Castlegar’s 581 Royal Air Cadet squadron had a busy night last Tuesday. The cadet squadron received a sizable cash donation and three cadets received hard earned promotions.
Kathy and Chris Sykes, owners of the Castlegar Tim Hortons presented the squadron with $1705, the proceeds from their Smile Cookie fundraiser held during the week of October 14-20. During that week, cadets were on hand at Tim Hortons doing a variety of duties including greeting patrons, opening doors, cleaning tables, and of course, selling cookies.
The Sykes have several employees who are air cadets and have seen first hand the benefits of the program. “We think it is an excellent program,” said Kathy Sykes. “We see what it does in giving them life skills. We can see their personal growth and the way they challenge themselves. They are a great group of kids.”
The squadron plans to put the money towards obtaining a new hall. The current hall is deteriorating and is in need of replacement. The cadets have been fundraising for the purpose for a while, and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis until they reach the needed amount. “I think it is an awesome thing that Chris and Kathy Sykes have done by donating this amount to the cadets,” said Cpt. Gerry Rempel, the squadron’s commanding officer. “It will be put to a very good use. I really appreciate their support.”
LAC Anthony Ismay was promoted to the rank of Corporal, Warrant Officer 2 Elizabeth Laramee was promoted to Warrant Officer 1 and Flight Sergeant Noami Notarstefano was promoted to Warrant Officer 2. “I would like to congratulate them. They have certainly earned it,” said Cpt. Rempel. “They are excellent cadets and have really contributed a lot to our program.”
In order to receive a promotion, a cadet must fulfill all of the requirements that are laid forth in a specified curriculum including knowledge in air operations, physical fitness, leadership skills, community service and a youth harassment course. The promotion to warrant officer also requires a level 5 weekend workshop on top of all the other requirements and making an appearance before a review board.
The squadron is always looking for new cadets. Those interested are invited to show up to any of the Tuesday meetings which happen at 6:30 p.m. at the Cadet Hall in downtown Castlegar.