AMABILE SINGERS PERFORM IN BRUCEFIELD
The Junior Amabile Singers from London will perform on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. at Brucefield Community United Church. (Submitted photo)
For many, nothing says Christmas like the angelic voices of children singing out the familiar carols of the season.
Huron County citizens are in luck if they want to experience that warm festive feeling again this December. The Fields of Faith Growing Project, under the auspices of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFB) are presenting the Junior Amabile Singers from London on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. at Brucefield Community United Church.
The Amabile Choirs is a non-profit organization with the purpose of bringing together young singers from London and area. The Junior Amabile Singers, which began in 1989, is an all-female choir for singers aged nine to 14 and is regarded as among the premiere choral ensembles for children and youth in Canada. Under the direction of Jacquelyn Norman and Wendy Landon, the choir has a number of significant accolades to boast of.
It competed in the 2012 Golden Gate International Children’s and Youth Choirs Festival in Berkeley, California winning first place in the Children’s Folk Music Category and second in the Children’s Historical Music Class. The choir previously earned gold medals in the 1st Choir Olympics, in Linz, Austria and 3rd Choir Olympics, in Bremen, Germany. In 2010 they performed at the welcome ceremony for the Olympic Torch in Victoria Park, London. And that same year the Jack Richardson Music Awards inducted them into the London Music Hall of Fame.
A quality choir such as the Junior Amabile Singers usually performs in larger venues in London and beyond. But they are bringing their concert, “That’s Christmas to Me” to Huron County and the village of Brucefield, for a great cause.
All proceeds from the concert tickets will go to the Fields of Faith Growing Project, and then on to the CFB to help feed the world’s hungry. And monies earned will also be matched by government funding, to go even farther!
Recently the CFB was named, for the fifth year in a row, one of Canada’s Top 10 Impact Charities. Not only does the Foodgrains Bank deliver emergency food assistance for people in times of crisis, but the organization also uses conservation and agricultural projects as an approach to train people in third world countries through a food-for-work program. Most CFB workers are volunteers, so the lion’s share of donations go to feed the hungry.
Locally, the Fields of Faith Growing Project has been growing crops to raise funds for the CFB for over 30 years. Originally begun as a growing project of the Varna-Goshen United Church congregation, now Brucefield, Brussels, and Seaforth-Cavan churches work together to increase their efforts to feed the hungry. Last year over $20,000 was raised by this local project even before the government top up.
Advance tickets for this wonderful concert are only $20 and available from Doug Norman at 519 482-7148 or from any member of the Fields of Faith Growing Project.
TENET SECURITY GROUP ENFORCES RULES ON CONSERVATION LANDS
Mary Pavey, Bylaw Compliance and Enforcement agent with Tenet Security Group, makes sure bylaws and rules are followed at local conservation areas and trails so everyone can enjoy their outdoor nature experiences. Tenet Security Group is contracted by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). The security officers educate visitors and enforce the rules to protect the safety of all trail and conservation area users and to ensure these nature areas are not damaged. (Submitted photo)
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has contracted Tenet Security Group to enforce the rules in place for conservation lands and trails that ABCA owns and/or manages.
Off-road vehicles, along with dogs off leash and littering, are among the biggest unauthorized uses of ABCA properties. The vast majority of users of conservation areas and trails follow the rules but enforcement is needed for the few exceptions who break the rules, according to Nathan Schoelier, ABCA Stewardship and Lands Manager.
“I appreciate all the conservation area and trail users who help to keep conservation lands safe and clean and who protect these important nature areas,” he said. “Enforcing the rules, such as prohibiting all-terrain vehicles and all other off-road vehicles from ABCA property, is important to protect all the people who use these areas responsibly and to protect the environmental health of the properties.”
ABCA has utilized enforcement officers since the 1990s, to educate visitors and to enforce the rules. In 2022, ABCA appointed Tenet Security Group officers to provide these services. Tenet Security Group is an agency started by a small group of security professionals experienced in legislative enforcement, incident investigation, emergency response, risk awareness and mitigation. The Tenet management team has a combined experience of more than 40 years in the public and private security industry.
Authorized uses are posted on signs at conservation area entrances and listed on the parks and recreation page on the conservation authority’s website (link below). People can email email@example.com or call ABCA at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to speak to a staff person, if they are unsure about an activity, or would like to report unauthorized activity on ABCA owned and/or managed land.
Section 29 of the Conservation Authorities Act and Trespass to Property Act (engage in a prohibited activity) are the two pieces of legislation most commonly used to enforce the rules. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) also enforces provincial regulations on ABCA lands. With the combination of these services (Tenet Security Group, MNRF and ABCA), rules and regulations can be enforced and appropriate action will be taken, according to ABCA. As with all public spaces, people are responsible and liable for their own conduct and the behaviour of their pets. This includes keeping dogs on leashes and maintaining complete control at all times.
