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High Falls from the American side. .5 mile walk in to lookouts but very beautiful walk and the falls are spectacular.

Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Library is a non-profit association of public service minded volunteers who are dedicated to promoting and supporting library service in Thunder Bay since 1987.
Friends of the Library Volunteers operate a Used Bookstore in Victoriaville Mall; store hours are based on the availability of volunteers. They encourage patrons to donate their gently used books. All proceeds go to the Thunder Bay Public Library for projects selected by the Friends, including new books.
The Friends work Bingos at the Superior Shores Charitable Gaming operation as one of 69 non-profit partners, organize fundraising events such as special book sales, conduct raffles, and provide Home Delivery Service to homebound library patrons.
The Friends Group currently have 50 active members and welcome more, especially those who would like to donate their time and energy to the Used Bookstore and share their love of reading with our customers.
Membership application forms are available at any library branch and at the Used Bookstore. Please contact Fran Duke at 623-2409 with any questions regarding Membership requirements.


 

Happy New
Year!!

Perhaps the new year offers us the opportunity to dream of the great things to come in the year ahead. Much as Don Quixote with his side kick Sancho Panza did.
These statues are in Havana, Cuba.

Volunteer Organization of the January 2017


The Thunder Bay Literacy Group is a non-profit community-based organization, which is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Our adult education centre offers full and part-time classes in trades, GED, math, reading, writing and computers. With individualized education plans provided by our instructors, and our learner driven approach, TBLG has helped over 5000 adults achieve their goals.
The success of our organization has been made possible by generous contributors, our staff and through the kind individuals that volunteer. Through volunteers, we are able to accommodate learners outside of business hours with one to one tutoring at public libraries. Volunteers also assist learners and instructors everyday in our classrooms.
If you have a few hours per week and enjoy working with adults, consider volunteering with TBLG. Our new location is at 106 Cumberland Street North, Suite 205 or call 475-7211. You will find more information about volunteering and our 19th annual Scrabble tournament at www.tblg.org.
Volunteer Organization for December 2016


Thunder Bay Military Family Resource Centre
is a not-for-profit organization, one of many across the country which provides programs and services for military families.
The core of volunteers works in conjunction with two MFRC staff located on the property of HMCS GRIFFON at 125 N. Algoma Street.
Eight-eight volunteers give their time to many events and programs such as monthly MFRC Coffee Breaks, Volunteer Drop-in Days, seasonal events like Christmas/Halloween/Winter festivities and annual fundraisers like the New To You Purse and Jewellery Sale and Swap and the Spring Craft and Yard Sale.
We also offer Employment and Education, Information and Referral assistance to military spouses, Deployment Services for those families who have a CAF member serving on HMCS vessels or in the Armed Forces serving at many locations/operations around the world.
Access to services such as a Social Worker, Family Liaison Officer, Veterans Affairs, OSSIS and the JPSU provide confidential services during times of crisis, for short term counselling and referrals to community agencies.
Volunteer Organization for November 2016

Happy volunteer family separating donations stuffs on a sunny day

Volunteer Thunder Bay
“Seniors bring valuable life skills and knowledge with them when they choose to volunteer. They understand that volunteering to help others is good for their community.
Volunteer Thunder Bay is a non-profit organization that encourages the public to volunteer for local non-profit organizations and agencies that need assistance. We are able to do this because we have had the support of many generous people who are willing to give up their personal time to make a difference.
We encourage everyone to take the time to visit the websites of your favorite non-profit organization to see what opportunities await.”

Autumn is the Perfect Hiking Weather

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Volunteer Organization of the Month

Meals on Wheels– More than Just a Meal
The Meals on Wheels Home Support Program provides over 150 individualized, full-course meals each day which are delivered by dedicated caring volunteers for people in need of assistance in our community. This service helps individuals maintain independence in their homes. The program not only provides our seniors with a hot, ready-to-eat nutritious meal, but also a security check. Our volunteers make sure to check in on the well-being of each client on a daily basis which gives both our clients and their families’ peace of mind.
We have a team of over 100 dedicated volunteers, with years of service as high as 25+ years. Their care and commitment to our program is the reason that we have had so much success in serving our seniors in the community year after year. When asked why they volunteer, two of our member, Miriam Ketonen and Brenda Reimer replied,
“People are so appreciative and happy to see you. The gratitude provides immediate satisfaction and it makes it worth it.”- Miriam Ketonen
“We feel like we make a difference each week as we deliver the meals to people in our community.” -Brenda Reimer.
Our volunteers are doing more than just delivering meals. They are sending a message that people do care, and that gives us all hope. To all of our Volunteers of the Pioneer Ridge, Meals on Wheels program, we thank you. The compassion you show to the people we serve is an inspiration for all of us.
…submitted by: Heather Theriault – Program Manager

