On February 11th, the Morrisburg and District Leos held a food drive at Riley’s Valu-Mart in the Morrisburg Plaza. The Leos, a youth division of the local Lions Club, “has been a group for almost two years now,” said Katie Prevost (right), President of the Leos. Both Prevost and Leos Secretary Sheldon Dunkley (left) arrived at the store before 8 a.m. in the hopes of collecting as much money and food for the Dundas County Food Bank, as possible. “People have been donating a lot,” said Prevost, “they’ve been really generous.” Someone even donated $100, said Dunkley. In total, the Leos collected 203 items and $447 for the food bank. According to Prevost and Dunkley, the Leos keep very busy fundraising, doing clean-ups and helping out wherever they can. Their next big project? A talent show in March. Prevost said the group is looking for anyone between the ages of 7 and 18 to sign-up for the talent show. Contact the Morrisburg and District Lions Club for more information.
The committee that, in 2011, raised $114,000, in just six months, and brought together 200 volunteers to build a beautiful new playground in Earl Baker Park, now has their sights set on a splash pad.
The playground was phase one of the project, and now is the time to move on to phase two – the splash pad.
“During the playground building process, the question that everyone was asking then, was can we include a splash pad,” Michael Domanko of the South Dundas Community Playground Committee told council at the February 4, meeting, when he presented a plan detailing the proposed project.
A splash pad is a zero depth aquatic structure combining water movement – flowing, spraying, jetting, misting – for children’s play.
Because there is no standing water, there is no requirement to have a lifeguard and the flow of water means that it is not subject to the same testing requirements as a pool. It uses municipally treated water that is not re-circulated.
The structure envisioned by the committee would cost about $200,000. The committee already has $40,000 of that in place, and asked South Dundas to approve a dollar for dollar funding request to match up to $25,000 of those funds. The group also plans to apply for funding through various sources, and to fund raise.
Communities throughout the region (South Stormont, Cornwall, Brockville) have these types of structures, and area residents with children are travelling to those communities to use those splash pads. Domanko said that often families are then spending their dollars in those communities rather than here.
In his presentation he discussed the positive recreational, health, economic and social benefits this project.
Once the splash pad is up and running, Domanko’s research shows that operational costs would be about $7,000-$8,000 annually.
Council had no problem agreeing to the $25,000 contribution, and were impressed with the very thorough presentation.
“I have no doubt this will happen,” commented South Dundas deputy mayor Jim Locke.
“This is a nice concept,” said South Dundas councillor Jim Graham. “What a great draw for younger families. I certainly support your efforts. This really makes great use of the park area.”
“What a great addition this will be,” said South Dundas councillor Evonne Delegarde.
South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds, had no issues with the dollar for dollar funding request. “The next step is up to the community,” he said. “If they want it, they will support it.”
From now until August, the committee plans to get kids and their parents engaged in the project, and to fundraise while getting all approvals and quotes in place to coordinate the project launch.
Their plan in to have the splash pad installed and completed by fall.
Once complete, the splash pad would be turned over to the municipality for maintenance and operations.
The committee envisions the splash pad fitting well with the ‘high-end’ look of the park, choosing finishes that blend nicely with the landscape rather than bold primary colours. It would include an above grade cabinet to house the operations systems. The cabinet will be camouflaged with strategic plantings.
The system will be on a timer to allow it only to activate during certain hours, and is activated only when children are there to use the splash pad.
Discussions about the potential need for on-site washroom facilities did take place, as the closest facilities are at the Morrisburg dock. The committee feels this issue is beyond the scope of their project, although as a short-term solution, if the need arose, they could look at a portable washroom, again well camouflaged in its surroundings.
Talk about a generous community! Two weeks ago, Shannon Hudson pitched the idea to her fellow workers at Beaver’s (a division of Sybron Canada) to hold a plant challenge for the collection of back […]
Last year he celebrated his birthday, a very sick young man, in his hospital bed at CHEO.
This year Brody Froats, the son of Mark and Lisa Froats of Morrisburg, celebrated his 18th birthday (Monday, December 2), no longer in hospital and fresh from an exhilarating experience last Thursday, November 28, when he and Tysen Lefebvre dropped the puck for the Ottawa Senators versus Vancouver Canucks hockey game
It was a long road for Brody who has Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), but thanks to a great medical team at CHEO, Brody’s willpower and the love, support and prayers from his family and community, it was a road to recovery.
And thanks to the Make–A–Wish® Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Senators, it was a road that took him, with Tysen, to centre ice at The Canadian Tire Centre last week to drop the ceremonial game-opening puck wearing the Sens newly revealed NHL Heritage Classic jersey.
The Froats were first approached by Make–A-Wish on October 19th when, “we were surprised by a visit with season Sens tickets and all kinds of gifts,” explains Brody’s mother Lisa. “We were driven by limo to that day’s game as well as to Brody’s favourite restaurant in Kanata, Jack Astors.”
“We have been enjoying the games as a family, and it is extra special because we are able to see Brody during the week, depending on game nights, and not just on the weekend.”
Lisa explains that Brody has been living happily in a group home in Orleans since September, and that he has “started back to school at the local Catholic high school there.”
“To date, he has never been as healthy as he is now.”
Lisa recalls the bleak outlook for Brody’s future one year ago when he was a patient at CHEO. At that time, he was battling with heart failure and respiratory problems all of which are complications of PWS. He was on a BiPap machine for four hours at a time, alternating with 45 minutes off, and was constantly on oxygen.
Brody’s future wasn’t great and with Lisa undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment for Indolent Follicular non-Hodgkins Lymphona the family was experiencing a truly difficult time.
“To think a year ago where we were, and the bleak outlook that was upon us in regards to Brody’s survival is outstanding,” says Lisa. “He is now completely oxygen free, which the doctors thought he would always need. Although he still needs the BiPap for sleeping, he is otherwise very healthy.”
“Many of his physicians have said, ‘he is a medical miracle, definitely one for the medical journals’.”
So when the phone call came last Wednesday, inviting Brody to drop the puck with Tysen, to say there was excitement in the Froats’ household is an understatement.
Lisa says that both families were given the royal treatment from the start of the evening to the finish. “We received awesome seats and after the game, our two families were able to meet the players. What an amazing group of guys. Every player not only autographed, but they took the time for pictures and stood and talked and laughed with our kids.”
While Lisa and Mark can’t say enough about last week’s pleasurable outing they also “extend our thank you to our community family and friends and everyone who supported us through this last year. The kindness and generosity, to say the least, has been overwhelming and the genuine concern for our family will always be remembered.”
“At this time we are all well and are feeling so very blessed for our health and being a family again.”
As for Tysen, the trip to centre ice last Thursday night was a thrill, but it was on November 12, 2012, that his wish came true. That was when he got to meet Adam Sandler!
Tysen writes on the Make-A-Wish Facebook page that, “when I entered his cool office, I noticed a wall filled with pictures and souvenirs representing all the good things he has done for others. It made me think…If Adam Sandler can be a comedian, writer, producer, dad, husband, own his own production company, star in 38 movies and STILL have time to grant my wish and help others then the sky is the limit to what I can do!”
As a result, Tysen set out on a mission to raise $1 million for Make-A-Wish which will help grant 100 wishes! This marvelous young man has now raised $14,894 and anyone who would like to support him can do so by going to the Make–A-Wish Facebook page and following the link.
The only disappointing part of last Thursday’s adventure for the two boys was the Sens 5-2 loss to the Canucks.