Craig Bakay

Craig Bakay

When GREC science teacher Wade Leonard talked his principal into offering a course in drones (and drone mapping) a couple of years ago, he did see a lot of potential.

But he wasn’t all that sure what that potential would be.

“We’re now solving problems we didn’t even know were problems,” he said. “And we’re seeing all sorts of new tendrils of potential.”

Leonard’s program, which teaches students how to fly a drone and what to do with it once they get it up in the air, has already blazed new trails.

For example, they’ve done studies in Alderville for the Black Oak Savanna and Tall Grass Prairie, tracked last summer’s storm damage for Central Frontenac and the Office of Emergency Preparedness Ontario, done a study of a maple sugar bush, tracked milfoil in North Frontenac lakes, several projects for Central Frontenac included a 3D model of the Caboose in Sharbot Lake, trail mapping and volume of the Olden dump (which even shows trails where bears have dragged off bags of garbage) and are scheduled to create a database of headstones in North Frontenac.

“Our first field trip was to the Black Oak Savanna for the Alderville First Nation,” he said. “We got looking at it and learned that the grass is in colonies — you could see individual plants and colony density became the basis for an ecological study.

“You can’t get that from a satellite because not only does the image have to go through the entire atmosphere, it’s always at an angle and you’ll never see individual plants.”

Each job brings something new.

“When we did a project for Wheeler’s Maple Products to see what might be the best route for the sap lines, we discovered that we could do elevation data,” he said. “We didn’t know we could do elevation data until we got there.”

That’s become useful for other projects as well. For example, they’ve discovered they can see the bottom of a lake in 15 feet of water. They have images of how effective the Malcolm/Ardoch Lakes burlap methodology has been.

“And the Tryon Road severe weather research . . . lots of people were interested in that,” he said. “We saw the extent of the damage.

“We’ve filled a gap.”

And they’ve even attracted the attention of some professors at Carleton University.

“Professor Jesse Vermaire told us ‘we don’t do this on the scale you can,’” Leonard said. “He said ‘we’re doing it on scales of metres and you’re doing it in hectares.’

“We’re going to Carleton to talk to him and some other professors.”

Leonard said his program fits in well with the “Authentic Learning” program at GREC, which also includes their forestry program.

“It’s solving real world problems,” he said. “Through inception, planning, execution, analysis and communication.”

To that extent, he’s changed up his program slightly, making students responsible for setting up dates, looking at weather forecasts for the proposed flight, where to fly and even consulting and communicating with the partner for the mission.

“We’ve got it set up now so everything is hyperlinked for the students such as permission forms, pre-flight, and the students do it all themselves,” he said.

And, with changes in regulations coming in June, students 14 and older will be able fly the drones themselves.

“My read on the new regulations is that not only will the students be licensed but potentially will be able to conduct missions.”

Where this program will lead is anybody’s guess but they’re already breaking new ground continuously.

“Context is everything,” Leonard said. “This is such a new area and we’re the only program in Ontario schools that does mapping.

“We’ve just been out there poking around and stumbled on some techniques that haven’t been done before.”

Sounds like their techniques will be used quite a bit in days to come.

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to see some of the videos Leonard and his charges have made, have a look at his YouTube channel Wade W Leonard.

“Selling edibles isn’t legal yet, but if you want to make your own, it’s OK,” SSgt. Sharon Brown told the SALT lunch Friday at the Grace Centre in Sydenham. “So no bake sale brownies, OK?”

In fact, Brown used humour to make many of her important points during her presentation on what cannabis now being legal means in Ontario from a policing perspective.

“You can smoke cannabis in a private residence or anywhere it’s legal to smoke a cigarette or vape,” she said. “When you’re walking down the sidewalk in downtown Sydenham, don’t crack open a beer, but you can smoke a joint.”

Brown wasn’t being flippant, she was just making a point that one is governed by the Liquor Licensing Act and the other by the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and her audience certainly seemed to appreciate her candor.

“In vehicles and boats, you can’t have cannabis available to the driver, which means passengers can’t be smoking it either,” she said. “Now, in the case of an RV, it can’t be available while the RV is moving, but once you’ve stopped for the night, it becomes your residence and then it’s OK.