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25th Anniversary of the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre

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Volunteer Organization of the Month

Sleeping Giant Folk Music Society

 

folksociety3The Sleeping Giant Folk Music Society is a volunteer run organization that was formed in 2000 for the sole purpose of filling an identified void in the local music scene. The original Crocks & Rolls had closed its doors and performers like The Waltons and Sarah McLauglin (before she hit the big times) were no longer stopping in Thunder Bay. The opportunity to see professional folk artists from other parts of Canada in an intimate, listening environment was gone.
Gerald Graham put out the call to people interested in forming a committee and away we went. Aware that Thunder Bay had a vibrant music community already, the Society intentionally focused its mandate on bringing musicians to Thunder Bay from other places and established a vision that would encompass as much folk diversity as possible.
Over fifteen years of presenting we have lost a few volunteers and we have gained a few. We have presented musicians at the top of their field in terms of commercial success and those just about to turn that corner. We have also presented those who may never see the commercial success they deserve based on the talent they possess.
As the organizers we have always had fun bringing the music to the audience. What a great way to volunteer.
For further information on the Sleeping Giant Folk Music Society’s 2016/17 concert series go to:
www/sleepinggiant.ca

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Who says volunteering can’t be fun?
Matthew Hrycyschyn would beg to differ. He volunteers for the Thunder Bay Steelhead Association. We watched him catch and release this beautiful rainbow trout in a small pond in the McIntyre River. The log beside him is covered with clips of fins that help to track the patterns of migration.

Volunteer Organization of the month is Alpha Court

Volunteerof monthAlpha Court is a community-based organization that provides housing and support to people who are experiencing mental health and/or problematic substance use issues. One of the many programs that we offer is a Day Centre. Through the provision of psycho-educational groups and recreational opportunities, we aim to enhance the physical and mental health of the participants.
There are many volunteer opportunities available at the Centre. If you have a special skill that you can teach others (i.e. music, sports, relaxation, etc.) or if you are interested in cooking healthy meals, please give us a call at (807) 683-7729.

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May 2016

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Volunteer Organization of the Month

The Thunder Bay Humane Society

DogThe Thunder Bay and District Humane Society is a not for profit organization providing essential shelter, food and vet care to hundreds of animals. Since 1994, the TBDHS has cared for unwanted, abused, neglected or abandoned cats and dogs. The TBDHS also takes in a variety of other small animals.
We rely heavily on our dedicated volunteers, many of them being local youth. The TBDHS offers an animal care mentorship program for children and youth. Our young volunteers learn how to properly care for the animals and can also take part in an animal socialization program. Merit badges for organizations like Girl Guides Canada and Boys Scouts Canada can also be earned at the TBDHS.
We see the positive impact that working with animals has on local children and youth. Supervised interaction between youth and animals can provide an avenue to enhance self-esteem and build positive coping behaviors. Proper animal treatment, care, and responsibility are strongly encouraged with our youth through our Humane Education Program performed on behalf of our staff team. We also see benefits to our animals who receive extra care and attention when our young volunteers are at the Humane Society.

April 2016

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Checking the net:
A fisherman on the Inle Lake in Myanmar (formerly Burma). Standing on one leg on the bow of the boat, guiding the paddle with the other leg while checking the net for fish. It puts a different perspective on fishing.
Note the size of the motor. It’s called a long tail. The propellor is resting in the boat.

Volunteer Agency: The Children’s Aid Society

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The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) is non-profit agency working to provide help and support to children and their families. The CAS mission is to protect and enhance the lives of children through strengthening families in partnership with our community. The vision is to develop, through collaboration, a community where all children grow up with a sense of belonging, in a safe and nurturing environment.
The Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay is seeking committed individuals for our volunteer driver, tutor and recreation support roles. If interested please contact Charmaine Cades at charmaine.cades@thunderbaycas.ca
For more information visit our website at www.thunderbaycas.ca

“For Better or For Worse” Lynn Johnston Visits Thunder Bay Art Gallery

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Volunteer Organization  of the Month  

