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For Immediate Release
Contact: Brian Puppa, e-mail or call (905) 852-3777

12-year-old Bumika's dream is to live in a town that chose to make a difference

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 / Legacy Project / Uruguay has a 96% voter turnout. France has over 70%. Last local election in Whitchurch-Stouffville, we had a 45% turnout. Similar low turnouts happen across Canada, despite the fact that decisions made at the local level can often multiply for significant national and even global effects. Do you care about the decisions being made in your community, on your behalf? For 12-year-old WS resident Bumika, her dream is "to live in a town that chose to make a difference." That's just what you're invited to do in a special WS civic innovation event on Thursday, October 9. It's part of WS YOU 177, in collaboration with the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library, the Stouffville Sun-Tribune, and the Legacy Project.

Through WS YOU 177 One Town, One Book featuring the award-winning book Dream, the WSP Library is Dream Star Headquarters, collecting the dreams of every child, youth, adult, and elder in Whitchurch-Stouffville. Bumika's dream is one that stands out.

"Bumika is a newer, younger resident of our town," says Susan V. Bosak, head of the Legacy Project, a local research and education group. "She's challenging all of us to make a choice that will not only serve us now, but the future of our town and what we want it to be."

With an upcoming municipal election, Bosak goes on to say that, "Our town isn't about politicians, but about us. If we don't get involved, we give our power away."

Everyone has busy lives, and some issues may seem too complex for us to understand or make a difference. But research shows that there are ideas and processes communities can put into play that can multiply impact.

Join in a spirited discussion about all kinds of civic engagement, from voting to volunteering, and the innovations that are possible to make our community stronger. Stouffville Sun-Tribune Editor Jim Mason and WSP Library CEO Carolyn Nordheimer James will lead a big-picture dialogue across generations. A TEDxToronto video will help you reframe the issues around civic engagement; social researcher Susan V. Bosak will inspire you; and round-table discussions will empower you to make a difference in our community.

"Do You Care?" is a free community event open to all ages, teens to elders. It's a WS YOU 177 event in collaboration with the WSP Library and the Stouffville Sun-Tribune as part of The Big 5-0 challenge – getting out at least 50% of eligible voters on October 27.

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 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. As community convenings lead to innovative community action projects, Whitchurch-Stouffville will be a model for the rest of the country, and internationally.

The "Do You Care?" civic innovation event takes place Thursday, October 9, 6:30-9:00 pm at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Leisure Centre, 2 Park Drive. Refreshments will be provided. To register, visit www.wsyou177.org or call (905) 852-3777.

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For more information, contact Brian Puppa, Legacy Project, by e-mail or call (905) 852-3777