“There’s no charges applicable if you’re riding a bicycle because a bicycle is not considered a motor vehicle.”

She did say that passengers in a motor vehicle can consume edibles if they’re in the passenger seat.

She said people 19 and over are allowed to have .30 grams of dried leaf in public but more than that can get you into trouble in varying degrees depending on the amount.

You can’t have products that have been made with solvents such as butane but you can grow your own plants (maximum four plants per residence, regardless of how many people live there.)

“If I come into your house and see four plants, it’s OK,” she said. “More than that and you’re likely getting charged.”

She said that Oct. 17, the day cannabis became legal in Canada “came and went and it was pretty non-descript” in this area at any rate.

She said the best thing about legalization is the effect it should have in cutting down on the illicit drug trade, helping to make marijuana laced with things like cocaine and fentanyl less available.

“Right now, the only legal way to get cannabis is at the online government store,” she said.

When asked about all the ‘pot shops’ in Deseronto, she said: “I’m going to do a Gretzky-like pass and not talk about that.”

She did say that police are concerned about drivers impaired by cannabis and they are sending more officers for training in how to spot in and conduct roadside testing.

But, they aren’t going to be using anything like a Breathalyzer just yet.

“The OPP are not going with screening devices right now,” she said. “I don’t want a machine that ‘might’ work.”

There is another SALT talk on cannabis scheduled for Jan. 25 in the Verona Free Methodist Church at 11:30 a.m.

There is no charge for SALT talks admission and lunch is provided. The lunch at the Grace Centre was particularlly good.

North Frontenac passed a resolution at its regular meeting Monday morning in Plevna to hire a consultant to conduct interviews with its Ward 1 firefighters.

Director of Emergency Services/Fire Chief Eric Korhonen told Council that “our Ward 1residents aren’t getting the same level of service the other two wards are, for one thing, there are a number of different bylaws” and “I do believe there is a cost savings to be had.”

The measure wasn’t on the original agenda, which led Coun. John Inglis to ask “it’s a bit of a news item to me — am I alone on that?”

North Frontenac has a joint agreement with neighbouring Addington Highlands Township to provide fire and emergency services to the former Barrie Township, North Frontenac’s most westerly ward through the joint Kaladar/Barrie Fire Department.

North Frontenac took a look at how it delivers these services in Wards 2 and 3 previously, a study that included interviews with firefighters and support staff.

Coun. Gerry Martin supported the idea.

“We got good results interviewing Ward 2 and 3 volunteers,” Martin said. “We should do the same with Ward 1.

“We got a better fire department because we talked to those people.”

But other councilors weren’t so sure this new study would be such a good idea.

“I’m not in favour,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry. “We’ve improved this agreement over time and I don’t want a witch hunt.

“If you make the wrong move, you’re going to have an issue.”

“We might be poking a bear here,” said Coun. Vernon Hermer. “We could be alienating some people.”

Inglis asked how this proposal came about and CAO Cheryl Robson said: “this was all discussed during the Fire Master Plan debate.

“We’re not asking Addington Highlands for any money, we’re just asking the joint committee for approval and I’m looking at whether to put this in the budget.

“I don’t know what the recommendations will be.”

“So this isn’t coming about because somebody is screaming at us about service,” said Inglis.

Korhonen tried to argue for more latitude for the consultant but Council was leery of that.

“I think the consultant will need a little more freedom than just interviewing staff,” Korhonen said.

He also said that he wasn’t aware of any similar joint fire committees in the Province.

 

• • •

During a rather routine zoning amendment procedure, it was noted that the property was on a private lane with a locked gate.

Fire Chief Eric Korhonen was asked if that presented a problem in the event of an emergency.

“We either roll over them (locked gates) or we cut the lock,” he said. “There isn’t much that can stop our equipment.”

 

• • •

Council approved the hiring of a summer student to help with the efforts to study and control the infestation of Eurasian Milfoil on Malcolm and Ardoch Lakes.

“It’s an experiment the MNR has approved,” said Mayor Ron Higgins.

