Goderich's coldest night walk more than doubles goal
Bernie’s Bunch was the top fundraising team for the Goderich walk. They were comprised of this family group from Dungannon (l-r): Sarah Hallahan, Arletta Hallahan, Bernice Glenn, Angela Brindley, Grace Hallahan and puppy, Lily. (Submitted photos)
United Way Perth-Huron’s (UWPH) Goderich and Area Community Committee is proud to announce results from this year’s Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) event.
“The results from Coldest Night in Goderich and area have been incredible,” said Beth Blowes, UWPH Board member, Goderich and Area Community Committee member and CNOY participant. “People really embraced coming together for the community while walking apart to address chronic homelessness locally. The generosity of Goderich and area walkers, donors and sponsors will help so many vulnerable people.”
Bernie’s Bunch also included members from Elmvale, l-r: Amy Anderson, Trent Anderson and puppy, Luna.
In total, 228 walkers including 43 teams raised $89,291 for CNOY — that’s 223 per cent of the original event goal of $40,000. The top five fundraising teams were: Bernie’s Bunch, $15,840; Green Goderich Walkers, $5,790; Red Hot Chili Steppers, $4,280; Team Dykstra, $3,880; and the Ice Queens, $3,790. The top five fundraising individuals were Bernice Glenn, $7,445; Trevor Bazinet, $3,220; John Grace, $3,140; Mary Gregg, $1,575; and Beth Blowes, $1,350.
Donations will be accepted at cnoy.org/Goderich until the end of March.
Please save the date for next year’s CNOY on Feb. 26, 2022. Organizers hope people will be walking “United Together” instead of “United Apart” for those experiencing homelessness, hunger and hurt in the community.
Proceeds from this year’s week long, COVID-safe event help ensure programs and supports funded last year continue including, a supportive housing advocate at the County of Huron, support for the “Out of the Cold – Hearts to Home” shelter in Goderich and Huron Turning Point along with the Huron Women’s Shelter for Women, Children and Youth. This year’s walk also raised money for UWPH’s Urgent Needs Fund, supporting local residents in a time of crisis with funds for essentials like rent, groceries and medication.
Event sponsors included, Scotiabank, Ideal Supply, the Town of Goderich, the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh and the West Wawanosh Mutual Insurance Company.
Surviving an “Infodemic” during a pandemic topic of lecture
Dr. Ken Milne (Submitted photo)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ken Milne presented a very relevant topic, “Health Information: Who and What to Trust”, at Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (Gateway) second Lunchtime Lecture Series held on March 2.
As one of Huron County’s own physicians and the Gateway Chair of Rural Medicine, Dr. Milne’s objectives align with Gateway’s mission and the Lecture Series’ purpose of cultivating a culture of rural health knowledge and innovation. Gateway is grateful to have the opportunity to share this valuable information with local communities and beyond to promote knowledge translation and allow the public to make informed decisions when it comes to their health and well-being.
Four panelists joined in on the discussion with Dr. Milne, providing various perspectives on
the pandemic from their diverse backgrounds:
Bonnie Baynham, one of Gateway’s Board Members as well as a Community Developer at
Huron Perth Public Health, recounted her experience working throughout the pandemic from a public health perspective. Baynham recognized the role that Gateway, and other local organizations, have to communicate relevant, reputable and evidence-based information to communities.
Patricia Robinson, also a Board Member with Gateway and Nurse Practitioner with
the Maitland Valley Family Health team, also joined the discussion. As a frontline worker
throughout the pandemic, she wants to remind everyone to be persistent in following public
health guidelines so people can get through this together, as a community.
Goderich Mayor, John Grace, spoke to the difficulty of mass messaging of information
throughout the pandemic. In Grace’s words, “I can't be what people think I ought to be” —
recognizing that he must act within the realm of his profession to keep his community safe,
positive, engaged and healthy.
Finally, a rural pharmacist in Bruce County, Kristen Watt, shared her knowledge and
opinions on COVID-19. As a business owner and rural healthcare professional, Watt expressed concern with the mass of information surrounding COVID-19. She stated that it is not about winning or losing an argument on social media, but rather, as informed professionals, it is about sharing the best information available at that moment to allow people the opportunity to make their own decisions.
Dr. Milne prefaced the discussion with a “mesmerizing” story of historical medical practices, which for everyone, should allow people to appreciate the use of science in everyday life and the widespread adoption of evidence-based medicine throughout the healthcare field.
