in the Kraft Celebration Tour online contest. Thanks to them and others in the community who voted, New Westminster youth won the $25,000 prize! Photo: Angie Torres (via Flickr)

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.

Jonathan Cote on Twitter at 3:46 a.m.: "I am going to pay for this tomorrow..."
Jonathan Cote on Twitter at 3:46 a.m.: "I am going to pay for this tomorrow..."

“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.”

Briana Tomkinson

Briana Tomkinson is a Montreal-based writer and original founder of Tenth to the Fraser. She really likes to write letters by hand.

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11 comments

  1. Does anyone know when and how the money will be allocated to the youth centre? Will the "Board" of the youth centre have control to purchase items it may want/need, like say a pool table, dart board, etc… or does it get paid to the City and the administrators distribute it at they see fit?

  2. Thank you for posting about the Youth Centre @ Moody Park’s win of the Kraft Community Celebration and $25,000 prize. We couldn’t be more thrilled! Before launching the fundraising campaign, our committee developed a list of items to be purchased and scoped out our fundraising goal of $200,000. The Kraft Community Celebration winnings will be added to the nearly $150,000 raised thus far to furnish and equip our new youth centre. A sample list furnishings and equipment list along with background information can be found on our campaign website at http://www.youthcentreatmoodypark.ca/index.html

    100% of the monies raised from the YC@MP campaign will be applied towards furnishings, equipment and fundraising costsfor the new youth centre. The campaign has been going very well and the community support has been amazing. Thank you to everyone who has donated thus far and, if you’d like to contribute, please visit our website. Jan Greenhow, Youth Centre @ Moody Park Fundraising Committee Co-Chair

  3. Thanks for the explanation Jan, I'm glad that the winnings are going directly to the "software" of the facility. Also happy to see that donations are tax deductible!

  4. Interesting comments again by Mr. Cote indeed. I was also perplexed by his recent public letter to the record editor. The tax payers deserve the truth, the 17 million dollar grant will only if everything goes right cover 1/9 of the new peir park – not 1/3 as stated by the young councillor. It is nice to see that we won the $25,000 for our youth and our politicians worked overtime on it.

  5. The city staff are not telling giving the young councillor all the information on the peir park, he should request it.

  6. Lisa & Shawn: Please keep your comments on the subject of the post. And please show more respect to Jonathan. There's no need to disparage him as "the young councillor." New Westminster elected him to do the job, and as this story shows, he's putting his heart into it.

  7. Whats the big deal with saying "young councilor" ?

    I don't see the disrespect your claiming as an author.

    I can think of many disparaging comments about Cote and McEvoy.

    Calling one or the other "Young" isn't on my list.

    And what is this article about anyways ? 25 grand from an American company that markets to CHILDREN low nutritional value foods.

    Keeping the palate-less masses fed with processed cheese since 1915 ?

    Or is this off topic aswell ?

    N.W.

    1. Hi Norman,

      Substitute another irrelevant aspect of appearance for young" and perhaps you'll see why I find it disrespectful. How about constantly referring to someone as the "fat" or "aged" councillor, for example. Or what if Betty McIntosh was constantly referred to as "the woman councillor." It implies that the adjective has some bearing on the person's job performance. Ageism bugs me.

      As for Kraft, I'm somewhat with you there. But the story of the community rallying behind those kids was one I wanted to tell.

  8. The dictionary is full of adjectives we can use as labels for people.

    Blunt ones like "Fat" rather then "Obese" or "Aged" instead of "elderly" might conjure objection depending on the person, and even those subtler words might bring offense as well !

    Perhaps the commentators should have used the term "inexperienced" ?

    or would that have been to blunt ?

    Ageism, Sexism, Nepotism, How many other Ism's are a part of the real-world we live in ?

    Sure, I understand the idea of what was going on and support youth activities that encourage mental development. However typing on your computer till the break of dawn seems to be somewhat hollow victory.

    I'm sure the children would be better served by time spent with them, rather then time spent in isolation, tweeting and farting for a monetary prize. And how about the loser, Nelson, what valuable lesson has that communities children learned about consumerISM.

    The real prize you cherish is in the time spent having fun with friends while "young" and before you become "aged".

    N.W.

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