“I’m not sure if we’re throwing money away but if they learn something, that will be applicable to our other lakes,” said Coun. John Inglis. “The major (tax) contributors are our seasonables and this addresses their issue.”

 

• • •

Coun. Gerry Martin took exception to the existence of the Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection Committee and how its members are selected.

“This is just bureaucratic system creep and what Randy (MPP Hillier) was talking about,” Martin said. “There’s some empire building going on.”

“Is this the thing where they’re going to tax our private wells?” said Coun. John Inglis.

“Ottawa has two members, Perth, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place have one,” said Martin. “They all have municipal water supplies.”

“I’ll talk to the other mayors and come back with some information in February,” said Mayor Ron Higgins.

“We’re still looking for jumpers,” said Janet Barr, organizer of this year’s Polar Bear Plunge which is now in its ninth season as part of the annual Frontenac Heritage Festival. “We have four people signed up already.”

The Plunge has become a highlight of the Sunday festivities of the Festival, which is held on the Family Day long weekend in February.

This year’s plunge goes Feb. 17 at noon.

Besides being one of the Festival attractions, the Plunge also raises money for local charities. This year’s recipients will be The Treasure Trunk, Northern Connections and the Central Frontenac Fire Department.

Pledge forms are available at The Treasure Trunk, Community Living North Frontenac or by calling Barr at 613-279-2113.

There are prizes for best costume, most pledges, youngest plunger and oldest plunger, she said.

Barr said they’d like to get more than last year’s 20 participants and maybe even beat the all-time record of 45 plungers.

With the exception of July and August, there’s country music at the community centre in Sunbury. It’s been going on for 17 years, although it’s really been going strong for the past 10 years or so.

“The lady who started it off was Margaret Smith,” said guitar player John Kott. “They didn’t have too many people back then.”

But about 10 years ago, with the advent of Jack’s Jam in Plevna and the Bedford Jam (nee Piccadilly Jam) as well as a few others, Kott, along with fellow aficionados Wayne Eaves and Elwood Rollins took it over and it’s been a going concern ever since.

“Yeah, we’re the ‘executive,’” said Kott, laughing. “But we usually have 25 to 35 entertainers and play to three-quarters to a packed house.”

Kott, who still plays with Jeff Code’s band, said there’s a lot of reasons he keeps doing it into his ’70s.

“Well, it keeps me practised up,” he said. “I’ll keep doing it for a few more years anyways.

“But it’s a good opportunity for those who are just learning to get up and play in front of an audience.

“We’ve had one lady, Thelma McMacken, who just started at 91.”

He said any money raised goes back to the audience in the form of prizes.

“And it’s good for the mind and body,” he said. “It gets you out of the house.”

Barry and Sheila Calthorpe, who show up at many of the open mikes and jams in the area are regulars here too.

“It’s good to see everybody, it’s like a family,” said Sheila. “And we really like to encourage the newcomers.”

“We’ve encouraged all we can,” said Barry. “Some of them to the point they’re better than us.”

Wednesday, 09 January 2019 12:16

Blue Skies Fiddle Orchestra packs Maberly Hall

For 19 years, the Blue Skies Fiddle Orchestra has been playing a ‘Little Christmas’ concert in January and last Sunday it once again filled the Maberly Hall with people and music.

Joined by the Lanark Fiddlers Guild, the group played a three-hour concert with a variety of tunes ranging from Logging Camp Christmas to Silent Night under the direction of conductor Cindy McCall, who’s now in her ninth year at the helm of the group.

McCall needed some time to collect herself after the concert but offered: “This happens every concert — I put my heart and soul into it.”

The orchestra itself consists of some 60 players, including 36 or so in the main group along with about 15 beginners and 10 intermediates.

“The transformative effect this has on people in terms of community is amazing,” McCall said. “It crosses all ages and not many organizations are like that.”

Jessica Wedden, who’s been making a name for herself as a solo performer for some time now, would agree. A high school student now, this was her fifth Little Christmas concert and she got her start with the orchestra.

“Cindy’s amazing,” Wedden said. “Everyone’s so supportive.”

For Wedden, although she enjoys her solo career and/or playing with one or two other musicians, said playing with the orchestra is cathartic.