He said, science, although it can be tentative, proximate and explorative, is the most reliable method for exploring the natural world. Evidence-based medicine incorporates the use of science into everyday medical practices to allow the highest quality of care to be given to patients. This rests on three pillars: that the literature consists of relevant, scientific evidence which, combined with knowledge and experience, informs clinical judgement and most importantly, accounts for the patients’ individual preferences and values.
According to Dr. Milne, from mixed messaging on masks and social distancing to anecdotal cures and vaccine hesitancy, COVID-19 is nothing short of an “infodemic”. With a lack of agency and regulation regarding COVID information, combined with social media being utilized as a platform for widespread communication, there is a plethora of “bad science”, in the realm of COVID-related health claims.
Dr. Milne reinforced the crucial importance of being skeptical when analyzing any health claim, and provided some tips to use when doing so:
● Use skepticism when analyzing information from social media tips
● Popularity does not equal efficacy — what matters more is high-quality data of efficacy
● New or old practices do not equate better or worse outcomes
● Be sure to consider the net effect of an intervention — weigh potential benefit over
● Use a cherry-picking method to determine whether the study is an outlier and what the
scientific consensus is
● Watch out for conflicts of interest — this can bias interpretation and reporting
● Testimonials and anecdotes are powerful narratives, but do not represent high-quality
evidence and are not reliable to test the efficacy of treatments
• Anecdotes confirm hypothesis, confirmation comes from evidence
● Ensure articles and press releases have peer review paper or pre-print publication
● Blinding in studies helps minimize bias and is a quality indicator
● Lack of randomization or selection bias allows researchers to skew results
● Correlation is not causation
Undoubtedly, this past year has been a difficult time for everyone, but the lack of knowledge and misinformation has only complicated matters.
Gateway President, Gwen Devereaux, would like to thank Dr. Milne as well as all of the panelists for bringing this discussion to the forefront to promote Gateway’s mission of improving the knowledge economy in rural areas.
As a closing remark, Dr. Milne wanted to remind everyone to “be kinder to ourselves, each other and the people that keep systems moving forward — the agriculture and food industry, the healthcare field, transportation systems and the economy.”
Gateway would like to thank the sponsors of this event, CIBC Wealth Management, Larry
Otten Contracting and Bruce Power, as well as the ongoing support from the community.
Anyone interested in attending the next free, virtual, one-hour, lunchtime lecture-webinar on Tuesday, Apr. 6th, (noon start time) should visit Gateway’s website to register:
Thompson furthering women's Causes on commonwealth stage
Monday, March 8 was International Women’s Day – a day to mark and acknowledge the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women on a global scale.
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson hopes to lead by example as she now has another platform from which to support women in the riding, provincially, nationally and at the commonwealth level as Chair of the Commonwealth Woman Parliamentarians (CWP) - Canada Region.
“Women around the world have had to challenge society to change as we strive to ensure opportunities for women in an equitable manner,” said Thompson.
“I hope to utilize this honor to shine a spotlight on women who paved the path for us. For instance, Agnes MacPhail from Grey County, and who taught school in Bruce County, was one of the first women elected to Queen’s Park; and Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario lead by example by championing change throughout the years,” she added.
The CWP-Canada Region was founded in 2005, and it is composed of women parliamentarians of the provincial and territorial Canadian legislatures and the federal parliament. Its aims and objectives include providing opportunities for strategic discussion and development for future and current parliamentarians; increasing female representation in Canadian governments - at all levels; fostering closer relationships among Canadian women parliamentarians and other countries having close parliamentary ties to Canada; and to provide a forum to discuss, and act on gender-related issues.
Representing Canada at this level has already meant 5 a.m. ZOOM meetings and the opportunity to participate in a ZOOM panel discussion post-election with parliamentarians from Trinidad and Tobago.
Thompson, who is the first chair person from Ontario, hopes to expand the organization’s reach with women of all ages to get them engaged and to encourage them to “Choose to challenge”, as the 2021 International Women’s Day theme states, the status quo and advocate for positive change for their local communities and at the provincial and federal levels as well.
The local MPP hosted an outreach program in 2016 for her CWP colleagues from across Canada that included initiatives in Toronto, Guelph, Kincardine and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
In 2017, Thompson also celebrated local women holding “Remarkable Women” events in Huron County, co-hosted by then South Huron Mayor Maureen Cole, and Bruce County, co-hosted by Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie. More than 350 women were recognized for their achievements and contributions.
That same year she was also pleased to welcome many women’s groups from Huron-Bruce to Queen’s Park in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote in Ontario.
