Author Archives: nheditor

Reading Week celebrated at Grandview PS

Students, staff and families participated in a variety of activities and presentations to celebrate Reading Week at Grandview PS in New Hamburg last week.

Author Eric Walters reads to students at Grandview School during reading week.

This special week to encourage and emphasize reading enjoyment and reading engagement was kicked off on Monday with a presentation to the Primary students by storyteller Derek Brisland.

Tuesday was Pajama Day, the Scholastic Book Fair opened and in the evening a Family Literacy Night was hosted by Kim Krueger-Kischak, an Early Literacy Specialist from the YMCA.

On Wednesday Eric Walters, a well-known Canadian children’s author, made a presentation to the students. Walters spoke about where he gets his ideas and inspiration for his many books. He shared his love of sports, Canadian history and nature and the many unsung and often unknown characters and events he has researched and included in his novels. Students were keen to ask Walters questions about his travels, his books and his experiences.

On Thursday local educator Mary Sasanow visited each class, bringing the Book of Awesome alive for the students. At the end of the day, students, grandparents, parents and staff were all invited to Stop, Drop and Read for the last period of the day.

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Optimist Club of New Dundee hops to it for annual Easter Egg Hunt’s big turnout


John Underhill reports the New Dundee Optimist Club had a great turn out for their annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 7. Approximately 200 kids hunted for Easter treats. There were three big winners of a basket with more Easter treats. Pictured above from left, are winners Brooklyn Joyce, Easton Mayer and Anya Muskaluke. A good time was had by all on a beautiful sunny morning. The Optimists are sure the kids look forward to the Easter Bunny’s return next year.


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New Hamburg Skating Club presents spring spectacle at the WRC on Saturday










The New Hamburg Skating Club presents its bi-annual Carnival An Amazing Alphabet Adventure on Saturday afternoon at the Wilmot Recreation Complex. Skaters of all ages demonstrated their skills on the ice in front of a packed gallery of spectators. Here, three flowers dazzle the audience with a colourful collection of spins and twirls as the club works through the alphabet theme. Next up was the letter G and an eerie black-light ghost show chased by an appearance from the Ghostbusters.

A second show runs Saturday night starting at 6:30.

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New Hamburg’s Marie McNabb elected to Ontario 4-H Council Board of Directors











Marie McNabb, of New Hamburg, was elected to the Ontario 4-H Council Board of Directors recently at the 4-H Ontario annual meeting.

McNabb is seen here being welcomed by John Den Haan, the newly acclaimed president of the Ontario 4-H Council.  An active volunteer with the Waterloo 4-H Association, McNabb has a long history with 4-H in Oxford and Halton counties, and is currently Treasurer and Board Director with Waterloo 4-H.  Marie and her husband Ken own and operate a dairy farm in New Hamburg, along with their three sons.

To learn more about 4-H in Waterloo and Ontario, visit

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Small business responds to local needs with “Little Souls” fundraiser

Charlotte Muller, daughter of Baby Charlotte owner Carla Muller sits in the foreground as her mom presents a $500 cheque from her "Little Souls" fundraiser to Wellesley Township (CAPC) Family Outreach Worker, Sue Martin and Woolwich Township (CAPC) Family Outreach Worker, Shirley Redekop.

by Lynda Kohler
Woolwich Community Health Centre

Some families in our communites face financial struggles for various reasons.  When low income earners struggle to provide for their families, the Rural Family (CAPC) Outreach Workers become a key support.

Family Outreach Workers are located across Waterloo Region, providing the necessary connections, links and supports to help reduce poverty in our region.

The current economy has created many needs within Woolwich and Wellesley Townships but also many generous individuals and businesses who have supported our community and contributed to filling this need.

Carla Muller is the owner of Baby Charlotte, a children’s store in Conestogo, who before Christmas, learned about the need for children’s shoes for low-income families in our community.

She generously donated 116 pairs of brand new children’s shoes and began wrapping gifts at her store to generate some donations towards purchasing shoes of larger sizes.  She called this fundraiser, the “Little Souls” Campaign.

The many donated pairs of shoes were shared between our Woolwich Township Family Outreach Worker, Shirley Redekop and Wellesley Township Family Outreach Worker, Sue Martin, who are a division of Community Action Program for Children (CAPC), which is sponsored by Mosaic Counseling and Family Services.

The two quickly connected with families so that many of the shoes could be distributed before Christmas.

“I gave the adorable shoes to some families and I could see how proud the mothers and children were,” commented Martin. “One three year old girl kept stopping to look down at her feet and admire her new pink shoes while another two year old boy kept running with his shoes since they made a squeaking sound when he ran.”

Overall the families were very thankful for the generous donation.

Last week the two Rural (CAPC) Family Outreach Workers received another call from Carla Muller from Baby Charlotte and surprisingly, she had raised $500 in donations from the “Little Souls” Campaign.