Camp Quality

Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario is a volunteer-driven non-profit charitable organization which provides uplifting and empowering camp experiences for kids with cancer and their siblings. Our year-round programming and signature week-long camp gives our campers, ages 4-18, the power to turn challenges into adventures.
Camp Quality is supported by an inspiring group of volunteers dedicated to ensuring our campers enjoy an unforgettable adventure.
Our primary roles involve attending our summer camp. They include: Companion, Support Companion, Programmer, Lifeguard, Kitchen and Medical. In addition, we often require volunteers to assist with fundraising efforts and events throughout the year. Many of these involve short-term commitments.
We hope you will join us as a volunteer! For more information and to apply, visit www.campquality.org or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Brittany Teniuk, at (807) 630-6134 or brittany.teniuk@campquality.org. Applications for our 2016 summer camp must be received by April 15th.

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Sled Hockey

A real hit at the
Rogers Hometown Hockey
Tour

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Volunteer Organization of the Month

Thunder Bay’s Animal Services Centre

DogThe City’s Animal Services Centre located on Alloy Place is a municipally funded animal shelter. Our primary function is to protect the public from aggressive domestic dogs and cats through the enforcement of the City’s by-laws. In addition, we operate the City pound for the safe keeping of stray (lost) dogs and cats and provide adoption services.
We are looking for volunteers who are caring, responsible and committed to making a difference in the lives of animals in our care. If you are friendly and outgoing, join our team of volunteers. We have volunteer positions to walk dogs and cuddle cats. We are also always looking for volunteers to help out at a variety of events throughout the year.

Magnus Theatre’s “The Book of Everything”

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 THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING, set in 1951, is a story about being brave and making friends. It focuses on Thomas, a young 9 (almost 10!) year-old boy in Amsterdam. Thomas has a very active imagination. He sees things others don’t see; a hailstorm in summer, tropical fish in the canals, a plague of green frogs, and even Jesus. In his diary, The Book of Everything, he writes his hope for the future, “When I grow up, I’m going to be happy.” Thomas’s father is severe and sometimes violent, trying to insulate his family from the world outside. Thomas’ odd imagination is his way of dealing with his secret misery. He finds strength through his down-to-earth chats with Jesus, his love for Eliza, the girl with the leather leg, the support of rebellious bike-riding Auntie Pie, and the neighbourhood “witch” Mrs. Van Amersfoort who shows Thomas the power of music and books through which he learns that happiness begins with no longer being afraid.
“We are very excited to be the first Canadian theatre to produce ‘The Book of Everything’,” says Artistic Director Mario Crudo, “The play recently won the 2015 American Alliance for Theatre Education Distinguished Play Award. It is based on an award winning Dutch children’s novel by Guus Kuijer that was first published in 2004. The play, adapted by Australian playwright Richard Tulloch in 2010, has been produced around the world and it has garnered excellent reviews. The Book of Everything is a very special play, beautifully and sensitively written. I am very happy that we will be sharing it with our audience as it makes its Canadian debut on the Magnus stage right here in Thunder Bay.”

Volunteer Organization of the Month CNIB

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Imagine what it would be like to lose your vision. You would need to learn new ways to do life’s everyday tasks, to make sense of your surroundings – and to live independently in a visual world. Now, imagine what it would be like to help those individuals overcome the challenges of vision loss. You are invited to become a CNIB Vision Mate and provide sighted assistance to individuals who are blind or partially sighted. Whether it is shopping, reading or going for a walk, an act of kindness today can change a life forever. To learn more, call Tanis Boardman at (807) 345-3341 ext. 5460.
About CNIB: CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life.

Lion’s Head Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

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The Volunteer Organization of the Month

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army offers practical assistance to those who are homeless or living in poverty often providing the basic necessities of life such as shelter and food.
Men like Jake who, at 43, has been struggling with addictions and homelessness since he left home as a teenager, turn to The Salvation Army for assistance. Jake is waiting to get into an addictions program and finds that staying at the Centre has helped him to start getting clean. He finds that the Salvation Army staff encourage and support him in his quest for a new life. He is hopeful that this time he will be able to succeed in building a new life. Each day, Salvation Army helps the most vulnerable in our community. This is not possible without the support of many volunteers.
Volunteers help by serving meals on the soup van, assisting school breakfasts, and working in our garden. Needed over Christmas are many Christmas Kettle volunteers. Starting mid-November to Christmas Eve, the Kettles will be in local stores collecting donations for programs at Christmas and throughout the year. You can join our team of kettle volunteers for one shift or many.

