Port Stanley Villager Jan:Feb 2020

Port Matters by Frances Kennedy

MF.Kennedy@NorthShoreRetreats.com

In November I attended my first ever karaoke night at the Legion and oh, what a night. However awfully talented, it still takes courage to attempt a song sung by a rock star or a coal miner’s

restauranteurs, for some good old-fashioned fun. The “Port Stanley experience” is sure to win over any obstacles in 2020. The 2019 Ugly Christmas Sweater Hop was yet another auspicious occasion for celebrating Port at its best. Walking the bridge between “Mayberry” and “Margaritaville” alongside a knot of partyers prophesying on the pending closure was bittersweet. But it was a fun- filled and festive way to span the great divide in an eventful evening of camaraderie, good food, great music and hospitality, Port style. Further to that, since February is friends and lovers’ month and the advent of Lent why not make a date for another special event? On Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Port Stanley Festival Theatre, “Mardi Gras at the Stork Club” will celebrate the Club’s iconic music, and fabled stories of one of Canada’s most famous dance halls. The Uptown Dixieland Jazz Band will perform music from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s, Louis Armstrong and early jazz. Participating restaurants and inns have Mardi Gras specials on offer and Erie Fun Tours has a dinner and tickets package. Tickets are available at PSFT online or the box office. Come out and blow off the blues with a razzle dazzle evening of swing and jazz. Recently, our MPP, Jeff Yurek acknowledged big wins for Belmont, New Sarum and Springfield when TVSB rescinded their school closures. He reminded us of “the power of community advocacy and the importance of rural perspectives.” We must speak as one voice. Only if we span what divides us do we have the power to make the best version of this community our legacy. When we practice our best future, we create it. Our Holiday Concerts demonstrated how our students were able to share their gifts and talents to make our community and world a better place, and we were completely thrilled to see all the friends and families who came out to watch.  Thank you for taking the time to support our efforts.  We were so proud of each and every student who made our evening so wonderful.  2020 will be exciting because we will be moving the back half of the school into their newly renovated classrooms and the front half of the school into the new library and portable holding zones.  This may be a little chaotic, but we know it will be worthwhile when we are done, with all the upgrades.  Our Grade 8 Grad Committee is also busy organizing the next fundraiser event which will be a Paint Nite at Debackere Farms on January 14, 2020.  More information and a registration information can be found on our Facebook page or our website. As always, it is an absolute pleasure to work with such amazing families at Kettle Creek and we would like to thank you for your positive and ongoing support. We hope that 2020 is filled with great health, much laughter and peace. Kettle Creek Public School students

Kettle Creek Public School By Esther Wendel-Caraher daughter. When erratic Internet service threatened to foil the fun, folks rallied: long-timers and newcomers spanned age and gender, and soon we were all in. What ensued was triumph over the trials of technology. Without aid of words, music and sometimes even melody, truly great and true grit performers rocked an appreciative audience and we were all at once one. That, and a “we’re all here cuz we’re not all there doing something else with someone else” spirit kicked up a few newbies for an all-out all in evening of fun. If this is us, we’ve got all it takes to navigate the bridge closure and well, beyond. Well deserved accolades to Jen Slack of Erie Fun Tours, and Jade Rogers of TimberNook Elgin, both finalists in The Pitch, a Dragon’s Den style competition sponsored by Elgin Business Resource Centre (EBRC.) Congratulations to Jade Rogers for the second-place award, well done. That two of the six finalists in all Elgin County came from Port Stanley is noteworthy. Let’s support our vital rural economy by patronizing and recommending local businesses. Entrepreneurs truly are “progressive by nature.” By all accounts the Lions and Lioness clubs’ Dickens Days Night Paradeand theBIA’sDickensDaysWeekendwereeverythingeveryone hoped for. Despite the Sunday’s inclement weather, a very merry old- time bustling with Christmas spirit prevailed in the village. Thank you and congratulations to all those involved, including merchants and and I believe that we are the most fortunate people in the world because we get to be at Kettle Creek Public School, among these wonderful students and families.  It is a tremendous honour and privilege.  December was a whirlwind with the huge success of our Grade 8 Grad Online Auction starting the month in style.  We were able to raise close to $6,000 to help cover the trip expense for our Grade 8 families and are so grateful to our parent volunteers who continue to work tirelessly to provide great opportunities for our students.  We are also extremely thankful to our community sponsors who donated so generously toward this cause.  Our students were also fortunate to receive a complimentary turkey dinner this month through the generous donations to our Snack Program.   It was delicious and we were thrilled to have many community volunteers help serve this beautiful feast. December was also an opportunity for our school community to contribute to needs beyond our own.  We collected cans for the Christmas Care at the Legion, and the Me to We Rafiki bracelet sales created awareness of challenges facing families in Kenya. Our Green Team members started a pop tab recycling program to help a little boy named Connor and launched our Waste Less Wednesdays campaign. Green Team members also spent time in each classroom, reviewing environmentally friendly options for the holidays so that our students’ families can enjoy the holidays without adding to the landfill.  Principal, Kettle Creek Public School It’s the end of the year and what a year we’ve had. Looking back, we have somuch to celebrate

volunteered to clean up after the Lions and Lioness clubs’ Dickens Days Night Parade. (Left to right) Allyse Geurts, Kiana Sao, Quinn Fleming, Kaitlin Lale and Autumn Lucas.

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