Frontenac County did well by the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area this week. 5 of the 15 grants announced at a ceremony at Sydenham Street United Church in Kingston are going to projects that are located in Frontenac County.
They include a $13,104 grant to the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre’s Winter Ecology Education Centre. The grant is intended to provide the opportunity for youth to actively learn and research about winter. The grant will go towards new equipment and a bus subsidy.
“Youth and new Canadians will access and study winter ecology first hand. They will learn what is happening above and below the snow and ice. This will inspire local youth to feel connected with the environment around them and be empowered to become environmental stewards,” said the release accompanying the grant announcement.
Southern Frontenac Community Services is receiving $3,658 for a professional 10 quart mixer to go in the commercial kitchen at the Grace Centre. The mixer will be used for the meals on wheels program that delivers 150 hot meals a week to seniors in the community, as well as to broaden the meal variety for Adult Day Program clients. SFCS is also considering expanding their Meals on Wheels program and the mixer will help them move closer to doing that,.
The group that has been working to develop a community recreation and cultural centre at the former Hinchinbrooke School in Parham, received a grant from the foundation last year to help them fund a feasibility study for the project. This year they are receiving a grant of $2,597 to recruit new partners to develop a multi-stage business plan for the project.
Finally, Rural Frontenac Community Services is receiving $8825 for the popular “Let’s Get Drumming” youth program. The project is active in North, Central and South Frontenac, “addressing the need for free, fun musical activities that encourages rural youth to learn an instrument, be active and connect with a group in their own community in a fun environment that promotes inclusion,” according to the release.
The total dollar value of the 5 grants, $28,184, represents about 20% of the $150,000 that was handed out by the CFGK this week.
Details on the Foundation’s Community Grants program and the projects they have funded can be found on their website at www.cfka.org.
Battersea resident, Tania Edgar, is inviting families to take a stroll through a candle-lit field and forest on her property in Battersea on the evenings of December 8, 9 and 10. She will be holding a Woodland Luminaries Walk as a way to share the peace of the holiday season and raise funds for Southern Frontenac Community Services Corp (SFCSC), which provides health and community services for seniors and low-income families.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a few years now,” says Tania, “and I just needed a reason to do it.” Tania has been working as a Personal Support Worker in the Adult Day Program at SFCSC. “I can see how much these seniors and their families value the support they get at SFCSC, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The Woodland Luminaries Walk will run from 6:30pm to 9:00pm on December 8th, 9th and 10th. The walk is located at 2248 Battersea Water Street in Battersea. Admittance is by donation of any amount, which will be donated to SFCSC to support the Adult Day and other programs. Guests will stroll through a pleasant field and forest setting lit by candles. Hot chocolate and candy treats will be on hand. “If we’re lucky, there will be a nice skiff of snow on the ground to add to the setting.”
For information, please call Tania Edgar at 613-888-3225
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You know Christmas is coming when you can smell a variety of flavours coming out of the Grace Centre in Sydenham on a Saturday afternoon in late November.
And this year is no exception as Leslie Reade and Josey Steel once again organized Vision Soup, a community fundraiser which is a joint project for the Christmas Food Basket, Loughborough Emergency Relief Fun and Southern Frontenac Community Services.
This year was the 12th annual and very little has changed from the first one Reade and Steel organized.
For $20, you choose a handmade bowl donated by local potters and fill it with a variety of soups. When you’ve had your fill, you get to keep the bowl.
“Well, the one thing that’s changed a little is that I think we get a little more support every year,” said Reade. “I think this is the most variety of soups we’ve had, 21, everything from spicy Thai soup to chicken Noodle (and in between there were things like Italian wedding and coconut curry lentil).”
The weather wasn’t especially great but there was a lineup into the parking lot when the doors opened and every seat was filled within minutes.
“People are such good sports,” Reade said. “No, it’s not a nice day but we appreciate everyone coming out, including the volunteers, who are mostly friends and family.”
Reade said this is a strong community but there are some who need a little help at Christmas time.
“That’s why we started this in the first place,” she said. “And we’re very thankful for the community’s support.”