Thompson added that this unique experience allows her opportunities to continue to promote the riding of Huron-Bruce at an international level, and the role of women in community economic development initiatives and the agri-food sector.
colors in QUILT OF THE MONTH a vibrant reminder of spring
With so much talent, busy hands and love in the community during the COVID-19 lockdown period, the Huron Hospice was pleasantly overwhelmed with donations of afghans and quilts. A random selection of these handmade quilts will be sold as a fundraiser for patient care at the hospice.
The brown and blue colors in this cotton quilt selected for March are mesmerizing. It will give anyone’s décor a quick pick-up, no matter where it is placed. This incredible quilt is suitable for all ages. What a fun way to celebrate spring, saying good-bye to the bare earth and looking forward to blue lakes and rivers. This quilt was made by members of the local community and measures 67” x 52”; it is suitable for a wall hanging, throw or pet blanket and sells for $495.
The first person sending an email to Hospice Manager of Fundraising Christopher Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org will be the happy owner of this quilt. Anyone who would like further information before they decide should also contact him via email.
The Huron Perth Public Health website is updated regularly with confirmed case counts received.
“Our online case reporting is not a real-time tool but is meant to keep the community informed on trends we are seeing,” explains Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen.
For the latest statistics on COVID-19 cases in Huron and Perth Counties please visit: www.hpph.ca
Huron Hospice is launching an exciting new fundraising 50/50 Raffle. The first draw started on March 1st. The Huron Hospice 50/50 is your chance to win big! The more you play, the bigger the pot and the greater your chances to win. When you play, you are “Making Moments Matter” for families on the end-of-life journey. It’s a win-win!
Each year, the Ontario Government covers half of the cost of Huron Hospice $1.2 million operations. The province allows funding to be used for employing nursing staff.
“Huron County donors cover the other $600,000 of our costs. Donors cover the cost of Hospice community programs, such as grief and bereavement recovery for adults, and children and youth. At the residence, donations help provide meals, heat and hydro and general building upkeep,” said Willy Van Klooster, Huron Hospice Executive director. “We are truly fortunate to have a team of 130 volunteers who help our nurses and provide many of these services and programs. We are thankful for both the Government support and the assistance of our donors and volunteers. We could not do it without any of them,”
Van Klooster added, “Like many other charities, COVID-19 has had an impact on our Hospice revenue this year. We have been forced to think outside the box and be strategic about how to raise our badly needed revenue.”
“Although the Government does not cover them, these daily programs and services are essential. They impact our friends and neighbors, maybe even a family member," commented Jay McFarlan, Huron Hospice Board chair.
“We understand that buying raffle tickets is not for everyone,” said Christopher Walker, Huron Hospice, manager of Fund Development. “However, in 2021 interest in raffles is growing.
Walker noted that there are many other ways in which Huron Hospice donors can support the Hospice. They can join the Hike for Hospice, support the There’s No Place Like Home Telethon or by making donations in memory of family who have died.
Walker concluded, “Donors and their gifts are a critical part of our continued work. We thank everyone for joining us, however they choose to give. We know all gifts come from the heart.”
Buying Raffle tickets is simple. Between now and Apr. 1st people can get their tickets at www.huronhospice.ca When they purchase, they have options of 100 tickets for $40, 40 tickets for $20 and five tickets for $10.
Please contact Christopher Walker at 519 525-7352 or email@example.com with any questions.
The Ontario government is providing almost $1.9 million in new provincial funding to help Huron and Bruce Counties and their lower tier municipalities address ongoing COVID-19 related operating costs. The new financial relief will help ensure the delivery of critical services during the pandemic and keep capital projects on track.
“The provincial government recognizes the impact these unprecedented times have had on municipal governments and municipalities,” said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson. “That is why we are stepping up to help out.”
The funding announced includes: Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanash, $56,916; Bluewater, $99,312; Brockton, $80,377; Bruce County, $501,184; Central Huron, $77,633; Goderich, $66,656; Howick, $28,527; Huron County, $ 367,943; Huron-East, $77,235; Huron-Kinloss, $77,215; Kincardine, $113,305; Morris-Turnberry, $26,291; North Huron, $41,669; Saugeen Shores, $150,250; South Bruce, $44,940; and South Huron, $86,337.
This announcement ,made on March 4th, is part of the province’s $500 million investment to help ensure the stability of Ontario’s 444 municipalities as they plan for the year ahead. The funding is being prioritized to help municipalities hardest hit by the pandemic and can be used for things like personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and by-law enforcement.
