A much anticipated community event in the Gull Lake area is returning after a pause for a couple of years.
The Gull Lake North Citizens on Patrol (GLNCOP) Association’s 18th annual yard and plant sale fundraiser — which in past years has seen vehicles lined up for a mile-and-a-half — is back.
The sale is set for May 28 at Les Johnson’s Farm, located on Parkland Beach Road at 20019 Township Road 422.
There will be parking a-plenty, but organizers still anticipate up to 150 people lined up waiting for the horn to mark the start of the sale at 9 a.m. sharp, based on past years.
People have been so eager for the popular sale, in fact, that they have had to rope off the area to ensure people don’t start crowding in before it opens.
Not only a good chance to discover a great find, with items ranging from housing siding, to golf clubs to shingles and skis, the event helps to support that group that does so much to keep their community safe.
“We have a great variety of things,” said GLNCOP president Ted Jamieson.
The Gull Lake North COP group started in 2002 and is coordinated by the Rimbey RCMP.
The group of about 32 members, currently, patrols eight local districts and subdivisions: Birch Bay and Birch Meadows in the bay area, Parkland Beach, Aspen Rise, WestLake Estates, Twin Lakes, Poulsen’s Estates and Poulsen’s Pasture.
The members aren’t paid and don’t charge for their services, but incur costs to undergo the necessary training in order to be members, such as CPR, first aid and other special patrol training provided by the parent organization, the Alberta Citizens on Patrol, according to Jamieson.
When they travel for training they also have costs such as hotel accommodations.
Sometimes the COP is also in need of equipment such as night vision goggles. In the past, they’ve used funds that were raised to purchase hand radios.
Some of their costs are more mundane, such as computer ink for printing their records, and other administrative considerations.
While the COP is there to help curb crime, they do much more. Jamieson said that what they do is not limited to patrolling.
They also help to support victims of crimes, in some situations, assist in search and rescues, and generally keep an eye on their neighbours.
They have helped to find people lost in the snow and wind on the lake, discovered a car in the water one time, and helped to recover two stolen quads from Rocky Mountain House, before the owners even knew they were missing.
Jamieson recalled a few years ago, when he noticed water running in a ditch in December. Recognizing that was unusual, he discovered that a home’s water line and broken.
“What we do is patrol to look for things out of place; out of the ordinary,” he said.
He added they are trained to look for things like a window curtain flapping in the breeze, as that can indicate a broken window and possibly a break and enter in progress.
The members patrol in pairs — often husband and wife teams.
Sometimes three or four member will go out at the same time, if it’s going to be a busy weekend, said Jamieson.
GLNCOP receives donations right up to, and even during, the sale.
They have received complete contents of a cabin when the owner was selling before. The largest donated item he recalls is a storage shed.
Any items that require a certification, such as motorcycle helmets are car seats, can’t be accepted or sold at the sale as they’re not able to guarantee the safety of the items. They also won’t accept mattresses, fridges or ovens.
For more information, or to arrange for an item to be picked up, call Max Gross at 403-843-4533 or Laurence Rooney at 403-843-6264. Items will be picked up after May 11.
Volunteers will be at the farm to receive donated items on Friday, March 27, from 11 a..m. to 4 p.m.
Coffee and donuts will also be on sale during the event.
To inquire about becoming a GLNCOP member, email firstname.lastname@example.org.