Page 1

Niagara Sewing Machine Services

Thursday, March 14, 2019 | Volume 1 | Issue 4

Fort Erie Paints Paint | Wallpaper | Window Coverings

Sales & Notions authorized dealer

7116 McLeod Rd, Unit 5 La Rose Plaza, Niagara Falls


401-B Garrison Rd, Fort Erie | (905) 991-8181

Hours: Mon – Fri: 8 am-6 pm | Saturday: 9 am-5 pm Sunday:10 am-3 pm

Help is available for vulnerable seniors - Page 5 -

Young pianist shares his love of music - Page 8 -

Meteors edged out of play-offs - Page 12 -

Gone Fishin’

Sarah Ferguson/Fort Erie Observer

Spring hasn’t sprung quite yet, but there was rods, reels, lures, and plenty of outdoor fun for everyone at the Niagara Outdoor Show held at the Fort Erie Leisureplex on Sunday. (Top) Joe Seinen and his three-year-old daughter Addison visited from Niagara Falls and had a great time playing an interactive Kids Casting game. (Top left) Six-year-old Brady Carter, of Niagara Falls, visited with volunteers from the Niagara District Trapper’s Council and held a red fox skin. (Bottom left) Six-year-old Rhys Sanderson from Fort Erie is pictured testing out a fishing rod.

Travelling? We Can Help. Donnie Edwards, B. Sc. Phm., R. Ph

Pharmacist, Owner

We offer Travel Consultations to ensure you have proper immunizations, over-the-counter medications and prescriptions for your trip.

Contact us or visit a pharmacist in-store for complete details.

View our selection of portable Home Health Care Products for more comfortable travelling.

Serving Niagara Communities for Over 35 years | 307 Ridge Road, Ridgeway | 905-894-2200 | |

Introducing the

Boggio App! Prescriptions and refills have never been so easy. Ask for your login today!


Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

1 Municipal Centre Drive | Fort Erie 905-871-1600 | PUBLIC NOTICE: LEGISLATED PUBLIC MEETING SHIPPING/CARGO CONTAINERS APPLICANT: TOWN OF FORT ERIE PROPOSED CHANGE TO TOWN’S ZONING BY-LAW 129-90 New definitions and changes to existing definitions (Shipping/Cargo Containers, Converted Shipping/Cargo Container and Vehicle Body) Changes to the General Provisions to: • �Permit a limited number of temporary shipping/cargo containers in Institutional Zones and Industrial Zones for a specified time period and with specific setbacks. • �Permit one temporary shipping/cargo container in conjunction with a Residential use for moving and renovations for specified time periods, with specific setbacks and limiting content. • �Permit converted shipping/cargo container(s) as an accessory use in Industrial Zones subject to screening and a stacking restriction. • �Permit shipping/cargo container(s) on Agricultural and Rural zoned properties subject to screening and on a per ha basis subject to a maximum number. • �Permit one converted shipping/cargo container as an accessory residential structure in all residential zones as well as agricultural, rural and neighbourhood development zones in conjunction with a residential use. • �Permit one converted shipping/cargo container as an accessory use in downtown/specialty Commercial zones (CMU Zones, C1, C2A and UEC Zones), Institutional and Public zones subject to site plan control and site plan guidelines. • �Permit two converted shipping/cargo containers for accessory uses in all other Commercial zones and Open Space zones subject to site plan control and site plan control guidelines. • �Prohibit shipping/cargo containers and converted shipping/cargo containers in Hazard, Environmental Protection, Dune Protection, and Environmental Conservation Zones, and on any property designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. PUBLIC MEETING Date: April 8, 2019 Time: 6 p.m. Place: Council Chambers, Town Hall, 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie, ON L2N 2S6 HAVE YOUR SAY: Input on any proposed matter is welcome and encouraged. You can provide input by speaking at one of the meetings or by making a written submission to the Town. Please note, unless you do one of the above now, you may not be able to appeal the decision later. WRITTEN STATEMENT:


To provide input in writing, or to request personal notice if the proposed change is adopted, please send a letter c/o Carol Schofield, Manager, Legislative Services/Clerk, 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie, ON, L2A 2S6 or an email to A copy of the Information Report will be available to the public by 5 p.m. on March 27, 2019. The information report will be available at (Government > Agendas & Minutes) or from the Town’s Planning and Development Services Department.

