cowbell to sponsor play development at Blyth festival
In celebration of a recent sponsorship announcement, Blyth's Cowbell Brewing Co. and Blyth Festival representatives gathered at the “Absent Landlord”, the namesake of the company’s Kölsch-style beer. From l-r: Cowbell Founder and CEO, Stephen Sparling; Blyth Festival Artistic Director, Gil Garratt; Cowbell Chief Development Officer, Grant Sparling II; and Cowbell Chief Commercial Officer, Dave Clarke. (Submitted photo)
The Blyth Festival Theatre is pleased to announce a three-year sponsorship agreement between Blyth Cowbell Brewing Co. and the Blyth Festival. Cowbell Brewing will be the exclusive Hospitality Sponsor and will sponsor the development of a new play, focusing on a remarkable, historic Blyth resident.
“Cowbell Brewing is proud to support the Blyth Festival Theatre, a unique Canadian theatre company,” said Grant Sparling II, Cowbell’s Chief Development officer. “The Festival is integral to the culture of our community, the remarkable village that my family has called home for three generations. I am pleased that we are continuing a tradition begun by my grandparents, Grant and Mildred.”
The Blyth Festival Theatre is pleased to receive continued generational support from the Sparling family. The Blyth Festival continues to forge a path as a leader in telling authentic rural Canadian stories on stage; providing a voice to this region and across Canada.
“The Sparling family has supported the Festival at every turn, from the very beginning,” said Gil Garratt, Artistic director of the Blyth Festival Theatre. “We are now continuing to grow as a community, as a destination, and as a true Canadian institution. The sponsorship with Cowbell Brewing ensures this tradition will continue. In our 45th season, we are pleased to have their support to continue our mandate of enriching lives through the arts.”
HPHA campaign encourages organ and tissuE donation
Registered Nurse Claudette Begg knows the importance of organ and tissue donation. Over 15 years ago, she received the gift of sight with a corneal transplant.
Begg had suffered from keratoconus since her early twenties, a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision. By age 25 Begg could no longer see with glasses.
“I had to switch to hard lenses and was required to wear them at all times,” said Begg. “These lenses would fall out easily due to the shape of my cornea and often I had corneal abrasions. Closer to my transplant I was even wearing two contacts in each eye, one hard and one soft. I was having difficulty at work and I kept losing my lenses.”
That all changed for Begg after her transplant.
“Now every morning I wake up and can simply put on a pair of glasses to see. I thank my donor for their gift of sight.”
In an effort to increase awareness about the value of organ and tissue donor registration, members and friends of the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) have created a poster campaign that was unveiled across the Alliance and on social media on July 9.
“Organ and tissue donations are a vitally important part of medical care. In Ontario, there are over 1,600 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant,” said Dr. Tyler Rouse, Hospital Donation physician and Co-Chair of HPHA’s Organ and Tissue Donation Committee. “A single donor can save up to eight lives, and can enhance the lives of up to 75 or more people through the gift of tissue. While those numbers are staggering, we wanted to show how organ and tissue donation affects real people in our community. We are so grateful to the people who have shared their stories through this campaign, and we hope it will highlight how very real the impact of donation can be to our friends, families and colleagues.”
Participants in the poster campaign, in addition to Begg, include; Jason Hammond, Medical Laboratory assistant and a kidney transplant recipient; Chantale Hammond, Patient Partner and a liver transplant recipient; Rena Spevack, Board member, Patient Partner and a living donor; Ryan Morrison, heart transplant recipient and Cecily Kowalik, advocate.
To register your consent to donate visit www.beadonor.ca and speak to your family about your wishes.
Fast Facts about Organ and Tissue Donation:
• The Stratford General Hospital is a designated hospital for organ and tissue donation within the Trillium Gift of Life Network.
• In the 2018/19 fiscal year two organ donors from HPHA have saved five lives.
• In the 2018/19 fiscal year, four multi-tissue donors from HPHA enhanced many lives along with 16 eye donors giving the gift of sight to up to 32 people.
• As of April 1, 2019, three eye donors from HPHA have given sight to up to six people.
• St. Marys leads HPHA communities with a 53 per cent donor registration rate, meaning that out of 8,289 health card holders, 4,426 are registered donors. This ranks St. Marys is 16th in all of Ontario. Stratford is ranked 34th with a 50 per cent donor registration rate, Southern Bruce and Huron Counties at 99th with a 43 per cent donor registration rate and Perth County at 107th with a 42 per cent donor registration rate.