“It’s relaxing,” she said. “It’s really nice playing with so many other people who support each other.”

The group really does span all ages, from kids to great grandparents.

The acknowledged veteran of the group is Martina Field-Green, who played in the very first concert back in 2000.

“For the first few years, we played at Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake,” she said. “We were about 12-15 people then and it was just fiddles — we didn’t start adding other instruments until later.

“It was the dream of (founder) Carolyn Stewart.”

She said Stewart started bringing in workshops and they started adding things like pennywhistles and “drums to keep us together.”

She said they gradually started adding more instruments.

“Carolyn’s dream was to bring fiddle music back to the area where it was so prevalent many years ago,” she said.

If you’d like to join the group, learn fiddle or are just curious, call McCall at 613-278-2448.

In addition to lessons and concerts, they also go to jamborees in Cape Breton and PEI and hold an annual Jamathon fundraiser.

“We draw people from all sorts of remote communities,” she said. “It’s affordable because of the support from Blue Skies in the Community.”

It was billed as a Special Council meeting to establish North Frontenac’s ‘Goals’ for 2019-2022’s Strategic Plan, but Coun. John Inglis opened up another topic — Mayor Ron Higgins’ interview on Lake 88 (available as a podcast on the radio station’s website) in which Higgins talked about the Township, his role as Frontenac County Warden and then his plans for One Small Township, a multi-faceted plan for economic development that Council has yet to buy into.

Inglis said it sounded like Higgins was talking about Township involvement in the project when he used the term ‘we’ in that part of the interview.

“You should have mentioned that the Township doesn’t support it,” Inglis said. “We agreed you would no longer imply the Township was behind this project.”

“You said ‘North Frontenac is the first Township to initiate the concept of contributionism,’” said Coun. Vernon Hermer.

Higgins apologized saying he was referring to the management team of One Small Township.

And then, Higgins said that financing is imminent.

“I’ll be getting a cheque in mid-February,” he said. “I’m expecting to break ground on some projects in early spring.”

Higgins said he couldn’t name his backers at this time, but urged Council to support them.

“Part of it is that the people (putting up the money) would like to be recognized with a plaque in the Township office,” Higgins said. “There’s going to be up to 50 jobs created and people moving into the community.”

“I’m trying to look at scenarios,” said Inglis. “I think we have a certain amount of responsibility to do that.”

“If Council doesn’t want any part of it, then we’ll go the co-op route,” said Higgins.

He said he had asked Township treasurer Kelly Watkins about the possibilities of setting up a trust fund to put the money in.

Higgins said the plan is to set up something like similar properties in British Columbia.

“I’m concerned about the true source of the money,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “I’ve heard about money laundering schemes.”

“This reminds me of the advice the OPP gives seniors,” said Hermer. “If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

 

• • •

Council did establish its goals for the 2019-2022 term:

Economic/Community Development

Investigate incentives for business

Tourism Expansion

Volunteer Recognition

Support initiatives for Seniors to remain in the Community for as long as possible

Proceed with a multi-unit affordable residence for senior

Explore opportunities for Seniors to remain in their homes

Enhance and Sustain Capital Assets/Infrastructure

Maintain Asset Management Plan to ensure long term sustainability

Maintain Reserves/Reserve Funds

Enhance Communications Plan

Train Council on Social Media

Enhance communications mechanisms and information to reach all of the public

Attract a diverse Council.

Much of the discussion was focused on potential economic development but several members of Council were resigned to the fact that there really wasn’t a lot any Council could do.

“The Municipal Act says we can’t get into competition with other municipalities by offering tax incentives,” said Coun. John Inglis. “I personally don’t see a lot of opportunities for us.”

When it came to development, Inglis pointed out the “competing interests” of the municipality being a desire to expand the tax base while maintaining the “pristine nature” of North Frontenac.

Mayor Ron Higgins pointed out the lack of overnight accommodation available (most lodges and trailer parks get booked for the season) and suggested the Township might get involved in a small cabins project similar to what Bon Echo Provincial Park is trying.

“The cabins can pay for themselves in one season,” he said.