To be added to the mailing list or for more information about this matter, including information about preserving your appeal rights, contact Kira Dolch, MCIP, RPP, CNU-A Associate Director, Planning and Development Services, at or 905-871-1600, ext. 2502.


The Corporation of the Town of Fort Erie is inviting submissions from interested bidders to provide hourly rates for equipment, including operator and any rentals, for the period April 16, 2019 to April 15, 2020. The request for quotation further describes how to advise of any float, minimum or travel time charges. This bid opportunity can be obtained in the following ways: • Visiting • Contacting Sara Fox in Procurement at, 905-871-1600 ext. 2321. • Picking up a copy at Town Hall, 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie ON Sealed submissions addressed to the Procurement Division, will be received by the Customer Service Unit (CSU) at 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie ON until 2:00 p.m. local time on: THURSDAY, MARCH 28th, 2019 The Corporation of the Town of Fort Erie reserves the right to reject any or all submissions and the lowest or any submission will not necessarily be accepted. Infrastructure Services

REQUEST FOR TENDER SURFACE TREATMENT 2019 – ISE-19T-RSRF(ST)19 HOT MIX ASPHALT 2019 - ISE-19T-RSRF(H)19 ASPHALT PATCHING 2019 – ISE-19T-RSRF(AP)19 ASPHALT UTILITY CUT REINSTATEMENT 2019 ISO-19T-AUCR As part of the Town’s annual road maintenance program, the following tenders are being issued: ISE-19T-RSRF(ST)19 Surface Treatment - pulverizing existing road surfaces using a mechanical pulverizer, and placing a layer of emulsified asphalt and aggregate. ISE-19T-RSRF(H)19 Hot Mix Asphalt - milling and paving of various road sections within the municipality. The contract shall also include the pulverizing of existing road surfaces using a mechanical pulverizer and paving new hot mix asphalt road surfaces. ISE-19T-RSRF(AP)19 Asphalt Patching - milling and paving various asphalt patches on trails and parking lots throughout the municipality ISO-19T-AUCR Asphalt Utility Cut Reinstatement - hot mixed asphalt reinstatement at various driveway and road locations of utility cuts made for culverts, sewers and watermains Note that in accordance with the Town of Fort Erie’s Safe Work Standard for Contractor Safety, bids will only be accepted from Contractors that have pre-qualified by the date and time that this tender was issued. These bid opportunities can be obtained in the following ways: • .Visiting • Picking up a copy at Town Hall - Infrastructure Services, 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie ON, upon payment of twenty-eight dollars and twenty-five cents. ($28.25) Sealed submissions addressed to Carol Schofield, Town Clerk, will be received by the Customer Service Unit (CSU) at 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie, ON until: 2:00 p.m. LOCAL TIME on: TUESDAY, MARCH 26th, 2019 The Corporation of the Town of Fort Erie reserves the right to reject any or all submissions and the lowest or any submission will not necessarily be accepted. Infrastructure Services

Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019


Residents don’t want to pay fee to access Bay Beach Sarah Ferguson Fort Erie Observer Town councillors heard from Greater Fort Erie residents last week, who said locals shouldn’t have to pay for the privilege of having access to Bay Beach. Councillors heard overcrowding, tents, barbecues, parking, security and litter were some of issues beach users faced last summer. More than 15 people, both permanent and summer residents, shared their thoughts about how Bay Beach should operate. Fort Erie staff organized the meeting that was held at Town Hall last Monday to gather feedback on a report that detailed options on how to manage the daily operations at Bay Beach such as parking, staffing costs and whether to charge users for access to the beach. The report, which was presented to the council last month, outlines three options that look at charging admission to the beach. The first option would require all users to pay an admission fee during prime hours; the second option calls for all adults to pay a fee, with free admission for youths 15 and under; the third option calls for free admission for Fort Erie residents, with all non-residents expected to pay. June Chipp said charging an admission fee is the wrong approach, and the Town should instead put “more energy into turning those crowds to our advantage, not turning tourists away.” “We have one of the best beaches on Canada’s south coast and people are going to come,” Chipp said.

