Rakaia McCarthy, left, and Denise Soreg, the ‘Mercedes Lane gals,’ sport pink wigs for the Works of HeArt human heart event held at Community Park in Parksville Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. — J.R. Rardon photo

Parksville shows its heart in anti-bullying event

Works of HeArt project debuts at Community Park

More than 75 residents, many of them sporting pink anti-bullying shirts, gathered in Parksville’s Community Park Sunday, Feb. 25, to show they have a heart.

And to create one.

Works of HeArt, an anti-bullying initiative started by local artisan Micki Findlay, debuted with a gathering of people, ranging from seniors to young children, who assembled in the shape of a heart as photographers and videographers on the slope above captured images of the event.

“I’ve met so many people who have been bullied in the past, myself included,” said Findlay. “And I thought, you know, I need to do something about it instead of just complaining.”

The human heart event was held just days before the annual Pink Shirt Day campaign (Feb. 28), but Findlay envisions a year-round effort to promote awareness, cheer random acts of kindness and recognize heroes.

The event was held in partnership with Oceanside RCMP and Oceanside Community Safety Volunteers. Const. Danielle Swanson and Const. Mike Dally, youth liaison officers with the local detachment, were joined by Staff Sgt. Marc Pelletier, who wore red serge at the point of the heart.

Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre also took part, providing a welcoming address before joining participants in creating the outline of a heart on the large park field.

“Too many people have suffered in silence and people should know they’ve got people to contact and places to go if they need help,” Lefebvre told the gathering.

Swanson and Dally said Findlay’s initiative and message dovetails perfectly with their own focus on combatting bullying in local schools.

“It’s very symbiotic,” said Dally. “I think it’s an excellent tie-in to what we do as youth members. (Findlay’s) mandate is to help the vulnerable people who are at risk, and we are given the opportunity to do that in schools. And bullying’s a huge thing in schools.

“Any message we can get out in the community to strengthen resolve to stand up for and fight against bullying has got to be good.”

Swanson urged youngsters in the crowd to be “upstanders” instead of bystanders when they see incidents of another person being bullied.

“If you see something happen you’re going to stand up for the person and tell an adult right away,” Swanson told them.

Findlay is looking forward to sharing and spreading the Works of HeArt message.

“We’re going to create a film that will hopefully inspire communities worldwide to do this very thing,” she said. “To find creative ways to speak out against racism, against bullying and promote kindness and inclusion.”

Send story tips to: editor@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Kwalikum Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Nanoose Bay Catspan receives BC SPCA funding

Spay/neuter grant to address overpopulation

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

VIDEO: Meet some of the Vancouver Island Tribute Festival performers

The NEWS speaks with Elvis, Liberace tribute artists and others before they go on parade

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Langley event one of five held in B.C.

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

Most Read