It was a celebration of biking and bikers at Gillard’s Chip Wagon & Dairy Bar on Thursday, August 16, when the Gillard family held a special night for bikers of all ages. “This night was a chance for us to give back to bikers for supporting our regular Thursday Bike Nights for the last three years,” said Sheila Gillard, eldest daughter of owners Patty and Dennis Gillard. “On a normal Thursday evening, we get between 60-120 bikers dropping in during the good weather,” said Patty Gillard. “but tonight we expect well over 200 to arrive and join us for free coffee, donuts, finger foods and beverages. These are great people, and we count them as friends for life. Word of mouth has brought bikers from Cornwall, Brockville, local areas and the United States to our stop. This Appreciation Night is our thank you.” Above are just some of the early arrivals at Gillard’s. In the inset, proving a love of biking runs in the family, are (l-r) Sheila Gillard, Kayla Gillard and grandfather John Beehler, who rides a 2009 Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide.
“If everybody gave 100 per cent all the time, most of the problems on this planet could be solved. We need to focus that incredible energy at all times. Give the best you can to the world,” said Mitch Dorge, on October 4, 2011, addressing a very enthusiastic audience of grades 7-8 students at Seaway District High School.
Dorge, who is probably much better known to Canadians as the drummer for the band Crash Test Dummies, presented two assemblies to the intermediate and high school students. The thrust of his dynamic and upbeat discussion was to encourage students to find positive and healthy ways to affect the world.
“If we can stop lies and myths about drugs and alcohol, the door to communications is open,” Dorge said. “I try to tell kids that life is short. Go after your dreams, but make the right choices along the way.”
Dorge made his points through humour and anecdotes tied in to his life as an artist who has performed with the Dummies throughout the world. Personable and outgoing, he brought student volunteers forward, demonstrating the strength of positive energy and a bright outlook on life.
Mitch Dorge appeared at Seaway under the sponsorship of the Co-operators Insurance.
“Co-operators has small town roots itself,” said Brent McKean, an agent with the company, who came to Seaway with Dorge. “Our company has a real desire to make a difference in communities. Head office saw and heard Mitch speaking and working with students, and knew that his is a powerful message concerning drugs and alcohol. Co-operators has been working with him for four years now.
His message is very pro-active, encouraging young people to live life positively.”
While Dorge has successfully addressed audiences of up to 2,000 young people, he enjoys working with smaller crowds like those at Seaway.
“I interact a lot with kids directly. I like to get close and talk directly to them,” Dorge said following his presentation. “Energy and joy should be the focus of a young person’s life. I tell kids to be comfortable in their own skins.”
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.
The general meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Fraser Hall. Please put this on your to-do list for this week. There are some very important decisions to be made.
Keith Johnston will entertain in the pub on Friday, October 14, making a good ending to T.G.I.F. day.
Sunday euchre will begin on October 16 at 1 p.m. Bingo on October 6 saw our regulars once again with players in the 70s.
Our meat draw on the 9th was for a fresh turkey and was won by our own Lee Kelley.
Memberships for 2012 are available at the bar. The early-bird draw will take place up to November 30, with prizes of $35, $20 and $15, possibly the price of your membership.
On October 3, D. Dillabough, M. Praine and G. Houze attended a seminar at the Rideau-Perley Veterans’ Home in Ottawa. Branch #48 has supported them with donations for several years. We were presented with a wish list for the veterans who reside there, and we are considering several items. This will come before the general meeting on Wednesday night.
Six bursaries have been awarded this year, each for $500, to students furthering their education. The Poppy Campaign will be starting shortly and as usual, at this busy time, help is always needed. Please leave your name at the bar if you can spare a few hours.
Many thank yous were read, among them ones from the SD&G Highlanders, the Children’s Treatment Centre, Scott Robertson for the Terry Fox committee, the Old Home Week committee and the Cornwall Hospice. Yes, this is where the money goes, as well as for repairs to this great building that we are so fortunate to have. Others before us worked hard to accomplish this and we have to work hard to keep it in good repair.
On the fun side, a pub crawl is being planned for October 22 and there will be a sign up sheet in the pub.
Our next steak night is on the 28th with John Mason providing the entertainment, so yes, we do have fun too.
Live well, love much, laugh often.