• Age does not disqualify someone from becoming an organ or tissue donor. Current or past medical history does not prevent anyone from registering to be a donor.
The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance is comprised of Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital, Seaforth Community Hospital and Stratford General Hospital.
Second driver added for South Huron Trail Mobile
Exeter’s Jim Hayter (left) is the newest volunteer driver of the South Huron Trail Mobile, a modified electric cart for people with limited mobility. He joined Norm Eckel in the enjoyable task of escorting people around the trail earlier this year. (Submitted photo)
People who cannot easily walk the South Huron Trail still get a nature enjoyment experience thanks to two volunteer drivers of the South Huron Trail Mobile. Exeter’s Jim Hayter is the newest volunteer driver of the Trail Mobile, a modified electric cart for people with limited mobility. Hayter began in May and joins the other volunteer driver, his Exeter neighbor, Norm Eckel.
Hayter grew up in Dashwood and later moved to Goderich before retiring to Exeter about 12 years ago. His wife, Linda, is from Exeter. When Eckel first asked Hayter if he wanted to be a volunteer driver of the Trail Mobile, he wasn’t sure at first – but, after giving it some thought, and encouraged by his wife Linda, he decided it would be good to do. He says he’s really enjoying it and likes the chance to “give back” to his community.
“I enjoy the trip myself, just to see the trail and I also enjoy meeting the older people and how much they appreciate getting out for a ride,” Hayter said. “A lot of them say ‘I’ll be out again.’”
Hayter said some of his passengers have commented about the positive changes to the trail – including the addition of Jones Bridge, the new pedestrian bridge on the South Huron Trail. The new pedestrian bridge gives passengers a totally different view of Morrison Dam, according to Eckel.
“It’s a great view...something new,” Eckel said.
The passengers also note how generous the community has been in its support of South Huron Trail.
Eckel used to farm north of Zurich before moving into Exeter. The long-serving volunteer said he enjoys being a Trail Mobile driver.
“I enjoy seeing nature and I enjoy taking the people out, plus I enjoy getting out myself,” he said.
A trip on the Trail Mobile is often the only chance many passengers have to get outside and into nature, according to Eckel.
“To see the smile on their faces makes me quite happy,” he said.
There is something different to see all the time along the trail, according to the volunteer drivers.
“In the springtime there are the wildflowers, and in the fall, there is the changing of the colors of the leaves on the trees,” Eckel said.
Hundreds of people have enjoyed a nature experience, since 2006, thanks to the South Huron Trail Mobile. Early in the 2019 season, people really wanted to see the wildflowers along the trail and over a two-week period the drivers had the Trail Mobile out on about 10 different days. Even when the weather wasn’t cooperating (with rainy weather or weather that was too hot or too cold) the drivers were still able to take out passengers once or twice a week.
The first two Trail Mobile drivers were Herman Steffens and Jerry Mathers. Eckel has driven the Trail Mobile since 2012, after Steffens retired as a volunteer driver, and Hayter began this year, upon Mather’s retirement as a volunteer driver.
The first vehicle was donated by the Strang family in memory of the late Gordon Strang. Twelve years later, in May of 2018, after many years of service by the first cart, it was time to retire the first Trail Mobile and get a new one. A South Huron Community Grant, from the Municipality of South Huron, combined with a donation from the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation made it possible to acquire and fit a new Trail Mobile, that’s faster and better able to navigate tight areas. The new trail mobile has room for a driver and three passengers. The electric motor makes it a quiet ride, so people can enjoy plants and animals along the trail.
The volunteer drivers had the Trail Mobile out in July on the new boardwalk decking that was replaced early in the month thanks to generous community donors.
Staff at Ausable Bayfield Conservation say the Trail Mobile would not be possible without the countless hours devoted by the volunteer drivers.
“We welcome Jim and thank him for his service this year and I can’t say enough about the years of generous and dedicated service by Norm, Jerry, and Herman – they have all made their community a better place,” said Tim Cumming, Communications specialist. “The hundreds of people who have this special nature experience really value the chance to enjoy this nature trail and that would not be possible without the volunteer drivers.”