David Townsend is passionate about keeping seniors in their homes as long as possible.
Sitting in a coffee shop in Kingston a few hours before the first day of summer in 2017, the Executive Director of Southern Frontenac Community Services talks earnestly about helping seniors and low income families in South Frontenac Township.
Tall with wavy dark hair, David’s laughter is loud and infectious. He smiles when asked about his work for the last 7 ½ years spearheading an agency that provides programs and services for the community’s most vulnerable residents.
As he talks, it’s clear he’s happy with his progress. But as with most community activists, there’s room for improvement.
“I love my work. I’ve got all sorts of ideas. I’ve got a great team,” confirms the friendly father and grandfather.
“We helped 902 seniors last year,” he says thoughtfully over a cup of tea. “The senior population in South Frontenac is 2,870. I have no idea if that (our number of clients) is good or not.”
According to Townsend, the agency serves an average 45 meals every Tuesday through its Meals-on-Wheels program. This means 45 people receive hot and ready meals at their doorsteps every week.
“I don’t care where you live in South Frontenac, you’re going to get a meal delivered hot,” the 61-year-old says proudly about the program that costs a mere $7 a meal.
The agency also offers services such as foot care, an adult day program, food bank and transportation to appointments. The list of services is long and varied. From palliative support to caregiver relief, a resident can get help inside, and outside, their home.
“Everything we do is geared towards helping seniors stay in their homes,” he says with conviction.
Looking around the bustling coffee shop, David sighs as he talks about his challenges.
“How do we increase our services, our profile to seniors in Storrington District,” he asks aloud. “This support for the seniors who live out that way is critical. Unfortunately, we’re not getting the engagement we would like.”
Home of many businesses and homes, Storrington District is the largest tax base in South Frontenac Township. The agency would like to see more services accessed by residents in Inverary, Sunbury and Battersea.
“It’s not hard to see who is struggling in that area,” says David kindly. “We need to find a way to help people in Storrington stay in Storrington. We want Storrington to help Storrington keep its seniors at home.”
David pauses when asked about the agency’s success rate. He admits it’s hard to measure.
“We lost one of our clients today,” says David in an attempt to answer the question. “He would have been in a long-term care home three years ago if he wasn’t in our adult day program. It’s one of our services that is good for the senior and good for the caregiver. You don’t even have to drop them off at the Grace Centre in Sydenham. We have volunteers who will pick them up.”
A resident of Storrington his entire life, Ron Sleeth is a Storrington District Councillor with South Frontenac Township.
“I believe we need a town hall type of meeting to make Storrington residents aware of these services,” says the politician from his dairy farm in Battersea. “The agency is too isolated in Sydenham. Most seniors out here don’t know many of these services exist.”
To help address this issue, the agency is hiring summer ambassadors.
“We are hiring two community ambassadors for a six-week term this summer,” confirms the executive director. “The objective is to raise awareness of Southern Frontenac Community Services and its programs and services, but more importantly - to link seniors to health support programs to keep them in their own homes longer and later in life.”
Looking ahead, David says Southern Frontenac Community Services wants to centralize the area’s social services.
“We want to become more of a community hub,” he say with enthusiasm. “We want to create a one-stop rural shopping experience.”
Working to create a sensory garden and accessible walking path at their headquarters in Sydenham, David says the agency is poised for growth.
“There’s a lot of things on the go,” he says with his trademark smile. “Now we want to grow in Storrington District.”
To learn more about the programs and services offered by Southern Frontenac Community Services, call 613-376-6477 or visit www.sfcsc.ca
Southern Frontenac Community Services is running its 2017 fundraising campaign in the month of June, with the theme of being “Up to the Challenge.”
Statistics Canada recently made headlines by saying that for the first time in Canadian history, Canada has more seniors (65+) than kids (0-14), and in fifteen years, seniors are expected to make up 25% of the population. That statistic is reflected in
Frontenac County, with an even higher proportion of seniors. With this new reality, come many challenges around sustainable health care, living at home, transportation, food security, and more.
