No sense of community in Walnut Grove

A hard-nosed attitude towards a missing teen dance ticket leaves parent cold.

Editor: There was recently a Grades 6 and 7 dance at the Walnut Grove Community Centre. I purchased a ticket for my son, and his friend bought one earlier in the week.

Just before the dance took place, my daughter wanted to borrow a backpack for camping so I told her to take her brother’s, but she accidentally took his friend’s, with his ticket inside. His friend was sleeping over so they could go to the dance together.

When I arrived at the dance, I explained the situation to the supervisor and other staff but they advised me that the rules were no free replacement tickets, and as the dance wasn’t sold out, they said I had to buy another ticket. This was the policy since kids have given their ticket to other kids and then said they lost it and got another “free” ticket.

Obviously that was not the case for us, as I was there with my son’s friend. It was the perfect opportunity to actually show community and understanding. It was obvious we were not trying to scam the system, as the computer showed that he had purchased his ticket already and it was just a matter of giving him another ticket.

While they were pleasant and “understanding,” they not only did not just replace the ticket, but they charged me $9 because the new ticket was not bought in advance. It’s $7 in advance.

Now, let me ask you this. Walnut Grove is a community which I have been a part of for 14 years. This is a community centre, and I was treated in no way as part of a community.

The government spends all kinds of money trying to raise community spirit and involvement, but when the perfect opportunity to show community is presented, it is denied.

I understand that occasionally people scam the system, but why should everyone else be punished for that? This is a community. Why focus on the odd “free” ticket being scammed?

Maybe kids do so because they can’t afford a ticket, or their parents are too busy working to survive, or to drive them there in advance to buy one. Even if it was a scam, that happens, and there are always a bad apple. Honest mistakes also happens, like my daughter taking the wrong backpack.

I am so disgusted by this lack of community. I went in myself to explain the situation, confident that there would be understanding. It was very obvious that we were not lying.

If there have to be rules like this, at least allow staff the leeway to make a judgment call in these situations. These are just kids, and it’s a dance, for Pete’s sake.

The world is such a cold place with rules and laws taking the place of caring and relationships, but this community can make better choices to actually be a community, and not let that rule us.

Anita Voth,

Langley