Residents of the area’s nursing and retirement homes, as well as individuals who aren’t able to walk the trail, have enjoyed this unique experience. There is no fee but donations are welcome. Rides depend on weather and volunteer driver availability. To book a ride on the Trail Mobile, please contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 and staff will link the public with the volunteer drivers.
Huron County municipalities launch digital main street
Huron County Economic Development is thrilled to announce that Municipalities and Business Improvement Associations across Huron County have received a $70,000 Digital Main Street grant to help Main Street businesses improve their digital marketing and online presence.
A joint program delivered by the Province of Ontario’s Main Street Enhancement Initiative and the Ontario BIA Association, Digital Main Street aims to help businesses with everything from their websites and social media, to launching ecommerce platforms and using data to drive new business opportunities and become more successful.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the many small businesses in Huron County to enhance and grow their digital capabilities with no impact to their operating expenses,” said Jeff Kish, Entrepreneur and Business coach. “Small Main Street businesses are the heart of our communities, and we are committed to ensuring that they continue to flourish.”
Trained digital specialists will begin visiting small, independently-owned businesses in the downtown areas to conduct an audit which will take into account their current online or e-business capabilities and open the door to enhancing those capabilities. They will assist Huron County’s downtown businesses at no cost to help them set up Google Business, conduct a digital-readiness assessment and apply for a $2,500 digital transformation grant.
Businesses within Huron County will be introduced to the Digital Service Squad over the coming months. For more information about the Digital Main Street program, contact Jeff Kish at firstname.lastname@example.org.
behind the bars
Due to high demand, the annual Behind the Bars program is returning to the Huron Historic Gaol.
Behind the Bars runs Tuesdays and Thursdays in July, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in August. The program runs from 7-9 p.m., with last entry at 8 p.m.
Behind the Bars allows visitors to interact with inmates and jail staff. Meet Joseph Griffin, the governor of the jail; Nicholas Melady, infamously known as the last publicly hanged person in Canada; Catherine, who was brought into jail due to homelessness, and many more. Please allow at least 45 minutes for a full tour.
Special admission rates apply to Behind the Bars: $10 for adults, $5 for children, $30 for a family, and free for Museum members and children under five. To purchase tickets, please visit the website, www.huroncountymuseum.ca, or people can buy tickets at the door. For more information, please call 519 524-6971.
Located at 181 Victoria Street North in Goderich, the Huron Historic Gaol was an operating jail from 1841 to 1972. The jail housed criminals, the mentally ill, vagrants, and debtors. The attached Governor’s House is a Victorian style home that was added on in 1901.
Better together gala
On Thursday, Aug. 1, the Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre (HCFBDC) will be hosting the Sixth Annual “Better Together” Gala at the Libro Hall in Clinton.
CTV News Report Scott Miller will be the master of ceremonies for the evening and Huron Shores Catering will provide the dinner. There will also be a live auction featuring, “Layne, The Auctionista” as well as a silent auction, raffle table, “fund-a-need”, entertainment and guest speakers.
The doors will open at 5:30 p.m., the program will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6:45 p.m.
Tickets are $60 each and are available from HCFBDC Board Members; www.eventbrite.ca; or by calling the office at 519 913-2362.
There are still a number of examination room sponsorships available at the Bluewater Area Family Health Team (BAFHT) clinic in Zurich. Families, local businesses, area corporations, associations and service clubs will be recognized for their donation with a plaque on the wall immediately outside the room. All locations are in high traffic areas.
Call Executive Director, Paula Kroll and arrange to have your name displayed prominently at the clinic. Cost is a one-time charge and ranges from $15,000 to $25,000 depending on location.
BAFHT is on a fundraising mission and is looking for volunteers to help organize and run a variety of events to support the clinic and add to the health care services it offers the community. More money means more health care programs can be introduced to benefit the area.
People should not be afraid to suggest fundraising ideas – several heads are better than one - contact Sandra Shaw of the Fundraising Committee at email@example.com
Maitland El Camino
The Maitland Trail Association (MTA) is a charitable organization established in 1975 with the mission of maintaining and developing trails in the Maitland Valley for discovery and appreciation of the natural environment.
The MTA is pleased to announce the 2019 El Camino event. This year’s two-day, 49 KM hike along the Maitland Trail will take place over the weekend of Sept. 28-29. There are also opportunities for participants to complete shorter hikes for those who do not wish to hike the full 49 KM. Each year this challenging, family-friendly event attracts hikers from all across the province.
