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Tail waggin’ time at Dog Park opening

Sunday’s rain held off just long enough for the Park Pals and their four-legged friends to carry out the official leash cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the South Dundas ‘off leash’ dog park located in the Earl Baker Park in Morrisburg.

The Dog Park “is another enhancement in South Dundas we can certainly be proud up,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds as he prepared to cut the celebratory leash.

Byvelds recalled how he told the Park Pals committee, after council viewed the design concept prepared by landscape architect Wendy Graham, that “I am looking forward to seeing the best dog park in Ontario.”

“I think this committee has certainly done that job. It looks beautiful,” he said Sunday.

“When the project started, it was something that was novel, something new. We allowed the idea to keep on going, and I think it kept on going because a group of people worked hard to keep it going. I know there were a lot of issues on the location, but in the end we are here, and I haven’t heard anyone say this wasn’t the best thing to do.”

Joining Byvelds to bring congratulations from the municipality were councillors Evonne Delegarde and Jim Graham. Former councillor Delbert Jones, who provided valuable help to the Park Pals Committee to get their project off the ground, also joined the ceremony.

Park Pals chair Tracey Veinotte thanked former Mayor Rowdy Gillard for his support and mentioned the support initially given by the late Mayor Charles Barkley.

“A key in getting the Dog Park we have today was the support of our councils,” said Veinotte. “We thank both the past and present councils for being the visionaries they are. It took a lot of backbone to make the decisions. We respect that and thank you.”
“It is due to a bunch of tenacious ladies that we are finally here today,” said Veinotte.

“Janeen (Wagemans) was proably the first phone call I got, and she’s been a real trooper throughout.”

Other Park Pal committee members are Willie Harper, Eileen Johnston, Ree Graham, Sandra Van Allen, Barb O’Neil, Cole Veinotte and Christyn Veinotte.

Major sponsors thanked for their contributions to the park were Michel Proulx (Canadian Tire), Riley Hatherall (Valu-mart) and Kim Butler (Morrisburg Scotiabank).

“I also want to thank Wendy Graham, our landscape designer, who made a huge contribution. Wendy donated her time and effort and she’s created this park in a way that it integrates with the rest of the park.”

The Dog Park (two areas, one for small dogs and the other for large dogs) has been a popular and very busy spot for dogs and their owners since the gates opened earlier this summer.

It is enhanced by a beautiful flower garden in a central stoned greeting area with benches, a dog drinking fountain and a memorial-brick pathway.

Making Graham’s design a reality were Scott Hall (SBD Construction), Buster and Eric Sneath (Buster’s Backhoe), Danny McMahon (D&H Fencing) and Gerben Schaillee (landscape consultation).

Although the rain caused an early shutdown of Sunday’s planned activities, the event was attended by several special interest groups including the Cornwall SPCA and  Canadian Guide Dogs.

Dog handler Barry Keicks was on hand with his dog Gage, but rain cancelled their demonstration.

Rev. Noreen Gullons (South Dundas Lutheran Parish)  conducted a ‘Blessing of the Park’ and offered ‘Pet Blessings’ after the ceremony.

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Canadian Tire ‘restores’ its Cruise-in Car Show

Fifty three cars ‘cruised in’ to the Canadian Tire, Morrisburg parking lot Friday night to participate in the ‘restored’ annual Car Show.

It was four years ago that we held our last Cruise-In said organizer Bob Cousineau, CT Automotive Service Manager.

According to Cousineau, Canadian Tire owner Michel Proulx was extremely pleased with the response, and “we are now planning to do it every year.”

Some $1,000 in prizes and were distributed in four categories to the owners of the cars that featured a large number of makes and models and a wide range of years.

Cousineau says that with the first success now under his seat belt, he hopes to grow the event.

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Seaway Valley Tourism hire leaves South Dundas searching

A recent announcement by Cornwall and Seaway Valley Toursim has South Dundas looking to hire a new economic development officer.

Last week, C&SVT announced that Linda Wilson has replaced Barb Matthews as executive director of the organization that works with tourism businesses to promote Corwnwall and the Seaway Valley as a visitor and convention destination.

Wilson had been South Dundas' Economic Development officer since February 2009.

"What attracted me to Cornwall & Seaway Valley Tourism was the opportunity to grow and market the tourism sector regionally," Wilson said. "Cornwall & Seaway Valley Tourism offers a unique mix of marketing tools that play a large role in promoting the region not only to the outside world but within."

"My new role with Cornwall & Seaway Valley Tourism will continue to give me the opportunity to work in partnership with the people I have worked with within the region for the past six years and this is very important to me."

"I am also excited by the organization's growth opportunities," added Wilson. "Cornwall & Seaway Valley Tourism continues to grow through new memberships and its ability to identify and successfully apply for funding opportunities in order to reinvest in its marketing strategies."

Lesley O'Gorman, President of CSVT commented, "This is a very exciting time for our organization. With increasing competitive and economic challenges, our region is under more pressure than ever to develop results-driven strategic marketing programs. Linda's experience compliments our approach to a grass roots implementation of marketing campaigns that are geared to meet our partners and members needs. We are delighted to welcome this talented new member to our organization."

Cornwall and Seaway Valley Tourism is an independent non-for-profit corporation supported by the City of Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

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Magical Mardi Gras funds rolled into admirable fund raising tally

It seems a little like magic, but after only about seven weeks of concentrated fund raising efforts, the South Dundas Community Playground Committee is approaching their $100,000 fund raising goal.

The thermometer measuring their fund raising progress is at nearly $98,000 of cash and in kind donations to the project that will see a new playground built Sept. 24 in Morrisburg’s Earl Baker Park.

The contributions the community is making to the project keep rolling in. Area businesses and individuals are coming forward with donations from as small as pennies to as large as cheques for thousands of dollars.

Last week, Michael Burton and Ron Currie of Manor Bistro in Morrisburg presented Steve Morrow of the committee with the proceeds from a fund raising event they hosted for the project.

The event, Mardi Gras at the Manor, which was described by Burton and many of those who attended, as “magical”, raised $3,256 for the South Dundas Community Playground.

“The event was really well attended,” said Burton. “It was a sold out event,” added Currie.

In addition to the attendance, the fund raising efforts continued throughout the evening, and beyond.

At the Bistro, beads were sold and traded to raise funds for the playground.

At the end of the evening, the person with the most beads, Cindy Veinotte, took home the top prize of a 32” flat screen television, a package from Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill. Other prizes were donated by Canadian Tire and Manor Bistro.

Once the event wrapped up, the revellers from High Street made their way to the Tubie dance, where they in turn sold the beads they had accumulated to raise even more funds for the playground.

“They raised another $300,” said Burton.

“Everyone had a great time,” said Currie.

“I think this event reached a demographic not reached by the Tubie dance,” said Burton.

“We had a lot of grandparents of the children who will be using the park, so this event gave them a fun opportunity to contribute,” aded Currie.

Another way that people helped contribute to this fund raising total was by volunteering to work at the event to keep staffing costs to a minimum, explained Burton and Currie who acknowledged the contributions of Mae Pedersen, Dave Shaver, Jennifer Warner, Rosemary Laurin, Brenda Castleman and Michel Proulx.

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