Anyone travelling Rutledge Road between Sydenham and Harrowsmith in the early afternoon last Saturday may well have wondered where the fire was. For an hour or so, several fire trucks raced back and forth between the two villages, sirens howling.
The quick answer is that they were helping keep our fire insurance rates down. A relay of tankers filled up at Sydenham creek near the Rutledge Road bridge in Sydenham, raced off to dump the water on the outskirts of Harrowsmith, turned around and screamed flashing back to Sydenham to repeat the performance. Deputy Chief Veldman took time from directing traffic to confirm that the goal was to prove to insurance actuaries their ability to pump and deliver a given amount of water per minute over a set length of time, in what’s called the Superior Water Shuttle. South Frontenac Volunteer Fire Department has continued to maintain an excellent performance record, which is applied to insurance statistics in rural areas.
On April 9 at approximately 5 pm, Frontenac Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received several complaints of a possible impaired driver in a large truck on Road 38 northbound near Murvale Road in South Frontenac Township.
Officers located the vehicle on Alton Road just north of the town of Harrowsmith. As a result of the investigation the 36- year old male driver Corey Fleming of South Frontenac Township was charged under the Criminal Code of Canada with: Driving Motor Vehicle While Ability Impaired by Alcohol; Driving with More than 80 mgs of Alcohol in Blood.
The vehicle was seized for 7 days and the driver's licence was immediately suspended for 90 days. The accused was released on a Promise to Appear to attend the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston on May 4th.
In the season of giving, Sam Davison, President of the Grass Hogs Lawn and Tractor Club presented the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada a cheque for $1400.00. Pamela Morey, Kingston’s Children’s Wish Foundation Chapter head proudly and graciously accepted the donation Friday, December 16th at the Harrowsmith Social and Athletic Club. Davison mentioned that his club, which is based in Kingston, has been holding 50/50 draws at every race over the past 2 years and that some of the members even donated their winnings back to the cause. The Grass Hogs Club has been going since 2007 and consists of people from Ottawa to London. They race throughout the summer months at many exhibitions and fairs throughout Ontario. Davison and his members wanted to support local people who are going through a hard time. They want the money to go where it is needed and Children’s Wish is the perfect place.
The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada is the largest all-Canadian wish granting charity, dedicated to granting wishes to children between the ages of 3 and 17 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For more than 30 years, Children's Wish has worked tirelessly to grant heartfelt wishes to nearly 25,000 children and their families. Last year they granted nearly 1200 wishes, their largest wish granting year in their 32 year history.
Many children from Kingston and area have been the recipients of wishes. Morey’s son received a wish last year. According to Morey, “wishes help take the child’s mind off their health for a while so they can concentrate on happier things, which is what a child should be thinking of especially this time of year.”
Visit www.childrenswish.ca or call 613-221-9474 for more information and to donate during the holidays.
The Harrowsmith and District Social and Athletic Club hosted its annual Santa Clause parade in Harrowsmith this past Saturday.
The parade started Centennial Park, travelling down Notre Dame Street to Colebrook and back to Road 38 to end back at the park.
The fire department started the parade, followed by the South Frontenac Community Services bus collecting donations for the food drive. The Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church, Kingston District Shrine Club and The Salvation Army were just a few of the many beautifully decorated floats in the parade line this year. The Girl Scouts followed along, dressed as Santa’s reindeer wishing everyone they saw a very merry Christmas.
The parade ended with an appearance from Santa himself riding on the Frontenac Firefighters Association’s float.
Everyone was invited back to Harrowsmith and District Social and Athletic Club afterward to warm up and enjoy free refreshments, compliments of the club’s volunteers.
Every year, the event gets a great crowd of people gathered down the main stretch of Harrowsmith to enjoy the parade line-up. This year was no different.
However, what did change was the parade committee’s director. Don Betke has been a part of the club for many years. He took over organizing the parade this year and did an excellent job according to the Harrowsmith and District Social and Athletic Club’s president Pam Morey.
Morey says that it is events like these that bring people together. “It’s a feel good event,” she says. “It’s nice to see all of the young families coming out… there are lots of new faces here.”
Morey has been in her current role since 2013. She worked with the rest of her club members for months to organize this wonderful community event.
