Monthly Archives: April 2011

Great Ride ‘n’ Stride ready to roll rain or shine

Teams and individual walkers, riders and in-line skaters are gearing up for what will, hopefully, be a sunny day at the annual Ride ‘n’ Stride in New Hamburg this Sunday.

Every spring, local walkers, runners and bikers hit the streets for the event that raises money to help make cancer history.

The fight against cancer matters to many. Some participants support a loved one battling the disease. Others are honouring friends or family who have passed away.

New Hamburg’s annual Ride ‘n’ Stride is planned for May 1 and organizers are still looking for volunteers and fundraisers. Registration is open now and more information is available at

New Hamburg usually runs a very successful event, raising more money per person than many bigger towns. The local Ride ’n’ Stride collected $36,000 last year.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, there were 174,000 new cancer cases last year, and the disease killed 76,000 Canadians. Lung, breast, and prostate cancers are the most common, making up over 80 per cent of all cases.

Participants are asked to register for this year’s Ride starting at 11:30 a.m. and running to 12:30 p.m. at the Magnussen Business Centre on Hincks Street. Participants set out on foot, bike and blade beginning at 1 p.m.

The Canadian Cancer Society Great Ride ‘n’ Stride is one of the longest running Canadian Cancer Society “a-thon” events. In 1968, the first “Ladies Ride for Cancer” was held in Thamesford, Ontario. More than 30 years after this inaugural event, Canadian Cancer Society Great Ride ‘n’ Stride is still going strong.

Thanks to supporters all across Ontario the Canadian Cancer Society Great Ride ‘n’ Stride has raised more than $6.4 million for cancer research and support services for people living with cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society Great Ride ‘n’ Stride takes place rain or shine so please be sure to check your local weather forecast and bring the appropriate clothing for the day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Read Well Day, part of the Living Well Festival, is underway now at the WRC

The third annual Living Well Festival is well underway at the Wilmor Recreation Complex today where 300 children are taking part in various activities designed to raise awareness about the environment, nature and animals.

The theme of this year’s Read Well Day has kids listening to guest readers and being educated and entertained by the likes of Mad Science and the Grand River Conservation Authority’s Creepy Creatures presentation later this afternoon.

Read Well Day has been a component of the Festival since its inception says event co-chair Jeanette Vincent.

“Literacy is part of a healthy person,” Vincent says. “When I came on board with this I didn’t know what this organization was about, but over the years I realized how important their efforts are and I felt that it was a good place for the library to be present, helping them to build a better community.”

The New Hamburg librarian says event sponsor the Wilmot Healthy Communities Coalition understands reading is a vital part of a healthy community and the day is a way to get people involved in different things that promote healthy living.

Vincent says the purpose of libraries is to connect people with books at no cost, engaging people and helping them expand their minds and understanding of the world around them.

“Reading makes you better in everything you do,” she says.

Children are the focus of Read Well Day as well as dozens of activities scheduled by Waterloo Region Libraries throughout the year to promote literacy. They include events that promote reading through songs, finger play with kids, toddler time and summer reading clubs.

“It’s an important thing to continue doing outside of school.”

This year’s Read Well Day is made possible through a $3,000 contribution from the TD Friends of the Environment Fund.

Vincent says the theme came from thinking of April as Earth Month.

All readings focus on the environment, nature and animals.

Author Nicholas Oldland reads to a captive audience.

Author and illustrator Nicholas Oldland, one of the Canadian authors nominated for a Blue Spruce Award, read from his book, The Big Bear Hug this morning. It’s a book Vincent calls a simple book with a really big message.

Author Janet Wilson, will talk about her book Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet at 12:15 p.m., in which she tells stories about how kids around the world have helped protect and preserve the environment.

“She really shows how children, and everyone, of all ages can help with the environment,” Vincent says.

Mad Science will have programs promoting the environment, nature and animals thoughout the afternoon.

The GRCA animal show creepy creatures will entertain and inform kids at 4 p.m. by talking about the habitat of the animals and their importance to the environment.

Free bus transportation has been offered to 15 classes coming from participating schools throughout the township. The entire event is open to anyone and it’s completely free of charge.

