Odds and Ends

Testimonial by Kway Middle School principal Ms. Laurie Ebenal

“The Odd Squad presentation was well received by the entire Kwayhquitlum community. Parents, who attended the event, appreciated the authentic and real aspects of the presentation. Teachers and students were impacted by the stories of the people living with addiction on the downtown east side. The presentation had a raw element that did not sugar coat the potential direction drug use can take you. The teachers appreciated the educational and health aspect of the presentation and that you didn’t lecture to the students. Providing concrete facts and riveting stories allowed a platform for students to explore the information from a empowered position. Thank you once again.”

Ms. Laurie Ebenal (Principal, Kway Middle School – SD43)

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Blush Article about the “Odd Christmas Party”

Original article: blushvancouver.com/the-odd-christmas-party-an-evening-with-jim-byrnes/

Whether you have heard of them yet or not, Odd Squad members have been making a difference in our city’s most troubled area since 1997. A group of concerned Down Town East Side (DTES) beat cops decided to “take something out of that sordid mess that we were tasked with policing and make it positive” was how founding member and new Executive Director, Tobin Hinton, described the beginning. Operating as a charitable entity, the group does not receive any funding or financial support from the Vancouver Police Department and the contributors are made up of police officers, retired officers, and volunteers. This year’s annual Christmas fundraiser was held at Central City on Beatty Street and it was packed.

Whether you have heard of them yet or not, Odd Squad members have been making a difference in our city’s most troubled area since 1997. A group of concerned Down Town East Side (DTES) beat cops decided to “take something out of that sordid mess that we were tasked with policing and make it positive” was how founding member and new Executive Director, Tobin Hinton, described the beginning. Operating as a charitable entity, the group does not receive any funding or financial support from the Vancouver Police Department and the contributors are made up of police officers, retired officers, and volunteers. This year’s annual Christmas fundraiser was held at Central City on Beatty Street and it was packed.

Juno award winner and Entertainment Hall of Famer, Jim Byrnes, sits on the board of directors for Odd Squad and also gives of his time to perform at the fundraising events. Between sets I caught up with Jim to find out why he was so passionate about supporting this cause. “I’ve got some real good friends who were the guys who started this. Myself, I was on that street at one time in my life, I know what life on the street is like and I know how things can go. A couple bad decisions and things can go wrong. I was lucky to have people that loved me and I was able to walk away from that street.” Jim went on to share, “I think that the work that we do with the Odd Squad to show what can happen and to show young people how to make better decisions is so important…I will support it to the bitter end.”

Diana Zoppa, the new president, got her start with Odd Squad back in 1998 when she organized their first fundraiser at the Commodore. “I’ve been with them ever since.” Diana shared some thoughts as the successful event came to a close. “Our goal was about $40,000 and I am sure we met it.” The next event for Odd Squad Productions? “We have an event that we do in May called Jewels and Jeans which we have always done at Birks.” Plans for 2016? “We are going to educate as many kids as we can with Peer2Peer programs, give more presentations all over the lower mainland and produce 3 big films. We are also really focused on gang awareness.”

A great cause and a really great group of people giving a tremendous amount back to the community. If you would like more information, please go to www.oddsquad.com

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The Odd Christmas Party Wrap

❆ The Odd Christmas Party Wrap 

Thanks for being there!

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Squad and XMAS party volunteers

We sincerely thank those who were able to join us on December 1 for the Odd XMAS Party. 200 guests enjoyed a magical night with friends, old and new, who assisted in raising $25,000 towards this year’s efforts with presentations.

Odd Squad members intend to reach 20,000 kids by the end of June 2016 with their drug and gang presentations.

It’s not too late to donate and your contribution goes a long way.

Odd Squad members have been delivering valuable educational presentations to youth for 18 years. In order to keep the information current and timely for the kids, presentations and equipment needs to be upgraded and overhauled on a continual basis.

It’s not too late to assist us with these costs. 

For your donation, Odd Squad will provide the list of schools, interest groups and youth programs they present to by June 2016. You will also receive a charitable receipt for donations. 

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Event Photos from an Odd Xmas Party – December 1, 2015

You can still donate to support kids – click here

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Gangs & Guns Training Symposium

The 8th Annual Gangs & Guns Training Symposium by Safer Schools Together will be held on February 18th and 19th 2015 at the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre.

Full list of presenters and presentation descriptions are available here on the ticketing page:
saferschoolstogether.com/event/gangs-guns-training-symposium-2016

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North Stars to partner with RCMP against drug abuse

Battlefords North Stars hockey team is starting a joint initiative with RCMP in Project First Goal to educate children against drug abuse.

Battlefords_North_Stars_LogoThe project will see members of the North Stars travelling to Vancouver to see first hand the consequences of drug abuse, touring the downtown east side with the Odd Squad. The players will document their tour and bring back what they see and hear to local schools.

The Regina Pats and the Saskatoon Blades are involved in this project.

Read more at: www.newsoptimist.ca/…

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End Gang Life: Myths & Realities

Doug Charlton spoke at a press conference today as Executive Director of Odd Squad and Producer of the End Gang Life: Myths and Realities video modules. Within a couple of hours of the official launch, the project is already having a huge impact and receiving national recognition.
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We launched the videos this morning at a press conference and the story and the videos have already “gone national”. You’ll see it featured on local news over the next day or so, as well as some of the national news programs like CTV Newsnet.

If the reaction over the last couple hours is any indication of the impact that these videos will have, I am positive that we will make a difference in the lives of many. In just a few short hours I’ve received calls and emails from the RCMP National Youth Services Section, the National Crime Prevention Centre, the national School Action of Emergencies (SAFE), and even the Ottawa Police Service. — Sergeant Lindsey Houghton, Media Relations Office, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC

http://oddsquad.com/videos/

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End Gang Life! Educational Production

Odd Squad Productions, through the direct management of the Executive Director are currently working on a ground breaking educational production in conjunction with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) and Brightlight Pictures. When released these modules will be available across the Province and will continue to highlight the message to “End Gang Life”. The project team is working hard to have this delivered for the Fall of 2014.

Watch the trailers…End Gang Life!

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Blazers partner with RCMP and SD73 to teach real impacts of drug use

http://truomega.ca/2014/02/24/beyond-edge/

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Rest in peace Hersh Abramson, you will always be remembered

We are sadden to hear of the passing of Hersh Abramson, a good friend of Odd Squad. He spent the last several years working with youth in drug prevention beside Odd Squad members. He will be missed.

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