I'm writing this letter due to my fond memories of living and raising a family in the Bow Valley.
My memory includes the fact that Valbella was – and hopefully still is – a well-regarded business in the Bow Valley since its inception in the late 1970s by Walter and Lonnie von Rotz. Walter had a great business sense and the family were strong and kind supporters of the community.
I absolutely and strongly agree the email and behaviour and actions were totally unacceptable and shameful. I also fully admit I do not know the background or mental health details that may have prompted this unfortunate action.
But, I think everyone can relate to having someone in their family or circle of friends that may have some mental or other health issues that could result in this type of reaction. While we can't and should not excuse his actions, the family immediately removed him from the business and hopefully has an action plan to assist his health.
I am very much against media bullying and shaming and hope that the Pride community organizers do not continue to engage in this public media shaming and bullying of the family. Having experienced such hatred and shaming themselves, as stated by media articles, I hope the Pride organizers do not reciprocate the bullying and will take the high road and issue a statement and plea to not affect an entire family or their business because of one unfortunate family member.
Shaming and bullying are never the answer. Be kind. Imagine how you would feel if one of your family members did this. Should the shame fall on you to carry for the rest of your life?
Gibbons, British Columbia