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Open Streets Thunder Bay

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Volunteer of the Month Anna Schulzki

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Anna Schulzki was born in Germany and came to Canada as a young child. She landed in Halifax and took the train to Fairview Alberta, where she lived for some years. She has also resided in Medicine Hat, Emo Ontario, and Thunder Bay Ontario and is now based out of Murillo Ontario. Anna was married to her husband for 54 years and together they have 3 children; 2 daughters and 1 son. The family continued to grow as Anna also has 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
Anna travels into the city each week to donate her time to the Meals on Wheels program as a server. Anna has been a volunteer with our program for over three years and enjoys her time with both the clients and the other volunteers. Anna, based out of our Pioneer Ridge location, delivers one of our South side routes on a weekly basis.
“I enjoy Meals on Wheels,” states Anna. “If I can bring a hot meal and a few cheerful words to someone in need, I am there!” she exclaimed.
In the past, Anna also held the president position for the C. W. L club, was the treasurer of the ALTAR society and part of Knights of Columbus. In her spare time when she is not volunteering, Anna loves to fill her day working in her garden, playing cards, painting and doing crafts and visiting friends. Anna has a kind heart, is an enthusiastic conversationalist, and is very attentive to the clients she serves. Her positive and pleasant demeanor is contagious and we are so fortunate to have her on our Meals on Wheels team.
Thank you, Anna Schulzki, for being such an important part of our Meals on Wheels team.
To apply to join the Meals on Wheels volunteer team and reap the rewards of volunteering while serving our community, or for more information, please call Heather Theriault, Supervisor, at 625-2785

Thunder Bay’s  Farmers Market

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Volunteer of the Month  Elsie Koivisto Sept 2015

Volunteering has been second nature to Elsie Koivisto and for the past 22 years she has been an active and dedicated volunteer at the 55 Plus Centre. She has volunteered in the kitchen and now volunteers in the library and as a hostess. Her involvement has also included fundraising activities for the centre, volunteering at clinics, special events and the Thursday night dances. She takes great pride in organizing the bus to Grand Portage from the 55 Plus Centre once a month. She was part of the Cando Players, the Saints and modelling in fashion shows for many years. As well as volunteering at the 55 Plus Centre, Elsie has volunteered for Christmas Cheer as a shopper and in earlier years at the Port Arthur General Hospital’s Gift Shop and the Shelter House. She is a Life Member of the Ladies of the Moose, the Eastern Star and the Ladies Auxiliary, Branch 5 of the Port Arthur Legion. Today at 100, Elsie has sung in the Interlink Choir for 23 years, works at bingos, serves at luncheons, teas and banquets at the Legion and the Moose, and continues to be actively involved as a volunteer at the 55 Plus Centre at least twice a week. Elsie’s commitment and enthusiasm for volunteering at her age is wonderful example for all generations in our community.
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Cuba:

If it wasn’t for the guitar playing fellows on the right one might think we are in the parking lot of the Casino on Canada Day when all the vintage cars are on display.

Not so. Cathy and I ventured to Cuba last month in an effort to see a bit of the country before the Americans arrive.

For more of our adventure you can read the editorial.

 eco pic Volunteers for May: Clean Up for Spring Volunteers

Farrell and Joanne Fulkerson volunteer as part of this year’s Clean Up Event

Spring Up to Clean Up is a community-wide litter clean-up campaign funded by the City of Thunder Bay and delivered by EcoSuperior to help keep our City clean, green and beautiful. This program would not be possible without the help of so many dedicated volunteers and our event sponsors.

In May 1996, Elizabeth DeBakker, a 10 year-old student at École Gron Morgan School, addressed Thunder Bay’s City Council expressing her concern over debris found in city parks. As a result of this deputation City Council passed a resolution requesting the development of a municipal clean up program. A steering committee was established to develop an action plan to accomplish the goals of Ms. DeBakker.

As a result, citizens all across Thunder Bay participated in our first ever community-wide clean up in 1997. That campaign was a success with sixty-five areas of the city cleaned up throughout the month of May by almost 5,000 participants. These numbers have increased over the years to 11,000 volunteers cleaning up over 250 areas of the City.

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Ready for Summer?