“This donation will be so helpful in providing shoes for some of the older children who I support,” Redekop said.

When they arrived to accept the donation, Carla Muller provided yet another donation of sleepers, bibs and toys for babies, clothing items for some young children and 55 pairs of new shoes.

The generosity of this small business owner is overwhelming and will support many families within our community.  For more information about the Family Outreach Worker Program you may contact the Community Outreach Information Line at 519 883-2290.

It is inspiring to see how a small business owner, who sees a need, responded with such creativity and generosity.

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Heritage photo elicits calls to identify kids

Information is coming in about the kids in this photo, circa. 1951, that was featured in this year’s Heritage Edition.

The youth Bible club met at the Wilmot Street home of Henry Gingerich and his wife on Tuesday evenings, not Sundays as stated in our Heritage Edition. Jean Kelterborn (Lebold), second girl from left in back, and Shirley Roth (Wagler), with glasses in back row, called to identify some of the kids.

To see a tagged version of this photo with names. See our Facebook page, or post a comment below to name them yourself.

The photo was submitted by Les Bowman, in front second from right.

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Baden’s Me To We team delivers spice to St. John’s Kitchen

Surrounded by spices collected during a spice drive organized by Baden school’s Me To We team, Brittany Carey, Lydia Herrle and Rebecca Wheeler, were ready to deliver their collection to St. John’s Kitchen on Wednesday.

The school collected over 17 kilograms (38 pounds) of spices and herbs including almost 2 kg each of curry powder, chili powder, onion powder and over 4 kg of garlic powder. The second spice drive run by the school’s Me To We team will meet the needs at the Kitchener soup kitchen, which receives tons of food donations but usually has to purchase spices out of its annual budget.

St. John’s Kitchen has operated for 19 years and has 160 volunteers. Every year, the charity serves approximately 200,000 pounds of donated food to clients who can’t afford to feed themselves and often have physical and mental health issues.

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Heritage Wilmot celebrates Wilmot’s rich culinary past

Roy Berfelz, right, shows Willie and Annie Cober one of his mom’s recipe books as they take in Berfelz’s display of vintage kitchen implements and apple butter cauldrons during Saturday’s Heritage Day event at the St. Agatha Community Centre. Berfelz’s display was one of over 30 displays detailing every facet of the township’s culinary tastes and traditions, from ice harvesting to breweries. Heritage Wilmot’s Heritage Day: Recipes of our Past, welcomed hundreds despite the weather and raised close to $600 for Wilmot Family Resource Centre through a silent auction featuring items donated by local businesses.

Brad Schneller captured a few moments during Saturday’s events. Check out the slideshow if you missed it.


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Joseph Schneider Haus Museum curator Susan Burke speaks about Wilmot's culinary traditions during Saturday's Heritage Day event in St. Agatha.

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Twin City Spinners impress W-O’s championship winning basketball teams

  • Twin City Spinners player Warren Ibbotson looks for an opening in the Crusaders’ defence during an exhibition game with W-O players Friday. The local wheelchair basketball team was at the school to demonstrate the sport to an enthusiastic crowd of students during the Waterloo-Oxford’s annual Winter Carnival.
  • Twin City Spinners player Tyler Miller, who plays for Team Canada, prepares to shoot.

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Wilmot Aquatic Aces hold first swim meet in new facility

The Wilmot Aquatic Aces Swim Club (WAAC)  hosted the team’s first Aqua 7 swim meet Sunday against the Norfolk Hammerheads, kicking off what team executives and Wilmot staff hope will be a regular sight at the newly-opened pool.

The day got off to an inspiring start with bagpiper Robert Shilliday leading a procession of swim timers, officials and local dignitaries around the pool deck.

Former Wilmot Mayor Wayne Roth receives enthusiastic applause from a crowd of swimmers and spectators Sunday morning as the new Wilmot Aquatic Centre hosted its first Aqua 7 swim meet. Wilmot Aquatic Aces executive Paul Mackie thanked the former mayor and council for securing funding that allowed the community to realize its recreational goals 10 years sooner than expected.

Team executive member Paul Mackie provided opening comments, thanking former council members and current staff for making the long-dreamed-of facility a reality.

Piper Robert Shilliday, of New Hamburg, leads a procession of timers and Swim Ontario officials around the deck of the new eight-lane competitive pool, which complies with FINA length standards.

The meet brought 112 swimmers aged 4 to 19 to the competitive pool for the first time. Wilmot will host the Aqua 7 swim league  finals in May, bringing all seven teams together for the day-long event.

Swimmers take to the pool during Sunday's Aqua 7 swim meet at the Wilmot Recreation Complex, a first for the recently opened pool.

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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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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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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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Tavistock welcomed Santa with the sun on Saturday

Float organizers got creative with the “toys” theme to make Saturday’s Tavistock Santa Parade a big success. Check out the photos if you missed it.

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