Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas carolers take to the streets to spread holiday cheer

A crew of young carolers visited the Independent’s office this week to entertain staff with some favourite Christmas tunes.

This seasonal music won’t be around for long, so we’ll do our best to enjoy it while we can. Will you go out caroling this year?

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Baden students engage in the season of giving with Angel Tree project

Pictured are students from the Me to We team with some of the collected gifts and the tree in the school’s lobby. From left to right: Sarah Geiger, Brianna Smith, Brittany Carey, Natalie Lantz, Lydia Herrle, and Rebecca Wheeler.

Students in Baden Public School’s Me to We Team got into the holiday spirit by organizing an angel tree in support of the Wilmot Family Resource Centre’s annual Christmas hamper program.

Young club members spearheaded a campaign that encouraged each class to collect Christmas gifts this month. The gifts were taken to the centre last week, where the toys will be distributed to local children, from infants to teenagers.

The school’s response was great, said teacher Rebecca Bearinger Fay. The angel tree gifts were also a real way for students to understand the needs in their own neighbourhoods.

One student said the piles of presents made her sad because of the nearby people who needed help.

“It made poverty in Wilmot Township tangible to her,” Bearinger Fay said.

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Local 4H members pick up awards in St. Agatha

Waterloo 4-H club local members Andrew Grose and Bronwyn Snyder were awarded 4-H Outstanding Member Awards at Waterloo 4-H Award Night.

Two Waterloo 4-H Sheep club local members were honoured with top awards at Waterloo 4-H 2011 Awards Night. Andrew Grose  was the  recipient of the Waterloo County Outstanding Junior Member Award and Bronwyn Snyder was awarded Waterloo County Outstanding Novice Member Award.

The awards ceremony was held Nov. 24 at the St. Agatha community Centre.

Youth members are nominated for the county outstanding member award by their 4-H club leaders based on their outstanding participation and leadership during the past year. Nominees are then sent a form to complete outlining their 4-H and school and community activities. Selection is based on the recommendations made by their leaders and their community and school involvement.

This year two of the four top county award winners were members of the Sheep Club.

Fourteen year old Andrew Grose has completed over 30 4-H clubs since joining 4-H in 2008.

“This was Andrew first year showing sheep and he really tried his best and was always willing to lend a hand to other 4-h members,” said Susan Martin, Waterloo 4-H Leader. “He is always willing to try new experiences and encourages others to do so too. We felt he exemplified what membership in 4-H is all about, “Learn to Do by Doing” so we put his name forward to be considered for the top county awards.”

Martin along with Dennis and Laurie Weber lead the Waterloo 4-H Sheep Club. “He worked diligently at training his lamb, a lamb that may be was not the easiest to train” added Martin.

Andrew earned a third-place ribbon showing his sheep this year.

In addition to showing a sheep, Grose has completed 30 clubs ranging from photography to Farm Safety Square Dancing and cooking and craft clubs.

He has served as press reporter for Pizza , Garden and Maple Syrup Clubs and vice president for Horse Club.

During his four years as a 4-H member, he has participated at county 4-H judging nights, 4-H horse classes at local fairs, regional 4- H Discovery Days and Provincial 4-H,  4-H Progressive Ag Safety Day.

Andrew is a member of his school’ss ski and snow board team, and tech team. He volunteers as a Peer Coach for Special Olympics and has served on his school leadership team.

He was the top fundraiser for his school band, selling over 275 chocolate bars. He volunteers at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival with his church, and volunteers to ride his unicycle in the Alma Santa Claus Parade.

Andrew is the youngest son of Walter and Sharon Grose.

Eleven year old Bronwyn Snyder was awarded Outstanding Novice Member Award.

It has been a busy year for Bronwyn, she completed 10 clubs: quilting, pizza , maple syrup, gardening, dairy, sheep, poultry, farm safety, vet, and square dancing. As a first year member she was quick to sign up to attend and experience 4-H Regional Discovery Day, and Waterloo County Judging competition.

