170 Women make a big difference

Waterfront gets new fountain – Michael Burton, representing the Morrisburg Waterfront Committee, took first place in the voting at the recent 100 Women Who Love South Dundas, held at UCP on Thursday, May 2. There were 10 applicants describing a wide range of exciting and worthy community projects to the 170 women who donated cheques to the fundraiser and had voting rights. Also taking home cheques at the conclusion of the evening were Seaway District High School and Winchester District Memorial Hospital. (The Leader/Gibb photo)

MORRISBURG – Morrisburg Waterfront Committee, ($2,500) Seaway District High School ($10,000) and WDMH ($4,500) took home the top chques at 100 Women Who Care For South Dundas event held on Thursday night, May 2, at Upper Canada Playhouse.

But in the end, it is really all the people of South Dundas who are the true winners. The 10 projects up for consideration at the annual meeting of the 100 Women were designed to directly benefit this community.

“Our goal this year was to raise $17,000 for local causes,” said Janeen Wagemans, one of the organizers of 100 Women. As a result, three worthy organizations took home cheques.

However, even groups which did not win this year’s election received valuable publicity and exposure at the meeting: there have sometimes been unexpected networking after the actual event as organizations in need of support have attracted additional attention in the community.

Members of the very hard-working 100 Women Who Love South Dundas organizing committee include Janeen Wagemans, Tracey Veinotte, Rosemary Laurin and Lori Turnbull.

Many local businesses and individuals provided door prizes for the draws held throughout the evening. Stone Crop Acres Winery provided wine for the gathering and director Donnie Bowes offered the Playhouse facilities.

The three groups which were eventually awarded cheques expressed deep gratitude to the 100 Women for their support and encouragement.

Michael Burton spoke on behalf of the first place winner, the Morrisburg Waterfront Committee, which asked for funding for a water fountain for the beach area. “We need potable water to drink at the beach. Our fountain will supply walkers, cyclists, swimmers and visiting families with clean water, with no mess left on the beach or plastic bottles to go into our landfills,” he said.

Parent council co-chair Sandra Cummins and grade 12 students at Seaway District High School, Hunter Amlin and Maddy Latulippe, asked for funds towards the eventual upgrade of the high school’s Learning Commons. They placed second in the voting. “School libraries are essential to student learning: access to updated technology, library resources and an improved space for our students to work on projects, are all very vital,” they told the audience. “At Seaway we want to close the educational gap that sometimes exists for a lot of rural students.”

In third place was Winchester District Memorial Hospital. The hospital is seeking to purchase soft light technology that will treat new-borns suffering from jaundice. “There is currently a serious waiting time at WDMH,” said Cindy Peters and Kristen Casselman of the WDMH Foundation, “leading to tough decisions where babies have to be transported to other hospitals. These lights will create healing environments for babies and comforting places for parents too.”

2018 recipients were also on hand to tell the 100 Women how the funds they were given last May had been used.

Paul Renaud of the Dundas County Hospice explained that the “leaking roof” on their building was now completely repaired thanks to the 100 Women.

Rev. Ed Murray of First Responders United received a grant for their program which provides counselling assistance for dispatchers, firefighters, police and paramedics who may be suffering from PTSD. “More than 200 responders have come through our doors with your help,” he said.

Sarah Barclay-Thomas, a teacher at MPS, said that the donation they received last year had gone to build a Kindergarten Playground Structure. “You never know how a gift like yours can spiral into something greater that changes lives,” she said.

“Thank you to all our supporters,” said Lori Turnbull, “who have given us such generous funding. We learn so much about the kindness of our community during an event like this.”

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.