In a community, strength lies in differences, not in similarities. Each member of the community, in the Town of Neepawa, is unique and not to be judged. We all find strength and wisdom in each other by learning more about one’s culture, nature and traditions. A community event is the perfect opportunity for the residents and newcomers to get to know each other better. The Neepawa Rotary Club and the Neepawa Settlement Services will host a community barbeque on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Rotary Park (south on First Street, by the bird sanctuary). All residents of Neepawa and Area including all the newcomers are invited to the event. Dave Bennet is a Rotary Club member and part of the event committee volunteering to oversee the information dissemination of the barbeque. He indicated that the occasion will be a chance for the residents to meet the newcomers and formally welcome them in the community. At 10 a.m. there will be a Free Items Exchange at the Viscount Cultural Centre at Mountain Avenue. Residents can donate unneeded household items and winter clothing at the VCC from Tuesday, Sept. 11 until Sept. 14. The newcomers can pick up the items on Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Filipino Volunteer Group also organized a “Winter Jacket Drive” for the newcomers. Since Sept. 4, the group placed posters in many of the establishments in Neepawa to urge the residents to donate old winter clothes. This will be the very first winter for most of the newcomers. Let’s all help them prepare for this new experience. The drop off and distribution center will be at 282 Third Avenue. For the Winter Jacket Drive, the Filipino Volunteer Group will be distributing the items at 10 a.m. on Sept. 15 as well. Ronald Allan Santos and Laarni Santos, together with the other members of the group, will be picking up some of the newcomers from their apartments and motels. In the afternoon, the Family Picnic Fun which includes face painting, balloon art, sack races and karoake for residents and newcomers will start at 2 p.m. at Rotary Park. Jason Epp, another Rotary member, coordinated with the Filipino Volunteer Group headed by Ronald Allan Santos and Rex Rommel Toledo to organize the games. The day's entertainment will be provided by the Filtoba Association. At 4 p.m. the Rotary Club, together with the other members of the community, will have a Free Roasted Pig Barbeque. The meals will include potato salad, coleslaw, beans, corn on the cob plus desserts and beverages. Everyone can bring lawn chairs or blankets although there will be tents on site. In case of heavy rain, the barbecue and games will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion beginning at 2 p.m. These fall activities are going to be a good break from a very busy week. The newcomers are still trying to adjust and settle into the community. We Filipinos are thoroughly grateful for the warm welcome. We hope that the community will continue to be patient and considerate enough to understand that integrating into a new environment is not a simple task. We are here to work hard and better our lives just like everyone else.