ABCA has acquired 9,000 acres of natural areas over more than 75 years. Public access to these green spaces is an important secondary use, according to the conservation authority. Regulations and rules are in place to protect the local environment as well as visitors and their pets.
For those dog owners who want their dogs off leash, the Crediton Conservation Area has a fenced area where dogs are permitted to be off-leash. Dogs must be under control and well-behaved. Dog owners/handlers are responsible for the behaviour of their dogs and need to adhere to the ‘stoop and scoop’ bylaw. Learn more here: Crediton Conservation Area.
For more information on ABCA properties, including conservation area brochures and trail maps, please visit abca.ca/recreation or call the toll free number listed above.
FUND HELPS NEWCOMERS WITH UNFORESEEN EXPENSES
Since the summer of 2022, more than 50 people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine have arrived in Huron County. The new arrivals, who have been hosted by long-time residents in the area, are starting over and are being supported by Knox Presbyterian Church in Goderich as well as other community partners.
Every month in the autumn, the newcomers and their hosts have been gathering in the lower part of Knox Presbyterian Church to share food, meet one another, and learn about various aspects of life in Huron County. Children’s activities have been coordinated by volunteers from the Huron County Library.
The monthly events, coordinated by volunteers and the Huron County Immigration Partnership (HCIP), are an opportunity for people to gather with others who share experiences and language.
“Because Huron County is so large, many people who were arriving in this area were not able to meet each other or didn’t know other people from Ukraine were here. These meet-ups are a chance for people to share information and build community in a new land,” explained Mark Nonkes, manager of the HCIP.
The meet-ups have also been a way to address needs that people face. In October, the Goderich Salvation Army provided new winter coats to adults and children who were in need, along with signing families up for their food assistance program. Gift cards to a department store were also distributed at that meeting, thanks to a donation from the congregation at Knox Presbyterian Church.
A settlement advisor from the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario has also been on hand to provide information to the Ukrainians. Information about health care in Huron County has been provided by community volunteers, along with information about various funds that are available for people in need.
The Goderich Lions Club, in collaboration with community partners, have set up the Huron Area Newcomer Fund (HANF) to provide funds of up to $1,500 to families for unforeseen expenses during their first 18 months in Canada. While this committee was founded with the intent of assisting Ukrainians in need of support, it is available to support newcomers from various countries.
Rev. Amanda Bisson represents the Goderich Ministerial Association on the HANF. She joins John Maaskant, Paul Good and Michael Daley of the Goderich Lions, along with Mark Nonkes of the HCIP and Christine Marshall of the Wingham Community Connectors who collaboratively administer the fund.
For people interested in donating to the Goderich Lions Club’s HANF, cheques can be written to The Goderich Lions Club, with Huron Area Newcomer Fund listed in the subject line. Charitable receipts will be provided for all donations of $20 or more. Cheques can be sent to the Goderich Lions Club, PO Box 65, Goderich ON, N7A 3Y5.
More information about the HANFis available at: www.goderichlions.ca/donate.
SUNSET COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HOSTS FIRST GRANTS GALA
On Nov. 29, the Sunset Community Foundation (Sunset) hosted its first Grants Gala to award 25 grants to community organizations serving Lambton Shores and Huron County totaling $100,00
0. The event was sponsored by the White Squirrel Golf Course in St. Joseph.
Earlier in the year, the Sunset granted $20,000 through the South Huron Vitality Fund serving the South Huron area.
“This is the first time we have gathered grantees and our generous funders at an event to share our appreciation for their contributions. We were overwhelmed in a positive way by the level of grant applications. The grant recipients provide much needed programming and services to our rural area in areas of focus important to the community,” said Sunset Community Foundation Chair Deb Gill.
The Sunset focus areas include children and youth, family and community vitality, health and physical activity, education, social services and low-income impact, preservation of the environment, diversity, equity and inclusion, and arts and culture.
The Sunset has grown its initial endowment started by the Grand Bend PUC to over $3.2 million. In its 20 years, the Sunset has granted approximately $1.2 million to area organizations.
2022 Grant Recipients:
The Grand Bend PUC Fund supported four causes. The charity known as the Jingle Bells Group partnered with the Municipality of Lambton Shores and received $2,000 to purchase lights and decorations to Light Up Grand Bend for the 2023 Holiday Season. Southcott Pines Park Association partnered with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and was given $5,000 for their OAC Clean Up 2023. These funds will provide the labor costs for two people for four weeks to manually remove vegetation and debris having a negative impact on aquatic life. The West Coast Lions Club partnered with the Municipality of Lambton Shores and garnered $3,000 for their Wednesday Familiar Favorites concerts on the beach. Workout for Your Life partnered with Huron Shores United Church and was granted $1,600 for their Seniors Wellness Program to provide workouts three times a week to encourage a wellness program for seniors.
