Champions reaches $1 million mark

SMITH FALLS | It was a million-dollar mo- ment. The Upper Canada District School Board Champions For Kids Foundation President David Thomas announced that the school district charity organization had passed the $1 million fundraising mark after less than seven years. Officials with the charity cele- brated the milestone during the banquet at

the 7th Annual Champions for Kids Foun- dation Golf Tournament, held at the Smiths Falls Golf and Country Club. “I can tell you that I feel like a million bucks,” said Thomas. “When we started this foundation we had hoped we would reach this milestone but I never dreamed it would be this quickly. It just goes to show you how caring our staff, students, community busi-

nesses and area residents are when it comes to helping kids enjoy their childhood. “We all win here because we’re not just raising funds, we’re making moments for these children in dance, in soccer, in hockey and in music that students will cherish for the rest of their lives. We are making child- hood dreams come true.” The milestone event was celebrated with

cake and balloons at the end of the banquet to mark the occasion. Thomas recalled the foundation’s inception in January 2008. The director of education for the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) had been tal- king prior to that inaugural meeting with a young man who could no longer afford to enroll his children in hockey because of home repairs he could not put off. The family was struggling to make ends meet, and Thomas and a group of his frien- ds pooled their resources and ensured that the two boys could enroll in hockey that year. Taking his cue from another educa- tional foundation he was involved with, Thomas worked with a group of dedicated volunteers to form Champions for Kids. Many of those volunteers are still with the foundation today. The foundation raises funds to help child- ren play sports, enjoy arts activities such as piano lessons and dance, and help parents with additional costs they may be facing to take a sick child for treatment out of town – such as meal and fuel expenses. Since its inception, Champions for Kids has helped hundreds of youths and their families. The celebration was the highlight of a successful June golf tournament that raised an estimated $50,000 to help the founda- tion reach the million-dollar mark. The total was gained through sponsorships, golf fees, and funds generated through a live and silent auction at the event. The top team at the tournament was the foursome of Ray Lumsden, Kevin Beattie, Keith Fraser, and Bill Lumsden, who shot a team score of -21. The prize for most sports- manlike team went to Val Allen, Susan Ed- wards, Sydney Collard and Ben Allen.

The end of the current mandate for the Harper Conservative government is draw- ing close, which could mean either a sur- prise federal election this year unless the prime minister chooses to finish out the regular term. Liberals seek challenger to MP Lemieux For members of the Glengarry-Prescott- Russell Liberal Riding Association it means time to start hunting up a candidate to chal- lenge incumbent Conservative MP Pierre Lemieux at the polls. GPR association presi- dent Marie-Noelle Lanthier announced that

the group is now open to nominations to create a short list of possible nominees for a riding association candidate forum later in the year. “We are actively looking for enthusiastic and competent community leaders,” Lanth- ier stated.“The party, under Justin Trudeau’s leadership, has developed a new open nominations process for the search.” Lanthier noted that the “Green Light”pro- cess for the party is designed to determine if would-be candidates are committed to the values of the Liberal party. The association’s nomination committee’s candidate search parameters also empha- size that potential nominees must be able to represent the linguistic and ethnic de- mographic profile of the riding with at least bilingual ability. The nomination guidelines are also designed to encourage possible fe- male candidates. More details for interested candidates is available either by email to mnlanthier@ or or online at

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RBC Foundation presented officials for the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC) with a cheque for $78,650 for the StreamWatch Program. Funding is provided through the RBC Blue Water Project – Leadership Grants, to establish a volunteer- driven program to assist SNC with monitoring local streams and completing habitat restoration projects. AnnMorrison, RBC regional vice-president, presents the cheque to SNC General Manager Dennis O’Grady (left) and Chairman Bill Smirle. Photo SNC

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