“But does the Township want to get into the accommodation business?” said Inglis.

“You have to find the land first,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry.

When it came to job creation, Coun. Gerry Martin had this to say: “Most people who come here are in the second stage of their lives. They’re not looking for jobs.”

In several cases, the wording of the goals was influenced by staff members Corey Klatt, manager of community development and Darwyn Sproule, public works manager, who said they use such things when applying for grants.

 

 

• • •

Council also passed a couple of other resolutions.

One was to get 24-hour ambulance service (particularly at Robertsville) and a potential septic waste disposal site on the agenda for the next Frontenac County Council meeting.

The other was a Gerry Martin request to look into changing the Township logo.

“I just don’t like it,” Martin said.

Wednesday, 09 January 2019 12:15

Central Frontenac Council meeting January 8

Central Frontenac’s first Council meeting of 2019 Tuesday evening at Oso Hall was pretty quiet as these things go.

The Township is considering changing how it allots computers and/or compensates Council members for computer equipment.

However, when estimates for new laptops were given at $1,500 per computer (times nine for the number of Council members or $13,500), the matter was tabled until budget time to allow staff to acquire more information (read find a cheaper solution).

“There are three people around this table (Coun. Bill MacDonald, Elwin Burke and Nicki Gowdy) who don’t have computers here,” said Smith. “I think deferring this today and looking for something cheaper is the way to go.”

 

Cannabis retailing a go
For the record, Central Frontenac officially voted to opt-in on cannabis retail outlets. Coun. Tom Dewey asked for a recorded vote which was unanimous.

 

EOTA update
Cindy Cassidy from the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance was at Council for an update on their activities and to ask Council for its regular contribution.

Coun. Bill MacDonald took the opportunity to ask Cassidy if she’d heard anything on the rumoured VIA Rail line that might come through the area and how it might affect the east-west trail given that much of it is the former rail line.

“They (VIA) met with us and told us that they haven’t had federal funding approved so it will take awhile if anything is done,” Cassidy said. “But they did tell us that if a new rail line is built, they’ll build a trail right along side of it.”

 

In-house plowing
Coun. Brent Cameron asked acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong for his thoughts and perspectives on how taking back several winter maintenance routes inhouse has worked out.

“I’ve only gotten one call that was a complaint,” Armstrong said. “Cost-wise, it’s too early to tell but quality-wise, it’s as good or better.”

“I don’t think we’ll be able to get an answer for a couple more years because our contracts used to be for three years,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald.

 

Hospital ask
Representing the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospitals, Gardner Church was at Council asking for a donation — to the tune of $63,073.

 

Meeting time change?
Notice of motion was given to have a change in the times of Council meetings moved to 6 p.m. from the current 4 p.m.

You go in, pay your $9, tell them how you want your eggs done and then grab a coffee and a date square while you wait for them to bring your eggs on a plate. Then you go up to the warming table to add beans, fries and/or hash browns, bacon and/or sausage.

This is breakfast at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club house on select Saturday mornings.

“This is our fundraiser because we don’t get any money from trail fees,” said spokesperson Alice Gilchrist last Saturday morning. “We still have to pay for hydro, propane, taxes and toilet paper.

“Last year, we managed to make enough to buy a dishwasher and that’s been great. This year, we’re hoping to buy a generator for when the power goes out.”

They also manage to find funds for various charities, including melanoma, wheels of hope, Alzheimer’s and last year they hosted a snowmobile Ride for Dad fundraiser for prostate cancer. (They won’t be doing that this year because of unpredictable snow/trail conditions and lack of volunteers to handle such a large event.)

“We’re always looking for volunteers,” said Gilchrist. “Our trails aren’t open yet, a lot of that is because many of them are in swampy areas or cross lakes/rivers.

“But SNOW is our biggest problem. Mother Nature on our side would really help out.”

Gilchrist said that there were no such things as groomed trails when they started out.

“There used to be a group of five clubs that formed the K & P Trails Association that began in 1976,” she said. “One by one they folded and we’re the last one.

“But we’re still covering all the trails, just not in an association.”

