Commentary

Onto greener pastures

June 14, 2018   ·   0 Comments

I continue to be inspired by the people in our town who are community leaders. In my view, leaders within Orangeville are not necessarily the politicians; instead they are people who demonstrate a vested interest in our community through their benevolent endeavors.

Why is this relevant now? Well dear reader, the days are long, the weather is warm, and there is an abundance of things to enjoy within our town. I am specifically referring to the festivals that Orangeville offers throughout the Spring and Summer. All of us who live here are bound to find a great event to attend.

Have you heard about the event being organized for all ages, backgrounds, religions, and sexual orientation?  An experience called “Celebrate your Awesome” will be held on Mill Street on June 23rd. Why is this important? In my opinion, it is time that smaller centres like Orangeville do what progressive cities in North America have been doing for many years now. Cities such as Toronto are generally known as being inclusive and accepting of different cultures/ideas. In my view, it is time for Orangeville to step forward and do the same.

The “awesome” day is billed as an inclusive event for everyone, which will include live music, food, and art vendors.

It is inspiring for me to see the high powered group of well-known community builders/leaders such as Wayne Townsend (former curator Dufferin County Museum), Constable Scott Davis (Orangeville Police), Joe Sammut (Chair BIA), Lisa Post (future municipal leader), Mike Beattie (owner of Mill Street Pub), Phil Dewar (owner of Soulyve), Ricky Schaede (local artist) and Jim Waddington (community leader). These are all exceptional people with tremendous skills and passion for their cause. I am moved by their tenacity and dedication to such a worthwhile social movement. There is no doubt that our town is ready to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of all persons associated with Orangeville.

The Blues and Jazz Festival continues to impress me each year. The amount of work that goes into an event of this magnitude is truly unbelievable. We all know that the amazing local resident Larry Kurtz is the person who started this wonderful festival. As with other festivals, the interesting thing to me is the sheer number of impressive community people who work to make Blues and Jazz a success each year.

In order to write this article, I reviewed the impressive list of people who work hard to make this happen (Gary Skinn, Nancy Claridge, Paul Miron, and Alison Scheel). I know that there are many more but I wanted to give credit to a few in this article!

This year the Rotary Club will be bringing Ribfest to Orangeville for the ninth time. I know how hard the club works to make this event a success and to do it for nine years is an impressive feat.

Community activist, Rotarian, and my friend Charles McCabe is leading the organization of Ribfest in 2018. If you have not been before, there are carnival rides for the kids, crafts to purchase, music to listen to and of course ribs to sample. All of us should support the Rotary Club. You see, all of the monies raised from this event are spent on community improvement projects such as the splashpad, bike trails, and a school-based program called “Grandpals”. Buy some Ribs and have some fun July 20-22!

In August of this year the Optimist Club of Orangeville will bring back to town the very successful “Million Dollar Hole in One Contest”. All monies raised will go to events in town that support our local youth. This event is being chaired by the intrepid Optimist Harry Bell, in conjunction with Daryl Bailey (owner of Lynbrook Golf Club) who has kindly donated the use of his facility. Supporting this event August 9-12 could make you wealthy, if you are fortunate enough to get a hole in one!

I have thought a lot about how we can all make our community a better place and remain truly amazed by how much people give of themselves locally.

As such, I have decided that this will be my last article for the Orangeville Citizen. Moving forward, I will continue to serve my community in a different fashion. I would be remiss if I did not thank Pam and Tom Claridge, who have always encouraged me to write about topics I am passionate about. I would also like to acknowledge the friendship of Mike Pickford who gave his honest assessment of my “pieces”. I know General Manager Doug Rowe thought I was “a bit aggressive” when he came to the Citizen. Thanks for letting me be me, Doug! Lastly, to my friend and fellow Citizen contributor, Tabitha Wells, thank you for recommending me in the first place! It was a great ride and really I owe it all to you.

Orangeville, I will be in touch!

         

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