Says Executive Director David Townsend: “This trend is reflected in the day-to-day work that we do: Our Adult Day Program is at its maximum capacity and we have a waiting list for the first time ever. More seniors are using our weekly Hot Meals on Wheels service and there is increasing demand to add a second day. An increasing number of single seniors are accessing our Food Bank and housing supports, as occupancy costs outpace income.”
Although many of SFCSC’s programs and services receive core government funding, and support from the United Way KFL&A, fundraising is still needed to keep programs affordable.
“One of our primary goals to allow seniors to love at home as long as possible, so we must keep program fees at a level that doesn’t financially burden seniors, and enhances their quality of life,” says Townsend.
For the month of June, SFCSC is making an appeal for donations to support these programs and services. In particular, SFCSC is encouraging online donations through the Great Canadian Giving Challenge campaign, where every dollar donated online during the month of June gives them the chance to win a $10,000 donation through Canadahelps.ca.
To donate, go to www.sfcsc.ca/donate or contact Andy at 613-376-6477, ext. 205.
This last February after seven hours of continuous skiing, Dave Linton completed a 51 km x-country ski race, as he has been doing every winter for 17 years. Thanks to generous sponsors, his efforts netted over a thousand dollars this year for the SFCSC (Southern Frontenac Community Services) Food Bank’s Healthy Snacks for School program.
“You’re under more pressure when there’s money on the line, and you push yourself harder,” says Dave; “My 76 year old body is now complaining, and it suggests that there might be a less strenuous means of fund raising.”
So this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Dave is launching a different one-man fund raising project which he hopes will bring pleasure to all who participate.
It involves sharing another of his passions; music. Piano music, to be specific. Dave is a familiar musician at community events in and around Sydenham, and is one of the volunteers who plays piano for the Adult Day Program at SFCS’s Grace Centre.
Here’s how his new project would work: in return for a donation (the amount is up to you) to SFCS, either the Food Bank or the Adult Day Program, Dave will bring his full size keyboard to your home or other venue (within a 35 km maximum distance from Sydenham) to play and sing. He’d be happy to share memories in song and story of the one-room school he went to, or the 100 acre rock farm where he grew up. Or he’ll play soft background music for dinners, club gatherings or family celebrations such as milestone birthdays or anniversaries. The choice is yours, and your donation will be tax deductible, as long as it’s over $20.
To participate in this 150th birthday celebration fund raiser, call 613-376- 6883, and ask for Dave or leave a message.
“Our community is so fortunate to have SFCSC and the programs they offer,” Dave says, “I’ve provided music for their wonderful day program for seniors and I want to do what I can to support it even further. Caring staff and volunteers have created a very special place where seniors can spend an enjoyable day. This helps to delay or deter the need for seniors to enter a long term care facility by providing a few hours respite for caregivers (usually a son, daughter or spouse). A combination of government funding cutbacks and increasing need for seniors’ services means community fundraising is necessary to fill the gap, so programs such as this can continue.”
Melodia Monday brings a lively celebration of music by and about Canadians to Sydenham in mid-May.
“Funny, toe-tapping and haunting, this program of Canadian songs is a great way to welcome spring, and celebrate our complicated country,” says the Grace Arts Committee; “ The group’s repertoire ranges from Newfoundland to Leonard Cohen, to The Arrogant Worms.”
Melodia Monday is an a cappella choir of local and area singers, well known for their performances in many communities in the Kingston area.
Concert-goers will also have an opportunity to enjoy the show of fibre art works by Kingston artist Phillida Hargreaves, which will be on display from May 1st at Grace Hall.
Grace Arts, which is bringing the group to Sydenham, is a committee of Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCSC), an agency that provides health and social services to seniors and vulnerable families in rural South Frontenac, and which supports the expression of the arts from our region and beyond. Revenue from the tickets will be divided between the choir (to buy music and pay royalties,) and SFCSC, to go toward upgrading the sound and light systems of Grace Hall.
Tickets are $15 each and are available online at: www.sfcsc.ca/gracearts, or at the door. Refreshments will be available.
