Once an insecure student who moved to Red Deer from a farm after her parents’ divorce, Tricia Pope eventually became a teacher.
She now tutors other kids who are struggling with reading and math skills and wants to give back to the community by holding monthly charity markets and barbecues at Eastview Community Centre, 120 Ellenwood Dr.
Since her long-ago mentors at West Park Middle School and Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School helped her achieve her potential, Pope decided to make the Red Deer Public School Step Up program the beneficiary of this month’s market, which features door prizes.
On Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., local residents can peruse about 15 booths of homemade items, including socks and jewelry.
They can also get a burger served up by donation.
Profits from the barbecue will go to the Step Up fund, which Pope said helps in-need students and families pay for necessities, such as winter coats or dental services. She hopes to raise several hundred dollars for the program.
The income from the vendors will pay for the cost of the event and the rest will go to provide subsidies for students who need tutoring from Tutor Angels, the company she runs.
“Many immigrant students, or students living in poverty, can find it difficult to afford such an essential support,” she said. “Subsidies help us to make the cost easier for them.”
The next Central Alberta Vendor Market is on Nov. 29 and the benefitting charity will be Red Deer Child Care.
Starting in January, the markets and barbecues will be held on the first Friday of each month, with various charities benefitting.