The COA Group Monthly Newsletter

  Aug 2004



COA Headlines

Regina's 2nd annual walk-a-thon

Florida holds strong under Hurricane Frances!

Networking in Little Rock

Welcome New Folks Michelle Gray!

Halifax's new retaining walls

Infomercials incorporating Online Shop

Online Sign Shop!

Regina Walk-a-thon


The 2nd Annual Positive STEPS Walk/Ride-a-Thon took place in Regina on September 11th, 2004.

The cloudy, windy, cold weather was not terribly inviting for event this year and as a result several people did not attend. However, the more than 60 participants who did attend had a very enjoyable time. The day started with greetings from the Provincial Government, City Hall, Regina Police Service, Creative Outdoor Advertising and the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association.

One of the highlights of this year’s event was the Saskatchewan Roughrider’s cheerleaders. After performing a fast paced routine, the cheerleaders (& Larry from Barrie) lead us through the warm up exercises. The cheerleaders then lined up in two rows, cheering and energizing the participants as they left to complete the walk. Quickly putting on the event T-shirts the cheerleaders then joined the walk and eagerly participated in the bus bench photo ops along the way.

Once the walk was underway, the cold was no longer an issue and everyone had a great time along the route. A bus bench game was part of the fun as participants had to identify the advertiser on their scorecard as they passed the benches. Several people hoped on Regina Transit free of charge for part of the route. Most of the participants reached the finish line about two hours later, just in time for a free barbeque. Everyone enjoyed the hamburgers, hotdogs and drinks from M&M Meats.

Prizes were awarded to the four participants who raised the most pledges. The top prize was two round trip tickets from WestJet. The bench game scorecards entered were randomly drawn to award numerous prizes like bike helmets, car washes, gift certificates, clothing, etc. which had been donated. There were so many prizes donated that every participant won a prize!
The event raised over $10,000 again this year. Some more money continues to trickle in as some registered walkers who did not attend are making arrangements to hand in the pledges they had raised. The event received good media coverage as newspaper reporters and TV crews were present during the event. On Monday, the front page of the City section had a nice write up on the event (see below) and how the money raised would help brain injury victims. This article has prompted a few phone calls to the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association from people who did not know that the association existed. This shows that the brain injury message is being communicated and those families who need or want some help are able to get some valuable support.

Plans are underway for the 3rd Annual event. Additional publicity (which will include Saskatoon and Moose Jaw) is planned for next year with goal to communicate the SBIA message to more people and attract additional sponsors and walk participants. Look for more updates in the spring and summer of 2005!

Bar Coding in Halifax


We received a scanner in the mail from COA. We also got a bunch of bar codes, rivets and rivet gun.  After reading the instructions we installed all of the bar codes on each bench in Halifax. We just followed our normal route and installed the bar codes during normal maintenance. The installation of each bar code took between 3 and 5 minutes per bench.



The scanner itself is made has three separate parts. The first part is the scanner. Second part is the pen. (you might need the pen from time to time so we made sure we kept it in it’s holder).   The bottom detachable part is the Global Positioning Satellite System.


The scanning is quite simple; each scan represents a specific job i.e. clean sign, empty garbage etc.  The process shouldn’t take anymore than 20 seconds.  The jobs are separated and nicely laid out on banner material which is easy to use.  Once all the tasks are completed a final scan lets the system know that it is time to move to the next bench.

As each bench gets scanned, the Global Positioning Satellite records the bench position. 

The scanner worked best for us on a slight down angle to the bar code.
You can tell that you have hit the angle and the scanner has recorded the bar by the sound of the beep. The correct sound is a little higher pitched quick beep. The incorrect sound is a little lower and longer beep.

All in all, it worked quite easily. It took more time to remember that scanning is required. I also forgot the scanner once. I guess it will be something that we have to get used to bringing with us.


The advantage for us is that you can prove you were there doing your job. It is date/time stamped by location right on the computer. Right now it is tough to prove you did anything.

For example this afternoon Doug and I were driving around Halifax and noticed some slats were off of a bench that I had serviced this morning. I know that I was there but couldn’t prove it unless we got out of the car and checked the garbage to prove it was empty.

COA Quick Links

www email contact login help!