The Reloux Fund supported three causes. North Middlesex YMCA (a satellite site of the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario) was presented with $3,000 to go toward their 2023 Summer Day Camp Bussing for campers ages four to 12. The Optimist Club of Ausable Port Franks partnered with the Municipality of Lambton Shores and received $2,000 for The Ausable Port Franks Fire, Water and Ice Safety Program to provide youth programs related to fire, water, and ice safety. Rural Response for Healthy Children was given $3,000 for Mobile Food Bank Resource Funding to provide activity kits to families via mobile food banks.
The M.J. Muma Fund supported Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health in the amount of $10,000 in support of sustainable community wellness – community based mental health training for two providers to obtain their Mental Health Facilitator Association certification.
The Catherine Campbell Fund provided $2,500 to Huron Shores United Church & Grand Bend Place for their Including Everyone Through Accessibility Upgrades project to provide grab rails in all washrooms and headphones for all individuals with hearing impairment.
The Maureen Cole Family Fund gave $1,900 to Scouts Canada for a Dune Restoration & Environmental Education Day. This event provided hands-on activities such as planting dune grass, cutting down invasive pines and the study of bees and raptors. This day took place just last month!
The Stephanie & Ted Donaldson Family Fund provided $4,000 to Family Connections Cheer Group who partnered with Order of Alhambra, Algarva Charity Council for the Cheer Group’s ongoing learning and a food program that supplies snacks and lunch for a full day respite program that supports adults with intellectual disabilities.
The Bob Down Family Fund presented $2,500 to the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (operating as Lake Huron Coastal Centre) for their Lake Huron Microplastic Awareness Project where teams of volunteers are created to pick up litter along the shorelines and categorize the different types into a database to help create different decision making.
The Environment Legacy Fund supported Lakeshore Eco-Network who partnered with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation with $3,900 for their Reconnecting with Nature Series, activities include speakers, displays, screenings, and guided hikes to further develop an appreciation of nature.
The Grand Men Fund provided $3,000 to the Veterans Memorial Branch #498, Royal Canadian Legion, Grand Bend, Municipality of Lambton Shores for a new sound system.
The Grand Women Fund selected the Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Huron Big Bunch to be the recipients of $10,000. This program partners adults with school age children to participate in weekly activities for the duration of the school year. The funds will assist in expanding the existing Big Bunch program to include an additional site in either Clinton or Seaforth.
The Brian and Irene Hall Fund will benefit the Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre in the amount of $2,000 for Health Promotion Groups in Hensall and Zurich for refrigeration, rental space, food and art costs.
The Hay Communications Fund provided Jessica’s House Hospice $3,000 for their Grief and Bereavement Outreach Program for guest speakers, workshops and print materials.
The Hank Krech Family Fund selected the Grand Bend Non-Profit Housing Corporation to receive $15,000 to provide replacement carpet in the common rooms and hallways at Sauble Court.
The Joyce Lavender Fund gifted $5,000 to the Boys and Girls Club Sarnia-Lambton for Kid Food Nation – three, eight-week sessions that teach children how to prep and create nutritious food in Forest, ON.
The Arnold & Ila Mathers Fund gave $600 to the Blyth Festival Theatre.
The Jack Riddell Family Fund provided the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy with $2,000 for the Warner Wildlife and Nature Preserve Outdoor Launch Day event to be held in late Spring or early Summer 2023 for key stakeholders as well as native tree planting.
The Charlotte Edwards Robinson Memorial Fund donated $4,000 to the Huron Waves Music Festival (HWMF) for the HWMF 2023 Season to provide specialty programming to celebrate First Nations, Metis and Inuit Cultures on June 21-22, 2023.
The Sabourin Family Fund presented $2,500 to the Grand Bend Canada Day Organizing Committee that partnered with the Municipality of Lambton Shores for the Grand Bend Canada Day Event for the musicians playing that day, attracting crowds from all over Lambton Shores and South Huron.
The Henry & Nancy Winters Fund gave $6,000 to the Friends of Pinery Park for a Moth Wall that will create an appreciation for moths in the ecosystem and contribute to the moth database in the area of Pinery Park.
The Prout Family Fund donated $2,500 to the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program that partnered with Huron County Food Bank for a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program supporting travel costs for volunteer accountants travelling to income tax clinics for low income families across Lambton Shores and Huron County.
The Sunset Community Foundation serves the Lambton Shores and Huron County regions in providing grants and stewardship to grow and support vibrant, healthy, diverse and economically sustainable communities.
For more information please contact Lisa Reaume, Executive director, Sunset Community Foundation by calling 519 280-0944 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.