The hike begins in Auburn and follows the scenic, winding route of the Maitland River, finishing in beautiful Goderich, on the shores of Lake Huron.
Erinn Lawrie from the MTA’s Board of Directors said, “The lower Maitland River is an area of ecological significance, with many unique species that are rare provincially and even globally.”
Hikers on the Maitland Trail traverse wide rambling trails and challenging hills, hiking through towering forests, past farmland, river vistas and autumn meadows. Shuttles are provided to the starting point each day, and along the route there are checkpoints where water and snacks are provided to hikers by enthusiastic volunteers.
A post-hike dinner will be held on the Saturday evening, featuring fresh local food by Sweet Love Eats, Firmly Rooted and Red Cat Bakery.
“The supper is a chance to kick back and refuel after a successful hike, share stories, and meet other hiking enthusiasts from across the province,” said Lawrie.
Registration is now open at www.maitlandtrail.ca and spaces will fill up quickly. The cost for the two-day hike is $30 for adults and $10 for children, which includes shuttles, trail maps, water and snacks, and a souvenir badge upon completion. The Locavore Supper is $30. Registration closes Sept. 14, or when the registration cap is reached.
Visit the MTA’s website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this exciting event.
BACK PACKS FOR KIDS
Every child should experience the delight of having a new back pack for school. Volunteers with the Huron County Back Packs for Kids wants to make that happen.
Children in need of a new back pack for the 2019-20 school year must be registered before Aug. 16. At the time of registration, a pick-up location will be determined in one of five locations: Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Wingham and Zurich. Those who registered will be contacted when a back pack becomes available.
To register for a back pack please call after July 2: Goderich, 519 524-2950; Clinton, 519 482-8586 or Wingham, 519 357-1387.
CLEAN WATER PROJECT
The Huron County Clean Water Project (HCCWP) grant review committee has approved the first grants supporting septic system replacements under the new septic system grant category introduced in 2019. The second intake period for applications is open until Aug. 31.
The grant review committee approved, on June 14, those projects that provide immediate benefits to water quality. Eight other septic applications are carried over, by the committee, to be re-evaluated along with new applications at the September meeting. County septic grant funding is limited so decisions are based on funding available and the projects’ impact on protecting water quality.
People living in the countryside and hamlets – including homes and cottages along Lake Huron – have septic systems to treat household waste from kitchens and bathrooms. When functioning properly, septic systems are a cost-effective, efficient method of treating waste, but they have a lifespan and faulty septic systems are a daily source of contamination. With the advent of summer, with more people in the area and more strain on septic systems, there is the potential for more septic systems to fail, according to staff delivering the program.
The HCCWP is allocating a total of $40,000 to the septic system upgrade category in 2019 with a maximum grant of $2,000 per project. Systems that have the potential to contaminate drinking water and those near municipal drinking water wells are the main focus. Residences west of Hwy 21 are also high priority because of their potential impact on swimming beaches.
The grant approval process for septic projects is similar to other HCCWP projects. Staff will visit the site and help landowners complete the application form which is evaluated by the grant review committee. Applicants will need a cost estimate from a licensed contractor in order to apply. When the project is approved, completed and paid for, staff do a final site visit and the grant is issued.
The HCWP has 17 project categories to help people improve and protect water quality. The county program has provided grants to more than 2,800 projects since 2004.
Huron County people interested in applying for septic projects, or other projects of the HCCWP, are invited to call Doug Hocking at the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority at 519 335-3557, Ext. 236 or Nathan Schoelier, at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, Ext. 263.
The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) is happy to announce that it is adding the “Tranquility Trail”, located on the property behind the Huron Residential Hospice (HRH) on Hwy 8 across from the Woodland Golf Course, near Clinton, to its group of area nature trails.
The trail is approximately 1 KM long and BRVTA volunteers will be enhancing this new trail over the next few months to ensure that it is accessible to HRH residents, their family members and the general public looking for a bit of Zhen time.
The Tranquility Trail was originally constructed in the spring of 2018 by volunteers of the BRVTA, in partnership with the Maitland Trail Association.
The HRH is currently developing a program for a Memorial Forest – which will include some benches – along the trail to enhance the setting and provide an area to remember loved ones.
Visitors can park on the hospice parking lot, and follow the signs toward the back of the property.