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Volunteers of the Month: Thunder Bay Conservatory Volunteers

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Front row left to right). Evelyn Kinsman, Kathleen Ott, Monika McNabb, Terri-Lyn Carter
Back row (left to right). Lorraine Comeau, Allen Nunn, Sharon Sidlar,Linda Ryma, Kevin Sidlar, Sandy Nunn.  Missing Ellen Davis

The Friends of the Thunder Bay Conservatory are a group of forward-thinking citizens who have been working to creatively enhance and promote the use of the Centennial Botanical Conservatory. As the only natural green space in NW Ontario during long winters, it is a vital asset to our community.
Over the past year, the Friends have been building a positive and productive relationship with Conservatory staff and City Management.  They currently have an Executive of seven as well as 68 dues-paying members.
The group is active on social media, with a presence on Facebook/Twitter and their very own website – www.friendstbconservatory.com
Since their inaugural event “Afternoon in the Tropics” in January, the Conservatory has enjoyed an incredible increase in visitors and donations. Two successful events followed. Their next event will be “Body & Soul” — on Friday, April 10th, an evening complete with chair massages/joint mobility and a relaxation workshop. Though a fully open event, pre-registration for all three services will be required and can be done by phone @ 628-6727 or email “friendstbconservatory@gmail.com”
Public visiting hours have been expanded substantially, allowing for more opportunity to come in and enjoy the tropics. Hours currently are 10am-8pm Mon-Fri and 10-4pm on weekends. Photo credit Linda Ryma Photography

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Isn’t it wonderful that our marina is seeing winter activities! Who would have thought it possible?
When we were there on Sunday the skating rink was full and the snow sculptures amazing. Word has it some folks are moving into the condominiums as well. Won’t it be great when the Thunder Bay Art Gallery builds there. Slowly but surely the waterfront is becoming the pride of the city.

Coalition for Waverley Park, Volunteers of Month

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Many people will remember the days when a group of dedicated Waverley Park lovers voiced strong disapproval of the old Central School on the east side of Waverley Park being sold to a developer for condominiums.
They succeeded in coming up with an alternative plan that included having Magnus Theatre move into the old school building.
This group of volunteers known as the Coalition for Waverley Park has  now morphed into more of a Friends of Waverley Park and for many, Waverley Park is their neighbourhood park.
These volunteers hold an annual picnic each August, help the Horitcultural Society clean up the flower beds around Magnus Theatre, maintain the Field of Dreams in the Park and work with the City Parks Department to help keep the park beautiful and welcoming.
They are currently working with the City Parks Department to have a Pavilion built on the concrete slab that was left when the Rotary Bandshell was removed.
Waverley Park is the 2nd oldest municipal park in Ontario and a key feature on the city’s new image route.
If you are interested in learning more about the Coalition for Waverley Park please send an email to this paper at tbayseniors@tbaytel.net.

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Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy opened last Friday night and ended the evening with a well deserved standing ovation. It is a wonderful play, with a great stage setting, and was very well acted by all three actors, Jo-Ann Waytowich as Daisy, John Campbell as Hoke and Stuart Dowling as Daisy’s son Boolie.

If you are a fan of live theatre don’t miss it. If you aren’t sure about live theatre then this is one well worth checking out. As I mentioned it is well acted and a lot of fun.

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TBNT’s Spirit of Volunteerism

Thunder Bay Nordic Trails is a non-profit organization with a volunteer board of directors who are dedicated to offering exceptional cross-country skiing facilities to our community. We groom over 100km of trails within our three ski areas, Kamview Nordic Centre, Kakabeka Falls and Sleeping Giant Provincial Parks. The trails at all locations offer varied terrain and stunning vistas. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to ski world class trails within a 20 minute drive of almost anywhere in the city!

At our home base, Kamview Nordic Centre, we have many opportunities for volunteers who love to promote the sport of x-country and embrace the healthy Nordic lifestyle. Each year, we have several groups visit Kamview that require volunteers to provide ski instruction and serve as knowledgeable trail guides. These special groups such as, the Underground Gym, Confederation College and TBRHSC appreciate the time avid skiers take out of their busy schedules to help instill a love the outdoors in a new generation of skiers.

In addition, TBNT offers several special events through-out the year including the: Tour de Kamview, Sleeping Giant Loppet, a Trail Run Series, Mudslinger Run and the Kamview Off Road Half Marathon. These unique races offer the participants the chance to challenge themselves in fun, yet competitive events that increase their fitness and create a sense of community. The Sleeping Giant Loppet which has been in existence for 38 years, has over 200 volunteers alone! None of these events could exist without an enthusiastic group of volunteers and we’re thankful our membership continues to give back to their club and the community

at large.

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Living in Northwestern Ontario is really quite wonderful. We have four seasons that provide us with a great variety of opportunities.