Feature Sign

 New Folks in our new Cities


Please welcome Michelle Gray to our GTA market.  Michelle will work with Property owners in the Michelle brings many years of selling experience and she excited to be apart of the COA team.  Welcome aboard!!!

Bench U Graduates


Bench U was once again a great success.  First time graduates were Jan Miller from Charleston SC., George McFalls from Fayetteville NC., and Ralph Jarvis from Sarnia Ont. 


Returning for a Masters degree in Bench U were Tim Acosta from Little Rock AK., and Marie Peters from Saskatoon SK.


Congratulations to you all for a job well done!

Little Rock Networking!


Tim took on his first Trade show early in September.  He was surprised by the number of leads generated.  Tim took advantage of the six month give-away which resulted in receiving more business cards then could followed up in one day


A true story!


During a visit to America, Winston Churchill was invited to a buffet luncheon at which cold fried chicken was served. Returning for a second helping, he asked politely, "May I have some breast?"
"Mr. Churchill," replied the hostess, "in this country we ask for white meat or dark meat." Churchill apologized profusely.

The following morning, the lady received a magnificent orchid from her guest of honor. The accompanying card read: "I would be most obliged if you would pin this on your white meat."

COA Memories

This month only!! Double your commissions on each banner that you sell to any existing COA client.


Online Sign Shop - Outdoor, Photographic, Vinyl Signage


"Remember our clients are buying signs....they're just not buying them from us!  yet."

Camelia's Big Hurricane Adventure


I decided not to evacuate. What a BIG MISTAKE! Counting on the fact that Hurricane Frances is about to hit Vero Beach about 100 miles north, I convinced myself that it will pass fast and far, so why bother.  I did not have electricity or phone lines. I had my cell and plenty of candles and supplies we figured we would be OK.

Around 9pm the winds were at 80mph and it was pretty scary, then just ONE HOUR LATER, I felt like my house was going to fly away or that my roof was about to lift off. It was dark outside and I was unable to see much only the biggest and tallest pine trees being bent down while their leaves were flying away like feathers, the palm trees were bent down almost to the ground before snapping back up.  All of this happening over and over again. We knew at this time we were in the middle of this storm.

I closed all my bedroom doors, I have 15 windows on my house and decided to put my kids and myself on the hallway next to the bathroom. This is said to be the safest place to be in a house.  We called the emergency line to find out what was going on.  We have a radio but I seemed to have bought the WRONG batteries so it was no good to us. The lady was very pleasant and recommended to be patient, the hurricane was now over Palm Beach and did not seem to be moving. 


TOMORROW! Then I PANIC! Yes I PANIC! My husband was in Argentina, his father was ill and he was gone a week before, I was alone with my 2 children, it was getting worse by the minute, I started to cry because the noises outside were terrible, everything outside was flying around out of control.

I started to pray and pray then I felt like my heart was beating to fast, I felt claustrophobic because I was in a hallway with all the doors closed other than my bathroom door, then a panic attack occurred, wow! I never felt such a horrible feeling in my life, I was not able to sit anywhere I had to go to the main door and open it just to stick my noose out and breath some fresh air.  Half an hour later the panic attack was over.

I carried a book about angels in my chest with the picture of Archangel Michael and praying for my children that nothing would happen to them. I did not sleep. I know my prayers were answered at 10:00 am it was over, I walked out, get a good shoot to my lungs of fresh air, gave God a deep thanksgiving, my house was intact meanwhile the others suffered some damages anywhere from small to super big.

About 12:30 pm, I decided to get out, I heard in the radio from my car that at Boca it was a gas station open that had GAS and a Publix open, wow! MILK, the kids need milk, gas I just have half a tank, I am going.

Everything looked like a WAR ZONE, some places the trees were at the front covering completely the exit and entrance, I got gas after an hour wait, I got Milk for the kids, but in order to buy more I needed ICE, NO ICE AT ALL ANYWERE! I called some friends in Miami and they came with Ice, food and some more supplies, 12:20 am lights came on. Some people and businesses did not get light until 3 days later, a week later or more.

Today, September the 20th, Palm Beach is still working on the damages. The peculiar thing about this hurricane is that even though it was category 2, stayed hammering for 10 hours or more at winds of 105mph. Some others have being a category 4 but within half an hour are done.

Will anyone like to come for vacation next year? ;-)


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