But they’re hoping Mother Nature will cooperate soon. Until then, there’s still breakfast.

“We’ve gone through more than 20 dozen eggs and that doesn’t count the scrambled eggs that come in bags,” she said. “We have great community support and people come from as far away as Kingston, Smiths Falls and Stittsville.

“It’s a great family sport/activity.”

If you thought the Villages Beautiful Festival of Trees just gets bigger every year, you’d be pretty close. “We have 61 entries this year,” said Sally Angle, one of the organizers. “That ties for another high. “But the biggest thing this year is that we’ve had much more community support than in previous years. “We have a bunch of newer residents, new blood, and it’s been nice to share the work out more.” One big change this year is that all of the trees came with lights on them, but none of the entrants seemed to mind. “It’s hard to find trees without lights now,” Angle said. “We buy the trees so that everybody starts off on the same footing and since the trees are more expensive, and though we subsidize them to a certain degree, we’ve had to charge a little bit more. “But we’ve had no complaints. “Frankly, I think a lot of people were just as happy not having to string lights on their trees.” This is Villages Beautiful’s fundraiser for the year and has been following the same format more or less since it began. Entrants create Christmas creations in eight categories, then people come in and put tickets in the boxes by the entry they’d like to win. Winners are chosen by a ticket being picked out of the box. The weekend show also features local music and goodies for sale. This year’s theme was “Christmas Stories.” Of course the main reason for entering the Festival of Trees is to help support the good work Villages Beautiful does. But there’s also a bit of bragging rights for the year involved. The Festival organizers have compiled a complete list of winners (see below)

 

2018 Festival of Trees Winners

Christmas Stories . . . was the theme for this year’s Festival of Trees. All entries showed creativity and great talent. Winners were two-fold: those who entered an item, and those who took it home!

Large Trees: W.A. Robinson Asset Management Ltd. won 1st prize for their tree “12 Days of Christmas” and the lucky winner was Neda Debassige-Toeg. The 2nd prize went to Community Living for their creation “A Spidery Christmas Miracle”, taken home by Debbie Hackett. The 3rd prize was St. Lawrence College Employment Services with “The Polar Express to Employment Service” which was won by Phil Gray. “It’s Joyful and Triumphant!” decorated by the Township of CF went to Dawn Gillam. The Friday Night Ladies tree “Nutcracker SWEET” was won by Tanya Whan and “Rudolph” by Mike Dean’s Super Foods went to Dawnalda Wilson.

Medium Trees – 1st prize entry by NFTC “The Legend of the Poinsetta” was won by Glenda Sly; 2nd prize by Sharbot Lake Pharmasave, “Merry Grinchmas Tree” went home with T. Asselstein; and 3rd prize winner, “The Little Engine That Could” by CF Railway Heritage Society went to Mike Thompson. “Once Upon a Christmas” by Lakeside Readers went to Debbie Harding; “The Best Stories begin with an Experience” by GREC Parent Council went to Maureen and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by N.F. Little Theatre was won by D. Jones.

Mini Trees: Yoga Connection won 1st prize for their entry of “Tree Meditation” which was won by Alysha Hamilton. “The Story of Christmas” took 2nd prize by the Parham United Church Sunday School and went to L. Pickett. RFCS Day Care won 3rd Prize for their entry of “Tree of Knowledge (A Gift of Reading) went to Stephanie.

Anything Goes: “A Christmas Carol” by Coldwell Banker received 1st prize in this category and was won by Jacob Whalen. “The Three Bears’ Christmas” by Nancy Harding took 2nd prize and was won by Scott Carl. The 3rd prize, “Let Christmas Sparkle” by Linda DeVries went to Shirley Burke. “Included in all the Reindeer Games” by the Treasure Trunk was won by Sarah McCullough. “The Grinch” by Seeds & Co. was won by Sharon Gable and “Christmas Conversations” by Goodfellow’s Flowers was brought home by Ilona Cox. “Talk Around the Table” by Ram’s Esso went to Bonnie; George Allen’s “Sharbot Lake Express” went to Nicki Hearns and the Community Drop In “Light of the World” was won by Shirley Burke; “A Gift of Love” by Lindsay Stephenson went to Kathy Scott; the entry by the RFCS Youth Program of Arden “Frosty the Snowman” was won by Barry Allen. The Maples “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was won by Barb Hopper and C.J. won Joanne Pickett’s of Arden Pottery “Bee Sweet”.