One of the ideas continuing at this year’s Read Well Day are the intergenerational reading buddies, Vincent says.

Everyone is invited to come to the event and volunteer to read a book to the school children taking part. Mayor Les Armstrong was among participants getting ready to read to a group of children this morning.

“Just because children are older doesn’t mean you can’t sit down and read with them,” Vincent says. “We would love to see younger, older, all ages participate in that.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Setting their sights: Wilmot archery club teaches bow skills

The Nith River Wild Turkey Conservation Association’s Bow Club is a chance for local archers to improve their marksmanship.

The club met for the fifth year this winter in New Hamburg’s old arena. Bows and other equipment are provided, and there’s no cost to attend.

This January and February, approximately 40 kids and 20 adults came to the old New Hamburg arena to learn archery.

The club also practices shooting targets outdoors in the summer months.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Strong wind brings down tree on Witmer Road

The severe thunderstorm that passed through the region around 3 p.m. brought heavy rain and fierce winds. Police and firefighters are dealing with a number of dangerous conditions caused the the storm, including this fallen tree that started a small fire and brought down hydro wires on Witmer Road. The road was closed at Queen Street so crews could get in and clean up the mess.

Several signs are blown over and blue boxes and their contents were scattered across lawns and down streets in Baden.

In New Hamburg, someone called to report a vinyl carport had blown down Huron Street along with a swimming pool cover.

These trees were uprooted near Ratzburg in the northwest corner of Wilmot Township.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Baden school cleans up on Earth Day

Baden students (left to right) Matt Elliot, Michael Sayadeth, Jackie Sayadeth, and Madison Maclean clean the schoolyard.

Friday is Earth Day, an occasion around the world for environmental clean-up and appreciating the planet.

At Baden Public School, the theme was “Lend the Earth a Hand.” Each class will take a turn to spread fresh mulch and clean trash and debris off the schoolyard, plus studying eco-friendly themes.

But the school doesn’t just pay attention once a year on Earth Day. With help from a student club called the Eco-Team, they’ve implemented weekly “Litterless Lunches” and a school-wide compost program.

Baden P.S. is also shooting for its third yearly designation as an Ontario EcoSchool. The school can earn another gold designation by running environmental programs and teaching Earth-friendly curriculum.

“Promoting it in the school is where it starts,” said teacher Rob McBeth, who leads the environmental efforts. “If they do it here, then they’re going to do it at home.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Abandoned dogs need a home

The Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society (KWHS) is reaching out to residents of Waterloo Region in an attempt to find homes for 12 dogs recently surrendered to the Muskoka Branch of the SPCA.

Twelve Wheaten Terrier/Poodle/Schnauzer cross breeds were among 100 other dogs surrendered last Wednesday by a Muskoka breeder who could no longer provide adequate care for the dogs.

The OSPCA hasn’t laid any charges in the case, but the breeder is still under investigation.

KWHS is one of 18 Ontario communities that offered its assistance to care for these dogs, as housing space was limited in the Muskoka region.

The dogs have all been examined by a veterinarian and are in good health. After some much needed grooming they are now available for adoption.

The KWHS is looking for very patient adult only homes since it is considered too risky to adopt these dogs into homes with children under the age of 18. The dogs have never been socialized, are very timid and could potentially pose a risk to children.

Ranging in age from 1 to five years old, these dogs have never been house trained and will require a great deal of love and understanding from their owners.

Anyone interested in adopting one of the dogs can apply to the KWHS. Only those who are chosen will be called for an interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Students have help from local firefighters in preparing for an emergency

On Saturday, the Wilmot Township Fire Department’s three stations (Baden, New Hamburg, and New Dundee) worked with Conestoga College EMS (paramedic) students in the annual training day called “Ambulance Day.”  Hosted at Baden Station — four scenarios of motor vehicle collisions with multiple “patient” volunteers. Here, New Hamburg firefighter Dominique Trottier works on an “injured” Kristen Hahn.
Teresa Brown photo

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Nithview honours volunteers with banquet

Ruth-Ann Ramsayer (left) and Ada Zehr share a laugh with server Kelsey Heska

Volunteers who have spent thousands of hours helping at Nithview returned to the retirement home April 15 for a volunteer recognition banquet.

