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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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WDMH selects new CEO

Cholly Boland has been selected as the new Chief Executive Officer of Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH).

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce our new Chief Executive Officer. His appointment is effective September 6, 2011,” noted John Polak, Board Chair. “Cholly brings a wealth of expertise to this position and will play an integral role in advancing WDMH’s vision to create a Centre of Excellence for Rural Health and Education.”

Cholly has been a dedicated and talented leader in the health care field for close to 20 years. Most recently, he was CEO of Headwaters Health Care Centre, and prior to that, he was CEO of Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital where he was instrumental in helping Arnprior achieve one of the top patient satisfaction results for Ontario. Cholly has demonstrated leadership in the strategic and operational administration of health care organizations, including experience with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. He has held a number of health care management roles during his career, serving as CEO at Kitimat and Area Health Council/Kitimat General Hospital in British Columbia, the Community Care Access Centre Timiskaming and Health Services Administrator for the Northern Health Authority.

Cholly is a Fellow of the American College of Health Executives and earned his Certified Health Executive designation from the Canadian College of Health Service Executives in 2002. He received a Master of Business Administration in 2000 and a Master of Health Administration in 1992 from the University of Ottawa. He graduated from Queen’s University in 1984 with a Bachelor’s degree in Science and Engineering. He is married with two children. They will be relocating from the Orangeville area.

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Iroquois Mac’s hit again

On Saturday, August 27, at approximately 12:15 a.m. SD&G OPP officers responded to a report of a robbery at the Mac’s Convenience Store in Iroquois.

The investigation revealed that a male armed with a weapon entered the store and demanded that the clerk hand over all the money in the cash.

The employee complied and an undisclosed amount of money was handed over to the male.

The employee was not injured and the male fled on foot.

An extensive search of the area was conducted with negative results.

The male whose face was covered is described as approximately 6’2 inches tall, with a slim build (white). He was wearing black pants, a black coat and his face was covered.

SD&G OPP officers, assisted by the OPP Crime Unit investigators continue the investigation.

Anyone having information on the above or any crime is asked to call SD&G Opp at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

The Iroquois convenience store was also the victim of an armed robbery on June 12. Two youth were later apprehended and charged for this incident.

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First ever British Home Child Day event taking place at Upper Canada Village

On the platform of Aultsville Station, where no doubt a British Home Child at one time sat with all their earthly belongings waiting for the stranger who was going to take them in, the British Home Child Day Committee of SD&G, announced plans for an event that will take place on the first ever British Home Child Day September 28.

The new organization, which has about 15 members mostly with ties to British Home Children, has been working at the planning the event which will take place at Upper Canada Village.

“Over 100,000 British Home Children came to our country to work in the homes and on the farms of Canadians. Overcoming incredible hardships, these children became contributing members of society,” said Carolyn Goddard, chairperson of the committee. “On September 28th, British Home Child Day in Ontario, we will have an opportunity to hear their stories and recognized the contributions they have made.”

This committee was inspired to organize this event after the British Home Child Day Act, a Private Members Bill brought forward in the Ontario Legislature by SDSG MPP Jim Brownell.

Brownell’s grandmother was a British Home Child.

“I am pleased that a group of locals have done the leg work to take this day and make is something special,” said Brownell at the Aug. 19 announcement. “I hope this day at Upper Canada Village will give Ontarians a sense of who these Home Children were and how they contributed to life in Ontario.”

“I foresee many people coming here to talk about their families’ stories, which were often stories not told,” said Brownell, adding that he hopes this will become an annual event.

Brownell will himself be donating a plaque and a tree that will be planted as part of the Sept. 28 event at Aultsville Station.

“This is a story that is just starting to be talked about,” said Judy Neville, a committee member descended from a British Home Child.

“Canada’s British Home Children are a part of our county’s history. They are part of our heritage. They represent a part of our past and their descendents represent a part of our future. Their stories need to be taught in our schools,” said Brownell.

Gabriele Thomas of Upper Canada Village said that they are pleased to have the collaboration with this committee for the upcoming event, hoping that in future it will expand.

Plans for the Sept. 28 event include the dedication of a maple tree at the Aultsville Station, displays from various Home Children organizations, an opportunity for friends and descendents to tell the story of their home child, and a specially planned British Home Child tour of Upper Canada Village. A theatre group from Metcalfe will perform a sampling of their upcoming production based on a Home Child story, and throughout the day, musicians will entertain. The day ends with a catered dinner at Willard’s Hotel.

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Amphitheatre ends season with highly positive note

Margaret Webb attended her first Brister Group amphitheatre performance on Saturday afternoon in the Waterfront Park. She went away the winner of the grand prize after a well attended per-formance by Easy Pickins’, a local folk style group noted for per-forming their own titles and select covers.

Lead guitarist (acoustic) Claude Plumondon touched the hearts of many in the audience with several of his original compositions, then tugged the heartstrings of all of the mothers inroducing a more personal story about his ailing when he penned the words to “Song For Mom”.It is indeed a beautiful musical story of a family’s love and appreciation for one another.

“In My Heart”,  a song written by band member Jeanne Ward about knowing the love of one’s life is on his way, and “Misery Express”,  another song by Plumondon with bass player Claude Clement singing…about a bus ride on which two people who have been hurt then ponder if they will try another shot at love were just a few of the many tunes this talented foursome delivered.

“We’ve had a good summer,” said amphitheatre marketing volunteer Bill Laurin. “Over the four performances we’ve managed to brighten the Saturday afternoons of about 750 people.”  Laurin said the enormous contribution of The Brister Group and the many businesses (see www.cruickshankamphitheatre.com) that came forward to take part in the promotion is what really worked for the attendance boost this year.“That and the quality of music talent available so close to home make the task relatively easy.”

“South Dundas has to be one of the most positive communities when it comes to working together to get something done!” Laurin said.

“And frankly, I believe this rarely identified, hard working group of committed South Dundas volunteers is going to make a real difference especially in the Waterfront Park area.” Continuing, he explained he was referring to the emerging Let Them Be Kids project which, on September 24th, will construct a huge play-ground here. Everyone in the community is invited to take part. He mentioned the beautiful new Park Pals Dog Park, the popular dock area, the Park Street gardens, Old home Week and the Lions many endeavors held in the park.

“We hope to make improvements in the amphitheatre produc-tion in 2012,” he said, adding “with more strategically selected dates, bands and additions to both the promotional package, the web site and our advertising campaigns.”The amphitheatre committee plans to initiate a full 2011 opera-tional report for the municipality, including a plan for 2012 calen-dar as soon as possible at their next meeting.“

”Now that we have the momentum moving it’s time to kick’er up a notch!” he said, “And we’re going to attempt to keep the web site interesting through our off time, make it a place for people to go and see what’s going on in South Dundas and the area.” At www.cruickshankamphitheatre.com.

The committee hopes to receive feedback from everyone concerning the 2011 production, the web site, the individual bands, suggestions to be presented for 2012, etc. Contact is by email, billsonja@gmail.com.

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