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.
“As exciting as it was back in 1992, it is also exciting when reflecting on these last 20 years and the services Dundas County Hospice now offers,” said Jan Clapp, one of the founding members of the hospice and currently the palliative care course facilitator.
On May 24th, at the J.W. McIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre in Williamsburg, Dundas County Hospice celebrated their 20th anniversary while honouring their volunteers.
Dundas County Hospice, founded in 1992, “recognizes the uniqueness of individuals and their families, and how life-threatening illness affects them. Compassionate care is directed at improving their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually.”
According to board chair Bob Pitruniak, “20 plus years ago somebody came up with the idea for this. They worked hard and they created the framework for the organization that exists today for everybody in Dundas County.”
“I think we do an excellent job of running the hospice day to day. I’m humbled by what the founders had to do to go from zero.”
“We have been blessed for 20 years to be able to attract excellent caring staff,” he continued, listing the many ways people have generously volunteered over the years by helping out with visiting, respite care, office work, fundraising and so on.
“Without all of these people, we couldn’t have done it,” he said.
Following a very moving story, Clapp reminded guests that a person with the life-threatening illness may not remember what you did or said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.
Caregivers at the hospice, she said, ask themselves one important question: “What do I need to know about you as a person to give you the best care possible?”
Each year the Dundas County Hospice selects a volunteer of the year and this year’s volunteer of the year is Nelly Leightizer.
According to Bea Van Gilst, director of client services for Dundas County Hospice, Leightizer is a recently retired board member who was active on the board for over 10 years. She acted as treasurer for one year and was board chair for two.
“Members of the board said it’s been a great pleasure to work alongside Nelly,” said Van Gilst.
“She’s very supportive. She reflects the values, passion and dedication that are qualities of all our board members.”
Dr. Chuck Adamson, medical advisor to the Dundas County Hospice, spoke about the many services the hospice provides, all of which are free. Dr. Adamson has a practice in South Mountain.
Guy Lauzon, MP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry, took the podium following Adamson.
Lauzon began by sharing his personal experience with hospice-like care, similar to the kind of caring service that Dundas County Hospice provides. Lauzon’s first wife battled breast cancer and passed on July 2, 1988.
“I want to acknowledge all the volunteers and I want to thank you for your dedicated service,” he said.
South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds also said a few words, commenting on the special kind of people it takes to volunteer in hospice care: “I’m certainly glad that those that have that gift, use it. It sounds like you’ve had a good active group dedicated to the needs of your community.”
Eric Duncan, mayor for North Dundas was also on hand for the event and said, “I honestly can’t think of a volunteer service like this that is more compassionate and caring.”
Pointing to the Dundas County Hospice flyer, he said, “it’s amazing the diversity of what’s offered here. Dundas County Hospice is to be commended.”
In addition to the direct support they offer those experiencing life-threatening illnesses, the hospice also offers services in community education, training courses, library, equipment loans, day hospice, caregiver support, and more.
Duncan finished by pointing out that the type of services provided by the hospice are not “frontline”, but they are “so appreciated.”
Van Gilst concluded things, saying “we want to thank all of our volunteers again and all of our supporters.”
Also recognized for their “generous support” was the J.W. McIntosh Seniors’ Support Centre. “This is a wonderful facility for us,” she said.
Those attending the Dundas County Hospice’s celebration on Thursday night were serenaded by the piano stylings of Winchester District Memorial Hospital CEO Cholly Boland.
The Dundas County Hospice offers free services. The organization is funded through donations and fundraising efforts.
For more information, to volunteer or to access the services of the Dundas County Hospice, phone 613-535-2215 or email at email@example.com.
These actors are in final rehearsals at the Iroquois Legion for their exciting performances for the Iroquois Festival, “A Call to Arms…Dundas Militia…War of 1812,” taking place on September 15. The talented local actors will be presenting two comic short skits based on incidents in South Dundas’ rich history. The first is called The Marriage Proposal, the second, The Coach Ride, and they are guaranteed to leave audiences laughing. Left to right, Reina DeJong, Connery Brown, Jared Gibson, Jennifer Howard and George Menges (who couldn’t be present for the photo) will bring to life such fascinating and funny characters as the very British Lady Backwash, farmer William Loucks, Mary MacDonald, mail order bride, a native Canadian and Johnson, the Cockney man servant. Wendy Gibb is directing them. Don’t miss their performances on September 15. And don’t miss this wonderful community festival in the Iroquois plaza.
About 10 minutes into Memories of the Summer of Love, I suddenly found myself growing very nostalgic.
Where, I wondered, are my love beads, my fringed vest and flower headband, my button reading “Make Love Not War”, my white GoGo boots, my psychedelic tie-dyed India shirt, the iron with which I used to press my hair? Where did the 60s go?
Well, the answer is that the sounds and sights of that turbulent, game-changing decade are on stage at Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg and playing until May 4. Judging by the constant applause at a recent performance of Memories of the Summer of Love, the Chris McHarge and Colin Stewart celebration of the music and the times is a hit.
The stage show takes audiences from the 60s roots in early Haight-Ashbury to the star-studded 1967 Monterey Folk Festival. Along the way Memories showcases music ranging from the Beach Boys (“They practically invented California Rock”) to the British Invasion starting in 1964. (“The British succeeded in recapturing their former colonies.” )
The production hi-lights duos like Sonny and Cher and celebrates the merger of rock and folk, the “good time music” characterized by the Lovin’ Spoonful.
The show is an exceptionally well rounded look, complete with computer screens, at all aspects of 60s culture.
The songs of Bob Dylan, the “guru for the growing counter culture” herald the days of protest against the once popular Vietnam War. The Association’s “Along Came Mary” secretly praises the properties of marijuana, as the 60s explored drugs and invited young people to “turn on, tune in, drop out.”
Memories of the Summer of Love builds to its crescendo with its salute to “heavy metal”. According to author Chris McHarge, no group epitomized the spirit of social and political change, with its fusion of rock and blues, better than the Jefferson Airplane. The audience clearly agreed as they joined in on the singers’ explosive Don’t You Want Somebody to Love?
This exciting, non-stop musical journey on stage at the Playhouse rests squarely on the shoulders of three versatile and uber-talented singers, Derek Marshall, Natalie Howard and Paul Wilson, and their four man live band that, I am quite certain, can literally play anything.
Switching vocal styles (and wonderful, outlandish, but very 60s’ costumes) with deceptive ease and speed, the three singers light up the stage. This is a show that demands stylistic flexibility and stamina from its performers.
From Natalie Howard’s powerful rendition of Janis Joplin’s serio-comic “Mercedes Benz”, to Paul Wilson and Derek Marshall’s extraordinary harmonies on heart-felt Simon & Garfunkel classics, this is a show that delivers.
My hair is short, the GoGo boots long since fell apart, my tie-dyed India shirt was bundled into a scrap bag years ago, but the music of that extraordinary decade, the 1960s, is alive and well, and just as fantastic as it ever was.
Don’t miss your chance to take in Memories of the Summer of Love. The production runs at Upper Canada Playhouse until May 4. For tickets, contact 613-543-3713 or 1-877-550-3650.
Peace and love, brothers and sisters.