The Town is examining solutions for operations at Bay Beach. At a public meeting held last week, many people said access to the beach should be free for Fort Erie residents.

She pointed out that other beaches along Lake Erie’s shoreline such as Long Beach and Nickel Beach here in Niagara and beaches in Port Dover, Port Burwell, and Turkey Point don’t charge users a fee. Louise Carr, a senior summer resident in Crystal Beach, said residents, both full and part-time, shouldn’t be charged a fee. “We are taxpayers and many of us are on a limited income. Please don’t do it,” she said. Carr also noted that tents, barbecues and other large items have impacted the enjoyment of the waterfront for many beach users. “I don’t go to the beach on a weekend because it’s too crazy,” she explained. “The last time I went to the beach, someone brought a living room couch and put it underneath a tent.” Another resident, Casey Bruyns, was con-

cerned about the lack of safety at Bay Beach. He told councillors he’s seen many barbecues on the beach. “Can you imagine a child stepping on hot coals? Can you imagine the cost of a lawsuit? Why can’t we just go and find a really good security company?” he asked. Ken Todd told the council he’d like to see the Town value the beach more as an asset. “To me, (charging) $5 is not enough,” he said, and added Fort Erie residents shouldn’t have to pay to use a fee, but non-resident adults should pay $10. He also said children should be allowed to use the beach for free. According to Todd, someone coming from Toronto is “not going to balk at (paying) $10.” He also told councillors he felt there is a need for better enforcement of rules to im-

prove the experience for beach users. Bill Hein spoke on behalf of Church on the Beach, a group that offers a weekly non-denominational service on the beach during the Summer months. He said Church on the Beach hopes to continue providing services this year, without having to charge patrons a fee to access the beach. He also asked the council to consider issuing permits to allow tents on the beach. He said the group pays $8,000 a year to be able to use Bay Beach. The group typically puts up three tents, which are on the beach from 8:30 a.m. and removed by 10 a.m. following the group’s service. “We do have three tents and we’d like to have the permission to use them,” he said. Hein asked the council to keep the Ashwood access to the beach open at least for disabled people who use the access site for Church on the Beach services. In the report, staff said the beach sees an average of 84,000 users during prime beach days. Based on that number, staff estimated if everyone who accessed the beach paid a $5 fee, or purchased a $25 season pass, the fees would generate $223,000 in revenue, as well as $84,000 in parking revenue. If council chooses option two, staff estimate the revenue at $189,000 and $50,400 for option three. Town staff will provide a follow-up report, which will include the comments from last Monday’s public meeting as well as a recommendation for the council on March 18.

Town reports 1 million hours worked without injuries Fort Erie Observer Staff The Town of Fort Erie is proud to say staff have worked well over a million hours without any injuries. The accomplishment is significant given the fact that this achievement includes all the Town’s staff, some of whom work in particularly hazardous occupations. “Training in health and safety remains a priority, as Employment Services has continued their ongoing effort to maintain a strong networking relationship with other municipalities and safety associations to ensure that we stay ahead of the ongoing landscape in health and safety for the Town of Fort Erie,” Mayor

Wayne Redekop said in a news statement released by the Town on Monday. The news release credited the Joint Health and Safety Committee for its instrumental role in providing expertise and ongoing support to ensure the Town has a safe and healthy work environment. The release stated every Town staff member has contributed to this important milestone and should be applauded for their effort.

“It’s important to understand that this achievement, of working over a million hours, without a lost time injury claim is only the beginning of our continued effort to ensure that all employees begin and finish each working day without an injury,” Kelly Walsh, director of infrastructure services, said. “This effort is one that we will continue to work towards and also one that each employee should expect when they start work each day.”

Join us for the Central Fire Fighter Association’s

Cross-Border Tax Preparation Preparation of Canadian and US tax Returns Call Mark Fehrman at

KIS Business Management 905-871-8869

St. Patrick’s Day Pancake Breakfast Sunday, March 17 8 am to 1 pm

Adults: $8 | Kids: $5

Fort Erie Central Firehall 444 Central Ave Supporting the Fire Department Family and Making our Community a Better Place!

