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**Valleycliffe Community Event 2023: A Day of Fun, Learning, and Togetherness*

On a beautiful sunny September day in 2023, the close-knit community of Valleycliffe in Squamish, BC, came alive with laughter, games, and camaraderie. The occasion? A delightful community event that I had the privilege of helping to host and coordinate, made possible through a Neighbourhood Small Grant. This event, which coincided with the Gran Fondo, was a resounding success, leaving everyone eager for its return next year.

**The Heart of Valleycliffe**

Nestled against the stunning backdrop of the Stawamus Chief, Valleycliffe is a community that values its tight-knit bonds and commitment to the well-being of its residents. Our community event aimed to further strengthen these ties while providing an afternoon of entertainment and education.

**Fun and Games**

The event kicked off with a burst of color as children and adults alike lined up for face painting. From whimsical butterflies to fierce tigers, the artistic talents of our volunteers knew no bounds. The joy on the kids' faces was priceless, and it set the tone for the rest of the day.

Yard games were the next order of the day. Families gathered for friendly competitions of Connect 4, Giant Jenga, and Spike ball, ring toss and more! The games were not just about winning; they were about sharing moments of joy and laughter with neighbours and friends.

**A Slice of Happiness**

What's a celebration without cake? As the sun continued to warm up, attendees gathered to savour slices of delicious cake. It was the perfect time for neighbours to catch up, make new friends, and simply enjoy the company of those who make Valleycliffe such a special place.

**Educational Insights**

Our event wasn't just about fun; it was also about learning and fostering a sense of responsibility towards our environment. We were honoured to have a presentation from a Conservation Officer who shared valuable insights into local wildlife and environmental conservation efforts. The presentation was not only informative but also inspiring, reminding us all of the importance of preserving the natural beauty that surrounds us & how to keep bears safe.

**Community Spirit Shines**

The most heartwarming aspect of the event was the overwhelming attendance. Families from all corners of Valleycliffe came together, demonstrating the power of community spirit. It was a day where new friendships blossomed and old ones were rekindled.

Holding the event on September 9th, the same day as the Gran Fondo, was a strategic choice. While the Gran Fondo temporarily restricted highway access, it brought Valleycliffe residents closer together. Attendees appreciated the convenience of celebrating in their own neighborhood and avoiding the inconveniences associated with the Gran Fondo highway closures.

As we wrapped up our happy gathering, there was a unanimous sentiment: we must do this again next year. The success of the event was a testament to the strong bonds that tie our community together and the tireless efforts of our volunteers and sponsors.

The Valleycliffe Skunk Hollow September Social of 2023 was more than just a day of fun; it was a celebration of community, education, and togetherness. With the support of the Neighborhood Small Grant and the enthusiasm of Valleycliffe's residents, we created lasting memories and forged deeper connections. As we eagerly look forward to next year's event, we carry with us the knowledge that our community is stronger when we come together, and that's something worth celebrating.