Winter is the time for snowmobiling, downhill and cross-country skiing, skating and a whole array of other great activities.

Christmas Cheer

For the last few years I have been volunteering for Christmas Cheer. I do a shift when folks come to pick up their Christmas hampers and every year when I walk into the Coliseum I am awed by the number of volunteers who help out. It is a huge undertaking with, I would guess, well over 500 people helping out over the two days. Many others work ahead of time doing the planning and getting the Coliseum ready. The operation is very well organized.

You can’t help but meet people you haven’t seen for years and the friendliness of everyone makes the experience very enjoyable.

I work with the folks carrying out the boxes to the cars so I get to meet a lot of the recipients of our work. It’s a rewarding job because I get thanked and wished a Merry Christmas over and over.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to have a Christmas Cheer. I don’t think as a society we should ever stop trying to find ways to support people so they don’t have to depend on organizations such as Christmas Cheer and Food Banks but in the meantime, seeing the grateful smiles and having the opportunity to contribute to a worthwhile cause makes the Christmas season a little more special for me.

Merry Christmas to One and All!

The Festive Season is upon us and all of us at Thunder Bay Seniors Paper wish you a happy and joyous time with family and friends.

Above, Jordan Baraniuk and Scott Prior greet people at the Fire Department’s Toys for Tots booth at Interciy Shopping Centre. On the right Karl Wahl lends his support to the Salvation Army’s Kettle drive outside the Super Store.

They are reminders that not everyone is as fortunate as we are and that our generosity is both valued and needed.

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Baycredit awards

 

Annual Bay Credit Union Award for Social Responsibility

The Ilkka T. Ovaska Award for Social Responsibility sponsored by Bay Credit Union recognizes a member of our community who has demonstrated exemplary achievements in promoting social responsibility in our community.

Stacey Livitski has been a committed volunteer and advocate for the Canadian Diabetes Association-Northwestern Ontario since 2008.

Stacey has been living with diabetes for 32 years and, as a volunteer, she helps to educate people about diabetes prevention and management at Health Fairs through the Diabetes Association Learning Series presentations in schools and by making herself available for one on one peer support.

As an advocacy volunteer, she has represented the Canadian Diabetes Association in campaigns at the Ontario Legislature. As a Regional Delegate in 2013, and now as the Regional Chair, Stacey voices the unique diabetes related concerns of Northwestern Ontario at provincial and national meetings.

Stacey also represents the Region on the Ontario Advocacy Committee and on the National Advocacy Committee.

In 2012, Stacey was the recipient of the Regional Inspiration Award for her dedicated volunteer work while managing her own diabetes.

With this Award, the recipient chooses the charity of their choice to receive a $500 donation in their honour. Stacey Livitski has chosen the Canadian Diabetes Association to receive the funds.

Walking El Camino de Santiago

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Some folks will have noticed there wasn’t an October issue of Thunder Bay Seniors Paper. It was the first time in 14 years we have missed an issue and it was intentional. After much discussion we realized that we weren’t getting any younger and while we love publishing the paper it shouldn’t unduly limit our retirement so we decided to take October off and walk the Camino.

For those unfamiliar with El Camino de Santiago it is an 800 kilometer pilgrimage across the north of Spain. Our walk actually starts in France in a village called St. Jean Pied de Port although there are a number of pilgrimages to Santiago from different parts of Europe. Our route is called the French Way.

The Camino de Santiago, or “Way of St. James” is an ancient pilgrimage to the Cathedral in the city of Santiago de Compostela in Northwest Spain. The Cathedral is commonly understood to house the earthly remains of St. James the Apostle – one of the twelve original disciples of Christ. This year the order of St. Francis of Assisi (Franciscans) are celebrating the 800th anniversary of St. Francis making the pilgrimage. People have been walking the Camino for over 1000 years. More recently it has become an economic boon for small villages on the way.

The walk took us 33 days and you may be wondering why anyone would be inclined or as some might suggest, crazy enough to do this.

I’m not sure of the answer to that but can only say that more than 200,000 people walk it every year (the Compostela office in Santiago keeps track as everyone registers) and that there are probably as many reasons as there are people walking. For some it is very personal.

For my part while I’m not religious or affiliated with any formal religion I feel I am spiritual and am interested in learning. I thought walking 23 km each day might provide me with some insights into life or myself. No epiphanies yet though I did dissect and ruminated over Leonard Cohen??s song Suzanne. It was one of the few songs I knew and from what I know Leonard is a pretty spiritual guy.