She embraces the 4-H motto Learn to do by Doing. This was her first year showing sheep and dairy animals. She placed in the ribbons with her dairy calf at local fairs in Waterloo County.

“Bronwyn is eager to help and do anything she can to assist at our clubs” said 4-h leader Susan Martin. “It officially was her first year in 4-h, although she showed a sheep last year, it was her first time as a member of the 4-h club. She is a pleasant, friendly girl, who tried to include everyone in activities in our club. She was a delight to have in our club.”

Bronwyn helps at the Mennonite Relief Sale in New Hamburg each year. She just finished volunteering to collect food for the Woolwich Food bank  this past week with church youth members.

Bronwyn is the youngest daughter of Anne and Kevin Snyder . She is home schooled by her mother.

When it comes to nominating students to be considered for these awards each year, Martin has a check list. She looks for students who show leadership skills, are willing to try new things, reach out to other kids to include them in activities and are helpful while having fun. I want them to have fun because I am having fun in 4-H, added Martin.

She felt both these students were excellent candidates for this year presentation.

Two other top honours were awarded at the 4-H Awards Night. Outstanding Intermediate award went to Lauren Eby and Outstanding Senior award to Alannah Eby. These sisters are members of the Waterloo 4-H dairy club.

4-H Ontario Gay Lea Achievement Awards were presented to  Davin Grose, Lindsay Oxby. Davin is a member of Waterloo Farm Safety Club. Lindsay Oxby a member of Waterloo Senior Dairy Club.

4-H Ontario Gay Lea Achievement Awards were presented to  Davin Grose, Lindsay Oxby and Shelby Wagler.  The three received limited edition prints by Murray Pipher to mark their 24 club achievement.

4-H is one of Canada’s longest-running youth organizations, aimed at youth 9 to 21. For almost one hundred years, 4-H has been offering youth opportunities to learn new skills and develop leadership roles. The four Hs in 4-H represent head, heart, hands, and health. As 4-H members youth develop new skills, build self-confidence, and becoming better citizens.

The program helps to foster leadership and personal growth in youth. Club projects range from agriculture, food, crafts, sports and the environment.

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Waterloo Rural Women craft Christmas wreaths

After the Christmas tree, wreaths are the traditional Christmas decoration for the holiday season. Waterloo Rural Women organized an evening craft session where attendees gathered to learn some construction tips to make their own handmade wreaths. Dairy farmer Mary Wagler shows off her creation, it will grace the front door of her New Hamburg area farm house. Photo by Sharon Grose


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Girls undefeated as Waterloo-Oxford athletes start winter sports season

Waterloo-Oxford's girls volleyball teams are off to a strong start, with 3-0 records so far this year.

Paul Schroeder carries the ball for Waterloo-Oxford against Forest Heights on Dec. 13.

The Crusader sports teams are back in action, with boys basketball, girls volleyball, and both curling and hockey teams starting play this month.

After three games, Waterloo-Oxford’s senior and junior girls are undefeated, having beaten Glenview Park, Huron Heights, and Eastwood Collegiate Institute so far.

Waterloo-Oxford’s junior boys basketball team lost 45-27 to Forest Heights on Dec. 13. After playing a close game for three quarters, the Trojans surged ahead in the final minutes. Garner Matthews led the Crusaders with nine points.

The loss dropped the junior squad’s record to 1-4. Heading into play this week, the senior boys record stands at 2-0.

Crusader Isaac MacDonald looks for an open team mate on the junior boys basketball team.

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5,000 pucks? No problem for hot-shot Wilmot hockey girls

Back Row: Olivia Hunt, Taylor Wright, Emily Huras, Karley Dajka, Rachel Kehl, and Marieke van Rooyen. Front Row: Kai Wilson, Head Coach Dee Dakin, and Lucy Dakin

Practice makes perfect, so eight players from the Peewee Rep Wolverines team made it their mission this fall to fire 5,000 pucks.

