Potters Hands keep busy

The operators of Potters Hands, who are reaching out once again to help the needy in Red Deer.


The operators of Potters Hands, who are reaching out once again to help the needy in Red Deer.

Pending a few conditions, Potter’s Hands Developments Ltd. is expected to be the new owner of downtown’s Rancher’s Valley Inn, said partners Stan Schalk and Peter Leyen.

Plans include turning the rooms into affordable housing and for people working in the downtown area.

Around 26 people now living on the hotel’s second floor will be able to stay, said Schalk.

The decision to buy the Valley wasn’t originally in the plans for the Potter’s Hands ministry. But Schalk started listening within his soul.

“Basically, I wasn’t interested in buying the Valley,” he said. “For me, it just really felt like God was opening a door and it was a door that I needed to pay better attention to.”

The Potter’s Hands ministry that truly demonstrates its and compassion for needy people through action.

Potter’s Hands, which also runs a soup kitchen, has been developing affordable housing for 10 years. The ministry purchased and renovated the Buffalo Hotel, turning is rooms into affordable suites for people who otherwise would be living on the streets.

Thanks to that haven, about 40 people have a roof over their heads.


To City of Red Deer workers, who sprang into action last weekend to repair damage left behind by a flooding Red Deer River.

An awesome ice jam pushed the rapidly moving spring-melt waters over the edge, flooding riverside parks and spilling onto streets.

While many area citizens were at home enjoying Easter Sunday, city workers were up to their elbows in muck, debris and dirty, cold water.

The flood required monitoring, traffic had to be re-routed, and a major mop-up was on the menu instead dinner with friends and family.


To the County of Lacombe, for pulling the plug on plans for an outdoor music festival just north of Sylvan Lake that was expected to attract at least 4,000 fans.

Talk about a recipe for disaster; ingredients included a beer gardens. Sylvan Lake already has its hands full with rowdies during the summer months.

Organizers billed the proposed July 25 Sylvan Summer Fest as an old-time rock ’n’ roll festival, to be staged on a site near Jarvis Bay, west of Hwy 40.

But the town didn’t cozy up to the idea and the county voted no.

“The Town of Sylvan Lake raised concerns about the impact of the proposed event might have on their community,” read a report from assistant county planner Jolene Tejkl. “They (the town) have mentioned how the event could be taxing on their police resources.”

Concert promoters may argue they were being unfairly judged and the event could succeed on a peaceful note.

But common sense suggests such an event on a hot summer day, fueled by beer, could spell disaster.

Rick Zemanek is an Advocate editor.

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