All humour aside though, some people were very moved and touched by the religious opportunities that presented themselves on the walk. A number of churches held masses for pilgrims and made a special point of blessing us. These were very meaningful for many pilgrims.

For my part it was the pilgrim family we grew to know and become part of that I loved. The nature of the walk is that one usually walks alone or with people that are walking at the same pace you are. We always started early 6:30 or 7 am and would be finished by 2 pm each day and have the rest of the day to look around or socialize with others.

Many of the albergues (hostels) we stayed at had kitchens so often as not we would get together with others and cook up a meal. The young people on the trip did this on a pretty regular basis. It was a way they could save money and nothing brings people together like cooking and eating a meal together.

For those of us who could afford it most restaurants and many albergues had Pilgrim Meals for around 9 or 10 Euros. This consisted of a tuna salad, a main dish and a dessert (usually ice cream or rice pudding). Oh! I shouldn??t forget the wine. The wine was included in the price and if there were four or more people it was common for the wine to be replenished at no cost. The wine was always accompanied by a big bottle of water .

But back for a minute to the people we met. The young people were special because they acted just like young people we all know. They were excited energetic and open. Jakob carried a trombone with him and earned enough to pay his way by playing in town squares. I don’t think he knew more than four songs. It didn’t seem to matter to anyone. Mikayla was an Aussie who has been travelling and working around the world. Both of these two were still teenagers.

There were a lot of Canadians walking. Apparently there is an 8 week course on walking the camino offered in Victoria BC and there are quite a few people from Thunder Bay who have walked it. One person from here has done it four times (and you think we are crazy!) I understand though. I feel the pull to do it again.

We walked with and became friends with people from Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, Spain, Greece as well as fellow Canadians.

Barb Phelps has asked us to do one of her Armchair Traveller presentations at Waverley Library in the new year. If you are interested watch for that. We can tell you about blisters and sore feet and… well if you are interested check it out. We would love to have you join us.

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The statues, many of pilgrims, were wonderful and creative. It was grape and pepper harvesting time as we walked through the villages and I was totally inspired by the young people on “The Way”!

Hogarth Riverview Manor Celebrates National Senior’s Day in the garden

October 1st was National Senior’s Day across Canada, an opportunity to acknowledge the past, present and future contributions of our aging population in all aspects of our country’s growth and development. Hogarth Riverview Manor (HRM), St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG), chose to honor the occasion with the planting of an assortment of spring blooming Allium throughout the Manors well-used garden courtyard. This cool fall day became the perfect opportunity to encourage the facility’s senior residents to look beyond the impending cold, Ontario winter, and plan for the warm spring that is guaranteed to follow.

Hogarth Riverview Manor (HRM) is home to SJCG’s most prominent Horticultural Therapy Program. Under the close observation and guidance of the Life Enrichment Team and members of the Thunder Bay and District Master Gardeners, residents enjoy the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of horticultural activities designed to stimulate the senses, improve memory recollection, and encourage physical movement and social interaction.

A very special thank you goes out to all of HRM’s residents, volunteers, staff and family for their help in caring for the garden, as well as to Chris Paulusma for the support and assistance that he was able to provide through container designs and plant selection.

St. Joseph’s Care Group is always looking for volunteers. If you would like more information on the volunteer program, please contact Anna Grenier, Co-ordinator, Volunteer Services, at 625-1117, or visit www.sjcg.net for more information.

Master Gardeners Louise Nadeau, Sandy Perry, Tracy Rowe and Lynda Lahteenmaa enjoy Senior’s Day festivities with two HRM residents and fellow garden enthusiasts.

Vounteermonth

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International students studying English at Confederation College get to practice with folks at the River Street Cafe in the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre.

Getting out with Nancy

Neighbours matter. In a recent issue of Maclean??s magazine the cover story was entitled “The End of Neighbours.” I can??t agree more. How many of you know your neighbours by name? Do you have their phone number? Would you feel comfortable to drop in to borrow an egg or ask for a cup of gluten-free flour substitute? Can you ask a neighbour to stay with a family member if you have to travel to Emergency by ambulance?

I know a few of my neighbours. I??ve cultivated relationships with a few of them in case of emergency but also in case of celebration! When I grew up on Harold Street North I??m sure I knew all the names and the people who lived in the houses ? the Storeshaws, Smiths, Gartrells, Miss Heagle, Latimers, Tiboni??s, Rosenfelds etc. Even though I don??t know many of the folks on my block now (I??ve lived on the street for 20+ years), I can try to meet them. In fact, our street has new houses being built so I??ll make a point to welcome them.