March is Customer Appreciation Month Throughout March, Receive Sam Bashta B.Sc., phm., | Manager/Pharmacist 315 Ridge Road N | Ridgeway Conveniently located near the intersection of Ridge Rd. N. and Cutler St. in downtown Ridgeway.

Phone: (905) 894-2520 | Hours: Monday and Tuesday: 9 am to 8 pm | Thursday and Friday: 9 am to 8 pm Wednesday and Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm | Sunday: Closed

15% off *

your total purchase with this coupon. Regular-priced merchandise only. Excludes: Lottery, Prescriptions, Special Orders and Codeine Products. Other restrictions may apply. See Store for Details. Expires March 31, 2019

Check out the Spring Line at Brodie’s Gift Shoppe!

Veterans Affairs Officer

Royal Canadian Legion - Branch 71 130 Garrison Road on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 From 9 am - ? Please Bring Valid Government ID.


Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

Fort Erie’s taxes are poised to rise 2.02 per cent Sarah Ferguson Fort Erie Observer Fort Erie residents can expect to see their tax bill increase for 2019. Councillors sat down to discuss the general levy, which came in at $27.67 million, during a meeting held at Town Hall last Tuesday night. The increase will mean the average homeowner, with a house assessed at $195,000, can expect to pay an extra $4.76 per month or $57.14 per year. The increase in the tax bill is 2 per cent when combined with regional and school board taxes. The Town’s portion of the bill is 2.02 per cent. Jonathan Janzen, the Town’s treasurer, gave a presentation to the council that highlighted the items included in the general levy such as a grant for the Fort Erie Economic Development and Tourism Corporation. There was some back and forth between the councillors about what to do regarding the EDTC’s budget request of $679,678. The discussion centred around the fact last November, the council decided to terminate its memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the EDTC. Mayor Wayne Redekop pointed out that the Town is still required to provide the

Fort Erie’s councillors have set the budget for 2019. The average homeowner with a home assessed at $195,000 can expect to pay an extra $4.76 per month, or $57.14 a year.

same level of funding the EDTC received in 2018, which was $665,047. He also said he felt the agency should receive “no more, (or) no less,” and the rest of the councillors agreed to give the EDTC the same amount the agency received the previous year. During the discussion that took place, Ward 6 Coun. Ann-Marie Noyes said she didn’t “feel comfortable” giving the agency over half a million dollars without first knowing dollar for dollar, where the money was going to be spent. Ward 1 Coun. George McDermott said

he understood Noyes’ concerns but echoed Redekop’s point that the Town still has an obligation to provide funding to the EDTC until the end of the MOA. “Just like they have to honour what we’re doing, I think we have to honour it whether we like it or not, to be honest with you. We have the obligation,” he said. McDermott also pointed out that Town staff have been working with a consultant to identify the best model for delivering economic services to the municipality. Redekop said Town staff are by no means “economic development experts,”

and require assistance in that way from the EDTC. He added that the Town can give some direction as to how the money should be spent. The council also reduced the Fort Erie Public Library’s grant request for $337,681,985 by $25,000. The rest of the money the library requires will come from its reserves. The money will be used for improvements to be made at the library’s Centennial branch and was an additional request included with the library’s 1.55 million budget. A grant request of $25,000 for the Crystal Ridge Community Centre to assist with operations was denied. Other items in the general include: • $500,000 contribution to capital reserves • $400,000 for Emerald Ash Borer tree removal • $50,000 for Affordable Housing Committee needs assessment • $40,000 for Crystal Beach Secondary Plan parking study • $6,857 for Short-Term Rental education campaign • $15,000 for Communities-in-Bloom event planning student • $20,000 for Ridgeway Manor stage 3 archaeological assessment