Baskets – “The Night Before Christmas at Grandma’s House” by the Medical Center Fitness Class took 1st prize and was won by Betty-Ann Blyth; “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” by Seed to Sausage won 2nd prize and went home with Shelley Purdy; 3rd prize, “Nutcracker Suite (Sweet)” by the Friends of Arden to Faye Steele. “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by the Sharbot Lake & District Lions won by Mary Stinson; “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Frontenac Catalyst LEO Club was won by Nathan; “Getting Ready for Christmas Stories” by the Canadian Legion to Germaine Wilks; “Tales over Coffee” by Cardinal Cafe to C.J.; “Sweet Christmas Time” by Sharbot Lake Country Inn to Shelley Hamilton; “Sugar Plum Dreams” by Wine Plus to Justin Gray; “Christmas Magic” by Sharbot Lake Retirement Centre to Glenys Bender; “Christmas in Whoville” by the Food Bank went to Cindy Young; “A Frosty Sleigh Ride” by St. Lawrence Employment Services to Sondra Feasby; “Believe in the Magic of Christmas” by S.L. Wellness Clinic was won by Nolan; “Festival Brushings!” by S.L. Dental Office went to Misty Wheeler and “Go Nuts” by Lake District Realty went home with Janet Anderson.

Gingerbread Creations: 1st prize went to “Bumbles’s After Cookies” by Northern Connections Adult Learning and was won by Noah Hertendy. 2nd prize, “Railway Heritage Park” by Heritage Railway Assoc. went to Miles Moore. 3rd prize “Christmas Vacation” by Suzanne Veh was won by Mia Camean and “The Christmas Tradition” by Anne Howes and Heather Card was won by Deb Jones.

Wreaths: “The Story of Christmas” by Sharbot Lake 39’ers received 1st prize and was won by Shirley C. The 2nd prize wreath, “A Wilderness Christmas”, entered by the Arden Seniors, went home with Mickey; and 3rd prize, “Journey in Ginger” by Flight Centre Independent to Lilley Legacy-Zierer.

Wall Hangings: Mike Mahoney was the lucky winner of the 1st prize “Grandma’s Christmas Storybook” by Arden Batik; 2nd prize “The Raven that Stole Santa’s Hat” by Gallery on the Bay went to Marisa Hibbard; and Janice Anderson was the 3rd prize winner for “The Grinch” to Marisa Hibbard. The winner of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” by Rosmarie Bowick was Brenda Perrin; “Frosty the Snowman” by Ron Veh went to Angie Cowdy and “Memories of Poppa” by Carol Raymo was won by Angie Mallette.

Gift Certificates – The Gibson’s Garage gift certificate for an Oil Change was won by Liz Bonser; the Amazing Dollar Store certificate went to Max Conboy; the Weekend Stay at Rock Hill B&B was won by Lynne Taylor and the Free Platter from Subway was won by R.B.

The food hamper (valued at $200) put together by Villages Beautiful, was won by Jim Dew. The People’s Choice Award, as well The Children’s Choice Award went to “The Grinch” by Seeds & Co.

Each year Villages Beautiful recognizes a person or persons who have contributed their time and effort to the festival over the years. This year that recognition went to Ann Howitt.

Many others must be recognized too: there are those who, instead of making an entry, contribute “in kind”, either financially or through services needed by the festival. Villages Beautiful thanks the following: Cota’s Catering; Sharbot Lake Marina; Ireton Fendley Prof. Corp; Donna’s Sign Shoppe; Home Hardware; Gray’s Grocery; Mike Dean’s Super Foods; Tarasick Carpentry, Sydenham Veterinary Services; Leonard Fuels; Goodfellows Funeral Home; Ultramar/Square Boy Pizza; and 1010 Lawn & Garden Centre.

Thank you to all the volunteers that made this year another success. The theme for next year is: “Down Home Country Christmas”.

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