The club is made up of volunteers from all around the township. “We host different community events throughout the year to provide something and somewhere for people to go in their community instead of travelling to Kingston,” says Morey.
Aside from the Santa Clause parade, the club is also in charge of running things like Canada Day celebrations in Centennial Park, dances and different fundraisers.
Morey says that an event like this would take approximately two months of planning and several meetings to ensure that all of the bases are covered and that nothing is left out.
The club encourages other residents in the area to get involved. Morey says she hopes that events like these will inspire people to come out and be more active in their community.
Max Sadlowski will be bringing his Internet Technology expertise to Frontenac and L&A counties, courtesy of a program that is being offered by the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation and the County of Lennox and Addington.
The program includes a series of workshops about practical ways rural business owners can make use of digital technology to cut costs, attract new customers, and maintain or hire new staff.
The first workshop that is being offered is about the use of Shopify and other online sales systems to expand to markets far from home, and the second is a more general one, Online Marketing 101, which covers everything from developing a basic web profile to setting up and updating websites, using mobile technology, etc.
Full information about the date and location of the workshops is available at the project web page on the Frontenac CFDC website. Go to Frontenaccfdc.com and look for the workshops tab
Max Sadlowski worked with small and medium businesses in Toronto before moving to Kingston 1 ½ years ago to expand his business. He established Spotlight Learning, an in-home tutoring company, in short order, and after setting up a website, social media and other tools for the business, he received enquiries from other Kingston businesses asking for advice on enhancing or establishing their own web presence. That soon led to him setting up his own consulting business, while his mother continues to run Spotlight Learning.
In the first few weeks since taking on the project in Frontenac and L&A, Sadlowski said he has learned a few things already.
One is the scale of the need and desire for more digital tools in the rural areas.
“I under-estimated the need. Online marketing and sales, even on a basic level, often sinks to the bottom of the to-do list for businesses because people are so busy dealing with customers and getting through the day. But with the new tools that are always being developed, there are easy, low-cost ways to use many tools that can be implemented quickly and cheaply,” he said.
The project will run into 2018. Given the changing nature of online tools, topics for workshops and other services will be constantly under development.
“We will talk to the businesses about their challenges and goals and since things are changing so quickly in the tech world, we will always be looking at new solutions that are coming on stream. For example, new systems for accepting payment through credit and debit cards have just come on stream and they can make it easier and cheaper for businesses to get into. These are things that we can offer now that I might not have been able to three or six months ago,” he said.
In addition to workshops, the project includes one on one consulting in some cases. Everything that is available can be found on the project home page.
The Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC), which is funded by Industry Canada, has been a source of grants and loans to businesses in Frontenac County for over a decade.
Now, for the first time, they are looking for some money to flow in from the local community.
Anne Prichard, the executive director of the FCFDC, has appeared before Frontenac County and South Frontenac Councils over the past week seeking financial support.
At her presentation to Frontenac County on September 21, she outlined how the agency had its operating funding cut by over $70,000 in 2012/2013, and as a result has had to cut one staff position.
At the same time, the loan portfolio of the FCFDC has increased by 41% since 2013.
“That has only accelerated in recent months” she said, “and while we are pleased with this success, it has placed stress on both our operational and investment funds.”
In 2015, in order to cover operating expenses, with the approval of its funder and its board of directors, the FCFDC diverted a small portion, $35,000 of its interest revenue to cover operating expenses.
The rest of the interest revenue is returned to the pool of funds that are available for loans.
“However, with the increasing demand for loans, in 2016 we need that money to lend out,” said Prichard.
The FCFDC is presenting two options for support to Frontenac County and also to the Township of South Frontenac.
Option one is for a grant of $35,000 to cover the shortfall in operating funding, and option 2 is for $30,000 to go directly to the Food and Beverage (FAB) region program.
The money would be used, in part, to participate in a number of trade shows that are coming up over the next six months. As an example of the impact of these shows, Prichard talked about one Frontenac County restaurant that the FCFDC works with, the Wolfe Island Grill.
“A spot opened up at a conference in Montreal, and we offered it up to Casey Fisher of the Wolfe Island Grill to bring a line of home meals he had developed. The contacts he made there changed his whole business outlook,” she said.
