Vote now, BBQ later 0
Strathmore's been noticed for its community spirit and pride, and if citizens keep it up, they could be rewarded with a celebrity-studded BBQ party hosted by President's Choice.
Strathmore has made it into the top 20 nominees in the first ever, online President's Choice (PC) BBQ Town contest.
"We had a number of great entries from across Canada and the panel had to make some very tough decisions," said Allan Lindsay, vice president of brand marketing and media services at Loblaw Companies Limited, via email.
"Strathmore performed very well in all areas."
One Canadian community will win a PC BBQ Town party for up to 5,000 people, hosted by PC Executive Chef Tom Filippou and Food Network celebrity and host, Bob Blumer. Blumer is host of World's Weirdest Restaurant, Glutton for Punishment and Surreal Gourmet.
The Grand Prize also includes a performance by JUNO Award-winning group Hedley, and a $25,000 donation to PC Children's Charity to support a local nutrition program on behalf of the winning town.
"To top it all off, the community would also get a chance to set a new World Record for most hamburgers assembled in an hour," said Lindsay. "Currently, there is no world record in this category.
"The contest was inspired by Canadians' passion for BBQ-ing and the important part it plays in bringing friends and family together, especially during the summer season."
Jennifer Sawatzky, a municipal clerk for the Town of Strathmore, got the ball rolling when she entered Strathmore into the online competition. In her entry, she noted that many families have to commute everyday between Strathmore and Calgary, which limits the amount of time they can spend getting to know their neighbours.
"By hosting President's Choice BBQ Town Grand Prize Event, we would draw out everyone in the community and finally get to know our neighbours in order to become a closer-knit town," read Sawatzky's popular online entry.
Her sentiment did not go unnoticed.
In addition to the number of online views obtained by her entry, Lindsay commented that some of PC's favourite things related to Strathmore's nomination were the courtesy, pride and kindness of community members. He specifically mentioned the "rally cry for support" on the town's website homepage, and the community's fundraising efforts for a high school student diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
"(It) shows a lot of community spirit," he said. "(And) it's a cow town; they love beef and BBQ."
While Lindsay could not comment on where Strathmore stands specifically, the PC BBQ Town website indicated that Strathmore was still in the top 10 out of 20 as of last Sunday.
"By the end of the nomination period, we were the seventh most popular nominee," said Sawatzky. "If we stay in the top 10, we will win something."
Nine secondary prizes will be awarded to the top finalists. Each includes a stop on the PC BBQ Town tour, and a BBQ event for up to 2,000 people.
"I'm sure we can get Southern Alberta behind us," said Sawatzky. "I'm sure they'd like to go to a Hedley concert. Now, we just need everyone to vote."
"The more you can rally your community to vote, the better your chances are of winning," said Lindsay.
"So start rallying your friends, family and community leaders to get involved."
Anyone can vote for Strathmore at www.foodnetwork.ca/pc. Voters can participate up to once a day until the polls are closed on June 11, at midnight.
The winners of the PC BBQ Town contest will be announced on June 14.