If you??re worried about the end of neighbours, DO something. Here??s what I??m going to try: “Hello, my name is Nancy. I live at the corner. We??re having a garage sale on Saturday. Do you want to join us?” It takes, as one of my mentors Gladys Jeffers said, work. It??s worth it.

In the field of recreation, that??s what we do ? and we get paid for it! This summer we had folks playing pickleball outdoors and bocce in the park. You can be a recreation programmer too. Call a few friends and organize a bocce game in a park. Or go to Chippewa Park or Alma Adair Park (at the corner of Walsh Street and Waterloo) for a picnic.

At a recent “Let??s Talk REC” event, participants said they were worried about everyone “doing their own thing.” They suggested if you??re going to the mall, ask a friend or neighbour to join you and car pool. If you are thinking of taking a yoga class this fall, ask a neighbour to sign up too and travel to class together. This sharing a ride is good for the environment and your soul.

Speaking of neighbours, this summer I had the pleasure of working with Nicki Youroukos, the International Student Coordinator in the International Education department at Confederation College. Together we created Caf??? Conversation, an intergenerational opportunity for students studying English at Confederation College to practice with folks at the River Street Caf??? in the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre.

What a magical partnership! Friendships were made and memories created. One 96-year young woman was asked to sing “Happy Birthday” via Skype to a young man??s girlfriend in Brazil. Talk about neighbours connecting across the miles, but more importantly in-person.

Until next time,

Nancy

Volunteers of the Month?

This has been a summer of Festivals and Special Events. It is a testament to how much Thunder Bay loves to get together and walk, talk and socialize. The Blues Festival rocked through the rain, Canada Day chilled the bones, Red Rock Folk Festival enjoyed three days of sunshine and Open Streets Thunder Bay got off to an amazing start as witnessed by the accompanying picture.

Thunder Bay had fun!

It was all made possible….and was brought to you, Thunder Bay, by ….

“an incredible group of volunteers, many of whom helped out at more than one event!”

They don’t ask for much. Most do it because they love it and enjoy the socializing. Many do it because they love Thunder Bay and know that their contribution, however small, makes this City a better place to live.

So a great big: Thank You! Volunteers!

open streets girls

30th Anniversary Northwest Senior Games

June 2 to June 5 2014

The Games include Euchre, Ten-Pin bowling, Walking, Snooker, Floor Shuffleboard, Whist, Five-Pin Bowling, Pickle Ball, Golf, Carpet Bowling, Contract Bridge, Cribbage, Horseshoes, Bid Euchre, and Nordic Pole Walking. Winners can go on to compete in the Ontario Provincial Games.

Ed Lavoie and Margaret Martin enjoy a game of Floor Shuffleboard.

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Cathy Isotalo, Carolyn MacKay, Sheila Rowan, Gillian Britton setting up to play Pickle Ball. Pickle Ball is a relatively new game (this is only the second year it has been an activity in the Summer Games) and has become very popular.

Volunteers of the Month: Louise Stoot and Sally McBain

photo with mayorgood

St Joseph??s Care Group is proud to recognize Louise Stoot and Sally McBain as exceptional volunteers. Louise and Sally were presented with the prestigious, Good Citizen Award by City Mayor, Keith Hobbs at the Official Recognition of Citizens of Exceptional Achievement Awards dinner, April 29 at the Italian Cultural Centre.

Louise and Sally, two amazing seniors, made a commitment to share their special friendship by volunteering together. They assist in improving the quality of life for people living with dementia.

Louise and Sally have been volunteering together at the Manor House Adult Day Program for close to 20 years! Every Wednesday, for over two decades, rain or shine, Louise can be found assisting clients with the luncheon program, while her good friend Sally shares her musical talents by playing the piano and leading everyone in a sing along. Clients truly enjoy sharing time with the volunteers and find themselves up and dancing or singing along to their favourite tunes.

The volunteers provide the opportunity for personal interaction and connections. Louise and Sally are passionate for the work they do and have made a long standing commitment caring about people living with dementia.

Wednesday??s are very special days at the Manor House. The volunteers bring joy, laughter and fun. Thank you, Louise and Sally for your Care, Compassion and Commitment to service. Your example inspires us all.

Submitted by Anna Grenier, St Joseph??s Care Group, Coordinator, Volunteer Services

 

Summer has Arrived!!

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