Councillors reject chicken bylaw for rural residents Sarah Ferguson Fort Erie Observer A proposed pilot project that would have allowed homeowners in rural residential areas to raise chickens on their property

got councillors clucking at Town Hall last week. Last August, the council directed staff to prepare a draft proposal for the pilot project and the report was presented at last Monday’s



c ou n c i l - i n - c om m itte e meeting. But the council voted against it and the Town will continue as it has been, which is to restrict the keeping of chickens

Come see us for all your flooring needs!

to agricultural and ruralzoned lands only. “I’m thinking this is a solution to what so far has not been a problem,” Mayor Wayne Redekop said. With the exception of one complaint about a Stevensville resident who kept chickens in the urban boundary, Redekop couldn’t recall other complaints in the many years he’s served on council. “I think if people who have chickens in their backyard and their neighbours aren’t complaining,

I don’t care. I’m indifferent…if neighbours are complaining, that’s a different story,” he said. “We’re going to be setting up a lot of work for a small amount of people.” “Being a farmer’s daughter,” Ward 6 Coun. Ann-Marie Noyes said she would support the pilot project. She felt it is “better to be prepared” and the bylaw would create a framework for if and when there may be issues in the future. “It’s being proactive,”

Proud to support local news! • Solid & Engineered Hardwood • Laminate • Carpet in Broadloom, Tiles and a Great Assortment of Area Rugs • ALWAYS FREE Estimates

• Waterproof Luxury Vinyl Planks Wood and Tile - Click or Glue • Ceramic Tile and Porcelain: Mild to Wild For Walls and Floors • Regular Monthly Specials

Serving Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake & Fort Erie 905-357-0681 • •

Est. 1978

Your Comfort Experts Hardwood | Carpet | Laminate | Vinyl | Tile Sales | Service | Installation • Like Us On

Store Hours:

Monday to Friday: 8:30 am to 5 pm Saturday: 10 am to 3 pm Sunday: Closed

Major Credit Cards Accepted

409 Walden Boulevard Fort Erie | Located Behind Sobey’s


• Air Conditioning • Plumbing • Sump Pumps

• Heating • Pool Heaters • BBQ Lines

FREE Estimates 3711 Main Street West, Stevensville• 905-382-3133

she said. The report prepared by staff noted a growing trend has emerged in Canada towards reintegrating livestock into residential areas. If it had been approved, the temporary bylaw would have called for properties to have setbacks of three metres from side and rear lot lines, as well as 7.6 metres from neighbouring homes and schools. There would have been no minimum lot sizes to have chickens. The number of hens would have been limited to five; and the keeping of roosters wouldn’t have been permitted. Chickens would have been required to be registered but licencing wouldn’t be required. Owners wouldn’t have been allowed to sell eggs, and the slaughter of chickens at home banned unless it was done by a certified professional.

Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019


Help a phone call away for vulnerable seniors Penny Coles Special to the Observer

Help for a senior struggling with any number of problems can be just a phone call away — but only if you know who to call. Niagara Gatekeepers is a program that for more than 20 years has been trying to keep seniors living independently and safely in their homes, by arranging for a variety of services to answer the many needs of the aging and vulnerable. It provides a number to call for the “gatekeeper” — the person who is concerned about a next-door neighbour who seems to be growing increasingly more confused or withdrawn; a family member who sees a loved one forgetting about hygiene and grooming and needs outside help; or someone who is concerned about the deteriorating health of a friend but can’t convince them to seek medical help. The caller may even be someone whose job has brought them into contact with a senior who seems unable to handle money or pay bills, says Jennifer Butera, program manager for seniors community programs with the Niagara Region. Although it started out as a pilot project organized by an individual who ran it out of his home, when the demand became too great, it was taken over by the Niagara Region, and now is offered in partnership with the Local Health Integration Network, says Butera. It provides a confidential service for anyone who wants to seek assistance for a senior who seems to be at risk, who may be isolated, having difficulty maintaining independence, who may not know where to turn for help or even be aware they need help. The telephone line connects the gatekeeper with a staff member of the LHIN, and depending on the nature of the concern, information is passed on to partnering agencies such as the Alzheimer Society of Niagara, Niagara Region Seniors Community Programs or the Region’s mental health program. Or it could be directed to Meals on Wheels for a senior who isn’t eating properly, financial services to help with tax arrears, or to arrange transportation to a

