Chartwell Hartford Retirement Residence recognized National Seniors Day on Saturday, October 1. The Morrisburg facility’s staff began the day by handing out free coffee at both McDonald’s and Tim Hortons before heading over to Riley’s Valumart and Giant Tiger to lend a hand, inviting all they met to join them later for a celebration at the Fifth Street West residence, complete with homemade cake, coffee and tea.
On Sunday, August 11th, my wife Frances and I had the pleasure of hosting our 9th Annual Constituency Picnic. Thanks to a wonderful staff and some great volunteers, the event went off without a hitch. After being so well received by the many constituents throughout SDSG it is very gratifying for Frances and I to return the favour and welcome people to our home.
The picnic has become a bit of a tradition for us. We have been feeding our guests the same menu, providing the same entertainment and everyone seems to enjoy themselves year after year. We even have bouncy castles for the kids.
Speaking of entertainment, Lucien “Smokey” Leger and his family have been our entertainment since our first event in 2005. 87 year old Smokey, his sons Alan and Brian, along with son-in-law Rick, keep everyone tapping their toes and sometimes even singing along to the many “old favourites” they play. I feel truly fortunate that our Constituency Picnic is the only “gig” these very professional and accomplished musicians play at all year. They have already been booked for next year’s special 10th Anniversary Picnic.
Certainly one of the highlights of the afternoon is when Frances sang a few numbers.
As some of you know, Frances has a beautiful voice and she is always a fan favourite when she sings her traditional three numbers.
Many of our guests are most complimentary of the beautiful flower gardens Frances works so hard at preparing for our special event.
I do cut the grass, however this year I didn’t get the weeding done, although I don’t think anyone noticed.
In all sincerity this day is very special to me. It is very humbling to welcome all the great friends we have made over the past years to a very simple happy family event.
Our BBQ gives all of us a chance to catch up with each other, see old friends, and just be grateful for the wonderful country we live in. For me it is a wonderful reminder of just how fortunate I am to be blessed with being the Member of Parliament for Stormont, Dundas & South Glengarry.
On Sunday, October 5, the Friends of the Sanctuary held a special day to welcome visitors from South Dundas and regions far outside the local area to the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Ingleside, Ontario.
What many of the visitors found they could not do this year was use the open water board walks along the Blue Heron Trail and the popular Redwing Trail. The serious structural deterioration of those walks has forced the Sanctuary to post them.
Unfortunately, these walks are also the access routes to marshland areas where special educational programs often take place.
Hundreds of people, many of them families with small children, take advantage of opportunities to come out and support the Friends and the work they do to build wildlife education, maintain trails, and ensure that birds and animals in this area have a safe year round sanctuary. On Sunday, there were displays, exhibits, and special shows featuring both birds of prey and mammals. Audiences could see first hand how vital the Sanctuary is to this region.
The Friends of the Sanctuary have launched a programme, the Get On Board Project, to try and raise the funds to rebuild the park’s vital walkways, and to restore them to the use of all visitors to the preserve.
“We want to re-build the board walks, yes, but we also want to construct them with educational platforms so that we will be able to provide educational classes for students,” said Sue Clavet, treasurer for the Friends of the Sanctuary. “We also want to make the new boardwalks wheelchair accessible. This is a huge endeavour to raise enough funds to carry this out. We need volunteers to help us in this project, and to also come up with ideas that will help the project.”
It is estimated that the cost of restoring/replacing and enhancing the boardwalks at the Sanctuary will cost over $400,000.
Some local businesses, including Morrisburg Home Hardware, which donated bird seed for sale October 5, profits to the Project, are already trying to help. The support of the public will be desperately needed to improve the park which draws 60,000 visitors yearly.
Go to friendsofthesanctuary.org to Get On Board and help restore the park trails.
The response for the Kraft Food for Families initiative has been inspiring and for the Mountain House of Lazarus Food Bank a local success story.
Kraft Food for Families is a community-based program designed to help Canadian families get food on the table.
The original goal was to donate up to $50,000 to 30 food banks across Canada and award a $10,000 bonus donation to the food bank with the most names in support.
According to the Kraft Food for Families website, “people from across Canada came together and added thousands of names in support of their local food banks, helping us to reach that goal.”
Leading the way were the people in the Owen Sound area. With each vote translating into a $1 donation, some 22,232 people there voted for the Salvation Army Food Bank which serves 600 people each month.
The Owen Sound total, in combination with other votes across the country, allowed the contest to quickly reach the 50,000 vote maximum set by Kraft Foods.
Also as a result of the voting, the Owen Sound Food Bank received over $30,000 ($1 per vote and the $10,000 bonus donation).
Shortly after the Owen Sound victory, Kraft Food for Families announced a phase two initiative to support community banks, which was $1,000 weekly donations for 10 weeks, to the food bank collecting the most names in each of the weeks.
It began on December 2 and wraps up February 10.
In week five, thanks to a great response from the local public, the House of Lazarus Food Bank in Mountain, was the $1,000 winner.