A crowd of over 100 young and old volunteers enjoyed pork, potatoes, and lemon meringue dessert at the annual event. The banquet included entertainment and individual awards for volunteers with many hours of service.

Sharon Diebold, June Lichti, and Doris Weicker received recognition awards for 100 volunteer hours. Joan Berge, Victor Dorsch, Maureen Gerber, Lucille Koch, Floris Leis, and Joyce Zehr were recognized for 500 hours.

Don Shantz received a 1,5000-hour award and Reginald Simpson Jr. was recognized for 2,000 hours of volunteering.

Nithview has a total of roughly 200 volunteers who help residents of the long-term, short-term, and assisted-living communities. These people help run programs, offer pet therapy, serve food and drinks, or just provide a friendly visit.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Students learn colours and culture from First Nations artist

Moses Amik Beaver directs students in painting a giant, First Nations-style picture.

Students at Holy Family Catholic Elementary School got a special art lesson from an acclaimed First Nations artist last week.

Moses Amik Beaver visited a Grade 8 class for several days, sharing his culture and directing the students to paint a large mural in his “woodland” style. He taught by example, mixing colours and patterns with a brush in each hand.

The Holy Family students learned to look for stories in Beaver’s multi-layered paintings and also jumped enthusiastically into making stylized animal masks from paper.

Beaver is a self-taught artist from an isolated reserve near Hudson’s Bay. He visits many schools to teach students about First Nations art, which is used to tell stories and explain spirituality, he said.

“I’m just here to guide them,” he said. “I didn’t tell them what to do, just how to do it. It gives them a sense of creation.”

The visit was funded by money designated by the Catholic School Board for aboriginal cultural education.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Malice in the Palace comes to Steinmann Mennonite Church

Here are some scenes from Malice in the Palace: The Story of Esther, a 45-minute musical set to hit the stage this weekend at Steinmann Mennonite Church. Performances run Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Steinmann Mennonite Church is located at 1316 Snyder’s Road in Baden. For more information visit their website, or call 519-634-8311.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hail storm hits region Sunday

Check out this video and photos from Sabrina O’Dea.


And these from Tracy Loch in New Hamburg.

Ryan and Emily Loch, of New Hamburg, venture out after Sunday morning’s hail storm to collect some samples. The pea-sized and larger hail stones fell briefly across the region shortly after 11 a.m. April 10. No damage was reported in New Hamburg or Baden, but some damage to cars was reported in Tavistock and Shakespeare. By mid afternoon the temperature had shot up to 23 C.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pucker up, porky!

Sir Adam Beck students got a special show last week when school principal Roger Boettcher kissed some baby piglets.

The swine smooches were a reward after the students collected $1,300 of Canadian Tire money for equipment at the new elementary school.

These candid shots show what the kisser, the kissed, and the audience may have been thinking.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maple magic means a sweet spring

The spring sap flows from March until mid-April, and for the past eight years Paul Mackie has used this time of year to perfect his maple syrup-making method.

On New Hamburg’s Shade Street, the sight of Mackie collecting sap from a handful of nearby maple trees means that winter is finally thawing.

“The neighbourhood knows it’s spring when the buckets come out,” he explains.

Mackie carries buckets of sap to his backyard shed, where he filters it before using a propane burner and a cast iron pot to boil the liquid.

He knows the sap has reached the perfect concentration for syrup when its boiling point is 219 degrees Fahrenheit, measured with a thermometer.

When it’s nearly finished, he brings the liquid inside to finish on his kitchen stove.

After boiling around 400 litres of clear sap, he ends up with just 10 litres of golden syrup. It’s enough for his family to enjoy and still give away a few bottles.

“It’s got that little extra goodness because we make it ourselves,” Mackie says.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Zumba moves raise aid money for Japan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Zumba Love brought 40 women together on March 31 at the Wellesley Community Centre to raise money for Red Cross Relief efforts in Japan.

Liliana Dominguez from ABsolute Fitness and Personal Training in New Hamburg enthusiastically led the ladies through an hour and a half of high energy Zumba.

The Zumba ladies raised $582 to donate to those in need in Japan. A great big Zumba Thank You to the members of the community who attended and made this fundraising event a huge success.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized