In March of 2020, St. George’s Anglican Church began its outreach meal program in partnership with a local caterer. In July of 2020, the program had grown substantially, and they began to branch out for support from: Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary, Beaver Valley Outreach, Beaver Valley Community School, Grey County, The Town of The Blue Mountains, The Blue Mountains Village Association, Thornbury Foodland, Goldsmith's, The Corner Cafe, Riverside Graphics, and many private donors and individual supporters. The program averages over 130 meals cooked, prepared, and delivered each week. In October of this year, they celebrated 10,000 meals served in our community! Ruth, Shelley and Rev'd Grayhame Bowcott are integral to the running and success of this program.
Ruth McWhirter attended the ceremony and accepted the awards on behalf of all three of them and she provided the following comment: "Thank you so much for the honour of receiving the Thornbury Clarksburg Rotary kindness award on behalf of St. George’s Anglican Church’s Community Cares program. As you know we make about 130 dinners each week for senior citizens as well as families in need. Our program wouldn’t work without our four team leaders and all the volunteers (both members of the church as well as community members). We must also acknowledge the various groups and members of the community who support our effort. I also want to thank Lib and her Rotarian partners for choosing such a worthwhile theme -- Our Community Runs On Kindness -- something so needed at this time."
This past year Deborah, along with the help of many feline loving community members, spent
countless hours, days, weeks, and months feeding and gaining the trust of 3 stray mother
cats and their 12 kittens. Unknowingly these strays had inhabited an abandoned home that
was about to be torn down in preparation for a new build. Time was of the essence. As a result of Deborah’s dedication, patience and love all 15 stray cats and kittens were rescued!
For this, we thank and award her for her Kindness to Animals.
Deborah has provided us with her heart-warming story of how her cat and kitten rescue all happened with the help of three wonderful young ladies and other community members who also deserve recognition:
"This time last year I was out walking and I heard a kitten crying and a friend Patti DiFlorio alerted me to an abandoned kitten under a car. He was really tiny and in distress so we managed to catch him before he went into the tire hub. I took him home and looked after him and he is now a loving member of the Kennedy household. They named him Noble.
This spring I received a call from my girlfriend, and fellow animal lover, Leslie Lewis about more stray kitten sightings in this same area of Thornbury. Stray cats are very elusive so we had to set up a feeding station to establish trust with the feral mums in hopes they would eventually bring their kittens along. Patti DiFlorio and Diane Hanson, two of the many concerned neighbours, would also text me anytime they saw the kittens out playing. It took some patience and lots of soft cat food, which they love, as they started to get used to me.
Along the way people from the community started to hear about the stray cat, and kitten, plight and approach me with kind food donations and support. Three lovely young ladies from the community Kailey Williams, Lauren Williams and Helena Ziemer contacted me to help and were a huge support in investing their personal time in the care for the kittens. Lauren adopted, Ru, one of the kittens she helped rescue and he is now a loving member of the Williams family.
I recognized that I am not alone in my deep concerns for the stray cats in Thornbury. It has been up to kindhearted community members like Lynette Morley who has selflessly spent years rescuing stray cats and kittens and deserves recognition, and a medal, for her kindness and dedication. We live in a relatively rural community surrounded by nature so something I wish for would be a rescue centre in our town for animals in need. This rescue mission made it very clear that our town is rooted in kind hearted, selfless people willing to help animals in need.
Covid has really highlighted the bond and importance of pets in our lives and all pets deserve a loving home. The commitment involved with this summer cat and kitten rescue mission has more than paid off to know that these rescued pets are in loving homes and not cold, and starving, in the wild. There is no better reward than when I receive photos of our rescued kittens thriving in their new homes. On going into this rescue mission I had no idea of how many new friendships would evolve.
My warmest thanks go out to Diane and Pete Hanson, Leslie Lewis, Patti and Gary DiFlorio, Kailey Williams, Lauren Williams, Helena Ziemer, Matthew Morton, Lynette Morley, Furry friends, Trevor and Hanna, Pat Longmire, GTHS, Marian Masters, Shelagh Fox and the Shelburne Feral Cat rescue for all their wonderful advice."
Since 2008, Rudy has been busy cleaning up garbage from our waterfronts, trails, sidewalks, and roadsides. His dedication to cleaning up our environment has not waivered, as Rudy diligently cleans up, as much as the seasons and weather allow. For this, we thank and award him for his Kindness to Nature.
Rudy's reaction to receiving this award was "I want to thank you very much for...the award. I never on my wildest dreams did I think I would receive an award for being a garbage collector. I enjoy the walk, the fresh air and seeing the town I am so proud of look clean."