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WS YOU 177
Listen to a Life Contest
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For Immediate Release
Contact: Brian Puppa, e-mail or call (905) 640-8914

WS YOU 177 Listen to a Life Contest

NOVEMBER 18, 2014 / Legacy Project / By listening to a life, students in Whitchurch-Stouffville can win big – and so can the community. Young and old can connect to collect local life stories in the Listen to a Life Essay Contest. The contest is part of WS YOU 177 One Town, One Book, in collaboration with the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library, the Stouffville Sun-Tribune, Parkview Services for Seniors, and the Legacy Project, with a special local prize provided by Nurse Next Door.

To enter the Listen to a Life Contest, students 8-18 years interview a grandparent or grandfriend 50 years or older about the older person's hopes and goals through their life, how they achieved their goals and overcame obstacles, or key life experiences. The young person then writes a 300-word essay based on the interview.

In addition to being eligible for the national Grand Prize of a Lenovo ThinkCentre computer, students in Whitchurch-Stouffville are eligible to win a special WS local prize of a $500 gift certificate from a major electronics retailer courtesy of Nurse Next Door.

"Generations are a living time perspective," says Susan Bosak, who heads the Legacy Project, based in Whitchurch-Stouffville. "This contest gives young people and older adults the motivation to talk. Elders in our community can be a tremendous resource to enrich young lives and create a legacy on which to build the future. Kids are often very surprised at what they learn!"

The contest is also an opportunity to collect the life stories that make up local history.

A special group of interested students will be chosen to interview the oldest citizen in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Mr. Melville Thomas, an amazing 105-year-old resident at Parkview. A military veteran, he travelled to places like England, North Africa, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Following his time in the service, he made a life in York Region as a machinist and a farmer. He and his wife, Murial, had two children and were married for 61 years when she passed away in 1997. He's a collector of spoons, thimbles and other memorabilia, and has a passion for woodworking, building clocks, cradles and lamps. Just think of the stories he can tell!

WS YOU 177 is a broad-based community collaborative that includes the WSP Library, Legacy Project, local media, service clubs, faith-based groups, schools and seniors groups. It's been made possible through grants from United Way York Region and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

YOU 177 is a social innovation initiative that empowers YOU (which also stands for Young and Old United) to make a difference in a big-picture context – 1 World with 7 Generations and 7 Billion People. Based on a decade of research, it's a community process that taps into what matters to transform everything we do, from the way we live with each other and our planet to how we learn, do business, grow up and grow older. New intergenerational community connections will lead to innovative community action projects.

The Listen to a Life Contest deadline is March 31, 2015. Check out all the contest details, including how to enter, rules, online entry form and more. Visit www.wsyou177.org or call (905) 640-8914.

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For more information, contact Brian Puppa, Legacy Project, by e-mail or call (905) 640-8914

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