Some senior residents of Southern Frontenac were delighted and surprised a week ago Tuesday (April 4) when Mayor Ron Vandewal and members of the local Fire and Rescue team delivered their noon meal. It was all part of a promotion to raise the profile of Southern Frontenac Community Services’ weekly Hot Meals on Wheels program. (Menu this week was soup, salmon with dill sauce, rice and brussels sprouts, or mac and cheese as the alternate main, and chocolate oat bar for dessert.)
Vandewal later commented that it had been fun, getting to have a brief chat with people, most of whom he knew.
Local service agencies, experts and the general public are invited to attend the 2nd Rural Summit on Poverty and Housing to work together on ways to address the unique challenges faced by vulnerable rural residents in Frontenac County. The summit will take place on Tuesday, April 18, from 1:00 to 4:00pm at Oso Hall, 1107 Garrett Street in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.
“We’re trying to keep the momentum of last year’s rural summit going,” says Louise Moody, Executive Director at Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS), who is co-hosting the event with Southern Frontenac Community Services (SFCSC). “As a result of the 2016 session, we’ve been exploring some of the ideas proposed.”
At the 2017 version of the summit, two presentations will be made related to housing options. Chantal Landry and Robert Diebel are Occupational Therapy students from Queen’s University who have been doing their community development placement with both NFCS and SFCSC. They will present “Shared Housing: Is this an option for Frontenac County” based on research and analysis they have been conducting.
This will be followed by a presentation titled “I Think I Can, I Think I Can – the little community that could: a model for independently-funded rural housing” presented by Fay Martin and Max Ward from Haliburton County Places for People. Following these presentations, discussion will be facilitated to consider the models presented.
“We know that local solutions are the best solutions,” says Louise Moody, “but these presentations will give us great models to consider. Will they work? Maybe. Can we adapt them? Probably. It will be a healthy discussion.”
Adds David Townsend, Executive Director for SFCSC, “Our county and townships have unique characteristics, such as a high proportion of seniors, and a vast geography that can present a lot of challenges. This is a great opportunity to view these models through a lens that is specific to our unique situation.”
Super Dave is doing it again! Long-time volunteer Dave Linton raised over $2,700 last year to support healthy school snacks provided by the Southern Frontenac Food Bank in Sydenham. And he’s asking you to help him do the same or better this year.
Dave will be skiing in the 51 km Gatineau Loppet cross country ski marathon on February 18, and is seeking donations in support of his efforts. “Super Dave,” as called by his close friends, feels strongly that feeding children healthy snacks helps them learn and perform better. The Food bank based in Sydenham serves about 50 families each month with fresh and non-perishable food, and during the school year, this includes items for children to ensure they get to school with a healthy snack.
The school snack program provides healthy and fun snacks to children in families with limited incomes to ensure kids receive the fuel they need for their bodies and brains to succeed. For five years, the food bank has been providing children with non-perishable snacks, such as pudding and apple sauce. In 2015, thanks to the one time grant, these snacks were enhanced with perishable items like yogurt, cheese, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, and celery, making them even healthier. The cost of purchased items is about $4.00 per snack, with an annual cost of over $2,400.
A 51 km international level ski race sounds daunting enough, but it can be especially challenging if you are 76 years old. “I’m an advocate of daily exercise and physical activity,” says Dave, “I’ve been able to compete at this level for a long time and still hold my own. I’m excited to race again this year, and dedicate it to this cause.”
Dave – a long-time volunteer with SFCSC – has a goal of raising $2,500 once again to support and enhance the kids’ healthy school snack program. “I want to dedicate it to helping kids in our community achieve greatness, and often that starts most simply, with active living and nutritious food.”
Dave is challenging his friends, family, local businesses and the community in general to support his fundraising efforts by pledging to donate an amount per kilometre, or make a flat rate donation.
Donations can be made to support Dave by dropping by the SFCSC office or Food Bank – now located at 4295 Stage Coach Road – or donate online at http://www.sfcsc.ca/super-dave-ski-fundraiser