Eight players finished the shot marathon, and were rewarded with a limited-edition hat recognizing this achievement. The coaching staff is proud of the remaining players on the team who are still working towards their goal.

In late September, the Wilmot team was asked to shoot 500 pucks a week for 10 weeks, working on various types of shots from backhands to slap shots.

An incredible amount of sweat, effort and time went into this task and the results are clearly showing on the ice. With a wide range of players on the scoresheet, the Wolverines are currently claiming third place in their division with a record of 6-2-3.

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Local insurance brokers help give goalie equipment to a young hockey player

(from left) Joyce Junker, President of OMHA; Scott Wagler of Josslin Insurance Brokers; Matt Wilhelm, President of New Hamburg Minor Hockey Association; and Peter Burns, President of the IBAO

Josslin Insurance Brokers, member of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) was selected to deliver a goalie kit to the New Hamburg Minor Hockey League, as part of a the ‘Goaltender Assist Program’ with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA).

The brokers association has sponsored the purchase of 40 goalie kits which includes a bag, chest protector, pads, blocker, catcher’s glove, stick and goaltender resources for the chosen OMHA local hockey association.

Scott Wagler of Josslin Insurance Brokers in New Hamburg, in addition to Peter Burns, president of the IBAO and Joyce Junker, President of the OMHA, were able to meet with team coach, Scott Pfaff, to deliver the goalie equipment to the players of the New Hamburg Huskies at the Wilmot Recreation Complex during one of their games.

The OMHA and IBAO Goaltender Assist Program is an effort to support children who have dreams of becoming a hockey goaltender, by providing a set of hockey goaltending equipment to 5-7 year old players interested in trying the position.

In addition, IBAO will provide minor hockey associations with goaltending resources to aid coaches. Over 40 sets of new equipment will be given to young players across the province.

“IBAO and Josslin Insurance Brokers are thrilled to support OMHA, an organization focused on building and growing the skills of youth in our communities,” said Randy Carroll, IBAO CEO.

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Young local dancers will perform in The Nutcracker at Hamilton Place this weekend

Brooke Dumais and Trystan Van Boekel will perform in The Nutcracker Ballet this weekend in Hamilton.

 Submitted by Jen Dumais

When Ballet Master Isabel Cortina claps her hands to signal the end of class, twenty-three exuberantly smiling girls and boys dressed variously in pink and black leotards, curtsy and bow as one.

For six hours every Sunday from September through to opening night of The Nutcracker Ballet at Hamilton Place on December 9, anywhere from twenty to sixty children coming from fifteen dance studios across Southern Ontario gather for rehearsal at The Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble’s studio in Hamilton.

Two of those dancers are New Hamburg Grade 6 student Brooke Dumais and Grade 8 Tavistock student Trystan Van Boekel.

Both dancers started dancing at a young age with Donna Bender and continued to be a part of the Competitive team at Center Stage Dance Studio. They both auditioned and continued with their training when Bender opened her professional program at UnlockUnleashControl in Kitchener.

When Ana Maria Leyte, ballet master with the Nacional Ballet de Cuba, arrives she will exact the finishing touches on the children’s training.

The Nutcracker Ballet, now in it’s fifteenth year of production has been presented jointly by the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble and the internationally acclaimed Nacional Ballet de Cuba since 2007.

Able to boast not only the world-renowned, highly respected Alicia Alonso as their founder and Artistic Director, The Nacional Ballet de Cuba includes amongst it’s members four who have been named amongst the world’s best dancers of the season by the prestigious Dance Europe magazine.

Gary Smith, who writes for Dance Europe, Dance International, Ballet Review as well as The Hamilton Spectator says, “The most gloriously old-fashioned, technically pure, amazingly passionate company in the world today is Ballet Nacional de Cuba.”