Prichard said that the funding model that is used for the community futures development corporations across the province makes it difficult for smaller, newer ones like Frontenac to operate and a new funding model is in the works, which should alleviate the financial issues in the future.
“In a sense, you are a victim of your own success,” said North Frontenac Councilor John Inglis at the presentation to Frontenac County on September 21. “But would not the CFDC be self-sustaining with a larger loan portfolio?”
“Yes, and that is the advantage that the larger, more established CFDCs have. For us, we would have to almost double our portfolio to get there,” said Prichard.
After delivering a similar presentation to South Frontenac Council, Councillor Ron Sleeth asked Anne Prichard how many businesses the FCFDC serves in a year.
“I can tell that since April 1st of this year we have made 26 loans. We give out from 50-95 grants each year and do about 150 consultations with businesses each year,” Prichard said.
South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal then said, “As everyone knows we are a very big part of he county as far as paying into the budget. I would like to see how this is played out there before we look at it for our own budget.”
Organizers of the 1st Annual Northern Classic Car Show were pleased with the turn out on July 24 at Harrowsmith Centennial Park. With over 65 vehicles registered, plus silent auction items donated from local businesses, the organizers were hoping to raise enough money to help a few kids with the cost of registering and playing hockey with the Frontenac Flyers Minor Hockey Association.
Rick Law of the Godfrey Social Club was in attendance and had motorcycles on display for the kids to get their picture taken on. Law played classic 50s and 60s music throughout the day, which added to the relaxed feel at such a great location. With most of the cars in the shaded, treed area of the park, car enthusiasts were able to get a really good look at all the vehicles and have a bite to eat at picnic tables and benches. Organizer Larry Teal felt it was a great first year and is optimistic it will grow next year.
It started steady and built from there as people trooped to the covered porch at Gilmour's on 38 in Harrowsmith for hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages at the annual barbeque fundraiser for Clothes For Kids. The event, which was held on July 8 this year, is jointly put on by Gilmour's and Friendly Fires of Kingston.
In 2015, the barbeque raised over $4,000 and that total was likely surpassed last Friday afternoon. The $5 cost of the meal, for which all of the supplies were donated, was often supplemented by extra donations from the store's patrons, most of whom stopped to talk to the owner, Nick Gilmour.
Clothes For Kids is a Kingston-based charity that works with partners, including Northern Frontenac Community Services, to provide snowsuits and other winter gear for children who need them in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington and Gananoque regions.
While the kids played games, adults took the opportunity to visit at events throughout the region on a Canada Day where the rain held off, for the most part. The oddest event this year was certainly the best legs contest for men at Harrowsmith. Top left - waiting to get into the bouncey castle at Centennial Park (Harrowsmith) - top middle - Cooking up a storm at Gerald Ball Park (Sunbury) - top right, riding the Water Slide at the Point Park in Sydenham, and bottom right, the 2017 150th anniversary committee already promoting their plans for next year at the beach in Sharbot Lake
Vintage car lovers need to mark Sunday, July 24 on their calendars. That's the date of a new car show at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith, which will run from 8 am to 4 pm.
The show was the brainchild of Larry Teal, a vintage car enthusiast from nearby Howes Lake who maintains 10 vintage cars in gleaming condition and good working order. He has purchased vehicles locally, and gone as far as Phoenix, Arizona to pick one up. He said he is always able to source parts to keep the cars running smoothly.
For 20 years, Teal participated in the Verona Car Show, which was part of the Verona Festival and will now be running as a stand-alone event in early August. He has always thought that Harrowsmith Centennial Park could be ideal for a car show, so he approached the township last year to see if they would be amenable to him hosting his own event.
“I thought that since it is such a great park, we should use it, and when I approached the township they were all very helpful, so I went for it and haven't looked back,” he said.
The event is free to the public and the cost for entries is only $5. Teal said that he has already lined up over 100 vehicles, some of them from the early 1900s and others going all the way up to the 1970s.
“We are offering dash plaques for the first 150 cars to register, and there will be prizes in the different categories, as well as a people's choice award, all to be handed out at 3 pm,” Teal said.
The show will also feature music from the ‘50s and ‘60s, a canteen courtesy of the Harrowsmith S & A Club, attendance prizes and special prizes as well. For information or to register a vehicle, call Larry at 613-374-2489