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Inspiring local teen making a difference


difference in this world. It’s very rewarding. I also started a youth group here for the Canadian Cancer Society to raise awareness about cancer and the dangers of smoking.” Zehou also volunteers her time at the Champlain Library and at the Hawkesbury General Hospital. “I think it’s really important to look up to others who are excited to do good and help out,” said Zehou. “It’s really nice to be active and participate in all these activities.” Making a difference Zehou plans on going to university once high school is finished though the subject matter is still under consideration. “Early on, I was really set on becoming a pharmacist or something in health care,” explained Zehou. “I really want to make an impact. I’m not really materialistic. I just think it is really important to make a difference and keep a positive attitude while you’re doing it.” “One of the global issues I’m interested in is poverty,” Zehou said. “It’s one of the things we need to work on the most as a society. I am really glad about working with the Interact Club because we are doing just that, helping those non-profit organizations that help people.” Zehou was on stage at the We Day celebration with 19 other young people to be recognized for their local and global volunteerism. Zehou’s mother was at the ceremony to witness her daughter receive the impressive award; however, her father was in China for the funeral of Zehou’s

Zier Zehou is a local teen with big dreams and a big heart. Governor General David Johnston presented the Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (VCI) grade 11 student with theGovernorGeneralCaringCanadian Award in front of a cheering crowd at the We Day celebration in Ottawa on April 1. “There are no short cuts to caring,” saidHis Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. “ You are literally changing the world. You are never too young, or too old to change the world.” Nominated by her teacher, Ilze Hillier, she never expected to win. “I really didn’t think I would win the award,” said Zehou. “At first I was really shocked when I received the email saying I had won. I needed time to process. I thought maybe it was a joke, since it was being awarded on April Fools’ day.” Zehou was born in China and moved to Canada when she was just two years old. She lived in Toronto, and then in a small town nearThunder Bay before relocating to Vankleek Hill. She went to Pleasant Corners Public School before attending VCI. At VCI, she has joined several clubs and has made a big difference in her community. “I am part of the Interact Club, and the Eco Club,” explained Zehou. “We had an Eco-Carnival last week to raise money for a water bottle filling fountain and to raise awareness. It’s just a really good feeling to make a small

VankleekHillCollegiategrade10student ZierZehouisveryproudofheraccomplishments and hopes to inspire other teens to get involved and make a change.

grandmother. “I am really grateful to my parents. They’ve sacrificed and done so much for me. It’s really great to have such supportive people inmy life. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today. My parents, my teachers, the people in the Interact Club and other clubs I belong to are all so wonderful.”

Zehou hopes to motivate other teens to get involved in making positive changes in the world. “I hope I motivate people,” she said. “I think it’s really important to try to motivate others to take action. If you get the first one motivated, others will follow.”

Amaryllis Choir to play at Knox Church

Jo Sweet and Shashtin sing high praises about the Amaryllis Choir scheduled to perform at the Knox Church on April 12.


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to enrich the community where they live, and for a love of choral music. Recently, the men’s choir was formed to expand the scope of music performed. Based in Vankleek Hill, members come from Ontario and Quebec. The Choir director Uwe Lieflander, originally from Germany, teaches music at our Lady of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay and is music director at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Ottawa and SacredMusic Society, of which he is also the founder. Maestro Lieflander trained at Regensburg Academy of ChurchMusic until he came to Canada at the age of 17. He continues to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music as well as York University in Toronto. The choir welcomes new members to audition in September and, as a registered charity, always welcomes donations. More information on the Amaryllis Choir and the upcoming concert can be found at www.

Jo Sweet and Shashtin Winchester were selling tickets at the VankleekHill Farmers Market Saturday, for the Amaryllis Choir ‘The Creation’ concert scheduled to play at the Knox Church in Vankleek Hill on April 12. Both are performers with the choir and can’t say enough about the group’s excellence. “The maestro is very accomplished,” said Winchester. “He is excellent.” “Tickets are selling like hotcakes,” said Winchester. “We are very pleased with how well things are going.” Tickets for the concert are already half sold. “There will be a 30-piece orchestra playing with the choir,” said Sweet. “It’s the first time ever the choir will be performing in the area.” The Amaryllis Women’s Choir was founded in September 1994 as a commitment

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