Karin Steiner | Jul 03, 2019

New Leaf Link (NeLL) was pleasantly surprised and honoured to be selected as the recipient of $8200 raised by the Jerry Irwin Charity Golf tournament held in Verona on June 8th.


Each year, the Irwin family from Sydenham remembers Jerry Irwin by holding a golf tournament at Rivendell. Jerry was a community-oriented person who believed in helping children through sports. He was a man of few words, but he commanded respect by acting on the motto “everyone can play” in his extensive volunteer coaching life. Jerry was a life-time member at Rivendell who started the Wednesday Afternoon Men’s League. He was also instrumental in establishing the North Frontenac Flyers team.


MacKenzie and Chris Irwin spearhead the golf tournament with Chris’ mother, Valerie Irwin, and many other relatives—e.g., cousin Jim Ferguson and brother Shawn who attended the cheque presentation ceremony at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church. All the members of the Irwin clan told us that keeping the fundraising dollars local was important to them as it would have been to Jerry: “We like NeLL because it helps people here in this community.”


Jerry’s “everyone can play” motto is in keeping with NeLL’s mandate to provide opportunities to people who need assistance as social participants. Family members and NeLL participants gathered to meet the Irwins and to thank them for their generosity. NeLL has been operating in South Frontenac since 2009 with “go local” values in its cooking, arts, fitness programs, and community outings. Chris Irwin stated: “we loved the fact that [NeLL] was local” and that “this place [the Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church] is up the road from where we grew up.”


2019 marks the beginning of 45-weeks per year of a Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday program for NeLL participants who reside in South Frontenac, Central Frontenac, and Kingston. And for the first time in its 11 years, NeLL is open in summer. High school students are welcome to join NeLL’s regular participants in the summer term of cooking, drama, art, music, dance, puppets, martial arts, and soap-making from the fully accessible Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church.


The Irwin family’s generous gift helps the NeLL family this summer and fall to pay for supplies for arts programs, food for the cooking classes, local instructors, and transportation to places of interest such as the Happy Tails Sanctuary, the Penitentiary Museum, the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, or the Fish Hatchery in Sharbot Lake.


For more information please visit www.newleaflink.ca , or follow us on Facebook. Our new logo is from a collective printmaking activity with local artist Gabriel Deerman.



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