The students also have the opportunity to perform with a live Orchestra as this year, Tchaikovsky’s score will be performed by The Hamilton Ballet Orchestra conducted by the illustrious Maestro Giovanni Duarte.

Both Toller Cranston, world champion figure skater and much-lauded artist as well as Veronica Tennant, one of Canada’s most beloved Prima Ballerinas, have also lent their considerable talents to the production and are expected as special guests at The Nutcracker Ballet’s opening performance and reception.

“I have seen the Nutcracker with my mom for a few years. After the first time, I just wanted to be on the stage, not just watching. When the audition information was sent out from our studio, I just knew I wanted to try,” said Brooke when asked why she wanted to perform in The Nutcracker. She will dance the roles of Mouse and Candy.

Having never seen the Nutcracker, Trystan went for the experience of doing an audition, never thinking she would be chosen.

Dancing the same roles as Brooke, Trystan also has an additional role as an Angel.

Logging many hours and many kilometres to rehearsals has been hard work but both dancers are excited to meet the Professional Cuban dancers and perform on stage with them.

Performances at Hamilton Place are this Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are still available through or Ticketmaster.

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Wellesley welcomes Kitchener Rangers at Kids and Cops hockey day Dec. 4

Twin Centre hockey players again have the chance to hit the ice with their heroes.

The Kitchener Rangers will join players from the Wellesley Apple Jacks and Waterloo Regional Police this Sunday at the 13th annual Kids and Cops day at the Wellesley Arena.

Initiation, Tyke, Novice, and Atom level teams start the fun at approximately 12:00.

The Rangers arrive for a practice at 2:25, then minor hockey players and the public can skate with the Jr. A players from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

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DECA students capture medals and ribbons at regional competition

Waterloo DECA Regional competition medalists are, in front from left, Joanna Dowdell, Natasha Salonen, and Deanna Stevely. In back are Andrew Paling, Matt Moser, David Helps, Josh Otto, Ryan Schultz, and Brett Kropf. W-O's DECA students are preparing for the DECA Provincial competition in Toronto in February, with the hopes of qualifying for the DECA Internationals next spring in Salt Lake City, Utah.

By Dylan Brenneman

Waterloo-Oxford’s DECA chapter once again had very successful results at the Waterloo DECA Regional Competition held at Bingemans on Wednesday, November 23. Nineteen DECA students received 34 ribbons and medals for their performances in business tests and role-plays.

Twelve of Waterloo-Oxford’s DECA members received ribbons for being in the Top 10 for their DECA tests.

Congratulations to Elise Vandenhof, Carly Mohr, Kyle Whittle, Jeremy Proksch, Nicolas Kuttis, Andrew Brodofske, Ryan Schultz, Joanna Dowdell, Matt Moser, Natasha Salonen, Brett Kropf, and Josh Otto, who received the highest score in the Province of Ontario for his marketing cluster exam.

Thirteen of Waterloo-Oxford’s DECA members received ribbons for being in the Top 10 for their DECA role-plays.

Congratulations to Nick Hammer, Liam Henderson, Brett Kropf, Josh Otto, Natasha Salonen, Andrew Paling and Joanna Dowdell, Matt Moser and David Helps, Natasha Makavora and Mikaela Malson and Ryan Schultz and Deanna Stevely.

Congratulations to the following medal winners: Brett Kropf for his gold medal in Business Management, Josh Otto for his gold medal in Retail Merchandising Series, Natasha Salonen for her silver medal in  Apparel & Accessories Marketing, Matt Moser and David Helps for their silver medals in Business Law and Ethics, Ryan Schultz and Deanna Stevely for their silver medals  in Financial Analysis, and Andrew Paling and Joanna Dowdell for their bronze medals in Business Law and Ethics.

Thirty-three of Waterloo-Oxford’s DECA students will continue to compete in their categories for Provincials held in February in Toronto.

Congratulations to all our W-O DECA students as coaches Brown, Dertinger, Kelly, Kipfer, and Pedley are all very proud of your performances.

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