“Our government continues to adapt and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as it evolves, and we know our municipal partners are on the front lines of this effort – providing the critical services people depend on every day,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark. “Our municipalities have been clear that they need ongoing operating funding in 2021, and it is important that we step up and provide that support so our municipal partners can continue to deliver the services Ontarians rely on each and every day.”
This provincial investment builds on the $1.39 billion in operating funding that was provided to municipal partners through the joint federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement. The second phase of the Safe Restart Agreement was allocated to all Ontario municipalities in December, to ensure that no community entered 2021 facing an operating deficit from 2020.
“Municipalities are important partners in the fight against COVID-19,” said Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board, Peter Bethlenfalvy “We know the global pandemic has created significant financial challenges for communities across the province. That’s why we have been there with support from the very beginning. I encourage our federal partners to step forward with additional investments as all three governments work together to protect people’s health and jobs.”
Grand Bend Rotary
Members of the Grand Bend Rotary would like to invite people to mark Wednesday, May 26 on their calendars to help them celebrate their 30th anniversary and share in some community appreciation.
They will be hosting a Drive-in event at the Shipka Starlite Drive-in Theatre starting at 6:30 p.m. The evening will cost $40 per person and will feature entertainment, a blockbuster movie, fabulous food and door prizes. More details to come as the date grows closer.
Conservation educators at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) have offered support to the watershed community though new learning opportunities, which are provided at no cost thanks to program sponsors Canada Nature Fund; Environment and Climate Change Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program; and ABCA.’
Two new online synchronous (when there is live interaction between ABCA conservation educators and students) learning programs were created for watershed teachers. The Species at Risk program, with funding support from Canada Nature Fund of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, teaches students about local species at risk, including turtles, mussels and fish found in the Ausable River. The second program, Wonderful Wetlands, focuses on the at-risk habitat of wetlands and is sponsored by the EcoAction Community Funding Program. Additional support for teachers is found on ABCA’s website, abca.ca, which has a teacher’s resources section with printables, lesson plans and educational website links.
People can now watch ABCA conservation educators, on YouTube, with the posting of this series of free presentations. ABCA first broadcast these videos, as live ‘lunch and learn presentations’ for each of these topics. The lunch and learn presentations are now available, for viewing anytime, on ABCA’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/TheAusable
These are the five presentations:
• Species at Risk (geared to students in Grades 4-6), first broadcast Jan. 29
• Wonderful Wetlands (geared to students Grades 4-6), first broadcast Feb. 2
• Species at Risk (geared to students in Grades 7-12), first broadcast Feb. 5
• River Safety – Flooding and You (geared to Grades 4-6 students), – first broadcast Feb. 9
• Water and Wetlands (geared to students K-3), – first broadcast Feb. 12
“Conservation educator Nina Sampson and myself are available to chat and we are keen to help teachers or parents in any way we can,” said Denise Iszczuk, conservation educator. “Step one to learning about nature is to plan time to get outside every day.”
In addition to these and other remote learning opportunities, this March the conservation educators at ABCA are planning outdoor spring sessions of Oaks and Acorns; Coyotes and Pups; Muskrats; and Outdoor School.
To register or to find out more visit the abca.ca website’s education web page at this link: www.abca.ca/education/
Anyone who would like to chat with conservation educators about these programs, is asked to please call 519 235-2610, or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, Ext. 255 or 262.
People often ask if they can add an engraved brick to the path around the Splash Pad in Clan Gregor Square and members of the Optimist Club of Bayfield are pleased to announce that there is further opportunity to have a name added to the circle in 2021.
The engraved pavers in Clan Gregor Square are a reminder of how great area residents and visitors are when it comes to supporting such projects as the Playground and the Splash Pad.
“In Memoriam” stones for loved ones as well as “just because” stones can be ordered with the work being done on site later in 2021 using the same two brick sizes that are already installed around the Splash Pad. The cost of these engraved bricks will be medium, $70; and large, $90. The plan is to have the bricks engraved in late May and/or early June.
Anyone with an interest in adding a brick can contact Mike Dixon via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 519 955-5254 for further information.
The Bayfield People and Canine Community (PACC) was recently formed to address the community need for a local play space where people’s canine friends can exercise and socialize. The members of PACC feel that Bayfield is a dog-friendly community catering to locals and visitors alike. The group’s mandate is to work with community partners in an effort to secure an off-leash area for their dogs and puppies, to promote responsible pet ownership, and to educate the public about the benefits of such a facility for this growing community. The group looks forward to providing details on this effort in the coming weeks and months.