Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers had its 50/50 winning ticket picked on October 15th at Jim Mustard’s Variety store in Iroquois. Jim Mustard has been a supporter of the program since its inception in 1992. The winning ticket for the 50/50 was sold at the Williamstown fair this past August; the winner was Denis Tousignant of Greenfield, North Glengarry Township ($1550.00). The winning ticket was pulled by Nelson Zandbergen in front of Mustard’s Variety store.
“I remember being very nervous in grade nine,” said 17-year-old Brodey Casselman. “I wasn’t from the area and I didn’t know many people at Seaway. I remember how scary it was not to know people, and how I would have liked some one to turn to.”
Brodey, along with 15 other senior students at Seaway, has chosen to join the new board-wide Link program that will be introduced at Seaway this September.
When Seaway District High School opens its doors on September 4, the 2012 grade nines will find that there is definitely someone they can turn to, to help ease the transition from elementary to high school.
“The Link program is based on a big project developed by California educators known as the Boomerang Project,” said Heather Thompson, the teacher who is heading up Seaway’s new program, with the support of fellow teacher Lilace McIntyre and guidance councillor Mark Lewis.
“The focus of the Boomerang Project is to create a positive transition for grade nines into high school. That is also the focus of the Link program of the Board.”
Teachers introducing Link programs to their schools (known as Link co-ordinators) themselves take part in three days of intensive training with professionals, the “best training experience I’ve ever had,” Thompson said.
The one credit Interdisciplinary Course on Leadership that is now set up at Seaway High School (the Link program) has been developed for grade 12 students who will act throughout the school year as mentors, friends and role models to the grade nines with whom they are matched.
These Link leaders, as the grade 12 students are described, “we hope can begin to build strong relationships with our grade nines,” Thompson said. “They become people to whom grade nines can safely turn to ask questions, to seek help, to share worries and concerns as they adapt to a new high school environment. There are two link leaders for every grade nine ‘crew’ of 8-10 students.”
Grade 12 students get into the Link program by applying. Some Seaway seniors have had their names put forward by teachers who have seen qualities in them of which even they may be unaware.
“I was recommended to the program,” said Sierra Stone, 17, who has also opted to join Link. “When I came to Seaway in grade nine, I did know some people, but it was easy to be intimidated by kids older than me.”
The students who have been selected to join the Link program must make a personal commitment in terms of time and effort, and not just in a classroom. They must involve themselves in all aspects of the nines’ school life. Outside regular school hours training is mandatory.
The Leader attended an intensive work shop held at Seaway on Monday, August 27, where the 16 seniors, all chosen for different strengths and unique qualities during the June screening process, were undergoing training.
The seniors were, in a number of organized activities, learning how to lead their student groups, how to break the ice and how to set up comfortable dialogues. The training they were undergoing teaches them leadership and communication skills, works with them in learning to cope with unexpected or challenging situations, helps them explore ways to reach younger students who need support.
“The Boomerang program is strongly organized and purposeful,” Thompson said. “and it’s been proven to have a positive impact on a whole school. It sends a strong message that we are not only supporting our nines, but teaching leadership qualities to our 12s. I think this program will start the school year off in a positive, energetic way that will make this the best year at Seaway.”
The newly trained grade 12s will have the chance to put their knowledge to good use on Thursday, August 30, when all grade nines are invited to attend their high school orientation, starting at 8 a.m.
The South Branch Wind Opposition Group Inc. is being dissolved.
The motion for the voluntary dissolution of the South Branch Wind opposition group was tabled by Leslie Disheau and seconded by Bruce Albers and supported at an October 20 meeting.
The group made the decision because the SBWOG has served the purpose of their original mandate, which was to provide information about the South Branch industrial wind project to local government and citizens of the community.
Disheau thanked everyone for their support of the organization over the past three years. “It has been a very profound experience for this community and those individuals involved,” she said.
“In 1991, the three United Counties and the province of Ontario united to build this seniors’ support centre. In 20 years, it has grown beyond all expectations. It has played a vital part in senior health and home care. It has made a real difference for seniors in our community,” said Janet Levere, executive director of the Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation.
She welcomed well over 100 dignitaries, volunteers and friends to a 20th anniversary celebration of the J.W.MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre in Williamsburg on Tuesday, October 18.
Board members, past and present, members of the South Dundas council and J.W.MacIntosh Support Centre staff also joined in the festivities. Guests and visitors were able to see displays and posters highlighting the activities and services available to the community.
The event ended with the celebratory cutting of a cake.
On October 23, 1991, The Morrisburg Leader did a feature about the Park Lane Senior Support Centre describing it as “part of a pilot project for the province of Ontario, with sister projects in Stormont and Glengarry counties.”
The article went on to say that the project was “69 per cent funded by the Ministry of Social and Community Services, covering the cost of the Outreach Centre and 31 per cent funded by the Ministry of Housing. The Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing is the sponsoring agent, who applies for the grants and handles the administrative aspect.”
In 2006, the building was officially named the J.W. MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre in honour of John MacIntosh.
The Centre is a key focus for area seniors and their families. It currently offers Meals-on-Wheels, the Diners Club, respite care, foot clinics, supportive housing and assisted living. “In 2007, we began to offer the Going Home program to assist seniors who were leaving the hospital,” Levere said.
Chair of the board of directors of the Williamsburg Non-Profit Housing Corporation, Jim Kooistra, offered his anniversary congratulations.
“I am very glad that in 1991, a group of people decided to build this facility. It was the first of its kind, a real pilot project for the province,” said Kooistra.
“In the past 20 years we have served 70,000 meals (through Meals-on-Wheels and the Diners’ Club) and provided people in our community with a little help or a lot of help depending on the need.”
Seniors Dwight Gilmer and his wife, Marian, both of Iroquois, began as volunteers for Meals-on-Wheels, and now take advantage of that service and others offered by the Centre. “It is so wonderful to know that a great facility like this is here to help us, and to help us stay in our homes,” Gilmer said.
Senior Helen Gill of Morrisburg said that the staff and volunteers of the Centre are “loving and kind and so supportive.”
The hard work of area volunteers drew praise from speakers at the celebration.
“Our volunteers have done so much for the Centre. They serve from the heart and have dedicated themselves to helping others,” chairman Kooistra said.
In 2010, volunteers logged over 6,000 hours of recorded volunteer time.
Mary Osborne and Winnie Gorman shared why they devote time to the Support Centre.
“I believe that if you are able to do something of benefit to others, then you should do it,” Osborne said.
“I go home from (volunteering) here feeling rejuvenated and happy,” said Gorman. “I recommend taking the time to offer a helping hand.”
Mayor Steven Byvelds joined councillors Jim Locke, Evonne Delegarde and Archie Mellan, in honouring the 20th anniverary of the J.W. MacIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre.
“It is a great pleasure to see how a service like this is used in our community,” mayor Byvelds said, then added, “In 20 years, I expect that I will be looking to use these great facilities.”