medical appointment. “We call and say ‘we’re concerned and we want to ensure you have all the help you need.’ We try to develop a rapport with them, however if they say they’re fine, we can’t impose help on them.” The caller is very “non-threatening,” Butera adds. Most often the person on the receiving end of the phone call is happy to have someone to talk to, she says, and to have help offered. If they say they don’t require assistance, an offer is made to mail them some information in case they change their minds. “A lot of times we find they really do have some needs. They might be cognitively declining, they may not have food in the house, and unable to get out. They’re happy to have that extra help.” Sean Simpson, owner of Simpson’s Pharmasave, says he can think of one patient whom he will refer. “We have patients we see starting to fall though the cracks. It’s good for us to be able to refer somebody for help.” The problem he sees most often as a pharmacist is patients who are having difficulty with memory. “We start to notice they’re calling us more often because of confusion. Some have family close by, but sometimes they don’t. Any time we can refer somebody and get them some help, it can be lifechanging,” says Simpson. “I think it’s important to get the word out there that there’s help available.” After a few years of averaging about 100 calls a year, last year the number went up to 168, “definitely exceeding the expected numbers,” says Butera. But she feels there are seniors and people in regular contact with them who don’t know where to turn, or when it’s time to ask for help. The program uses volunteers to make the public aware of the service by organizing presentations and events; to volunteer call 905-984-6900, ext. 3865. The intake number to call about a senior suspected of requiring assistance is 905-684-0968. The Gatekeeper line is open 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., 365 days a year.

For Everyone’s Peace of Mind... • Do you have a will? • Does your old will need updating? • Do you have power of attorneys appointed? Practising for over 34 Years



Gatekeepers can initiate referral for the appropriate agency to provide assistance for seniors.

A senior showing the following signs • Deteriorating health, difficulty may need assistance: seeing, speaking or hearing, poor • Difficulty communicating, memory mobility • Decreased ability to handle money or loss or confusion • Becoming withdrawn, hostile or pay bills angry • Neglect, abuse, isolation, or • Changes to personal appearance wandering • Deteriorating home conditions

Dr Patricia Teal M.D., F.R.C.S. (C)

Excited to see the return of a truly local newspaper in our community! Dr. Patricia Teal is a skilled Opthalmic (Eye) Surgeon. She graduated in medicine from the University of Western Ontario and in opthalmology from the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada. Her office in Fort Erie offers comprehensive eye care, as well as high-volume oculoplastic/cosmetic services. She has an extremely busy eye care practice with referrals from family doctors and optometrists throughout the Niagara Peninsula. She has been president of both provincial and national eye associations and is highly respected by her peers. Her Cosmetic training is extensive with mini fellowships in cosmetic eye surgery in Los Angeles, California and Miami, Florida, complementing her basic oculoplastic training in Toronto. Dr. Teal’s family are long-time Fort Erie residents. She and her husband, Dr. David Henry (family practice) and brother, John Teal (lawyer) have practiced in Fort Erie for their entire careers. Dr. Teal has always enjoyed her work in eye care and has no intentions of retiring soon.

Call Ken Hagan J.D.


29 Jarvis Street, Fort Erie

238 Bertie Street, Fort Erie | 905.871.6738 |


Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

I feel like I can do anything now. I still can’t believe I did it. To have accomplish something like this is life-changing.

Kami McCallum

on Climbing Mount Everest

Striking up support makes a difference for Fort Erie Youth It’s doesn’t take a lot to make a huge difference in a young person’s life, it just takes some quality time and an opportunity to develop meaningful relationships. That’s exactly what Big Brothers and Big Sisters volunteers offer to their Littles. No doubt you’ve been hearing a lot about Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Niagara’s big push for its largest annual fund-raiser, Bowl For Kids’ Sake this month. Bowlers across Niagara are hitting the lanes in hopes of scoring more than spares and strikes, they are also raising money to support the organization, that provides mentoring programs to hundreds of children in the region. The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has been offering life-changing mentoring

experiences since 1912 and has impacted more than 40,000 young people in over 1,100 communities across Canada. Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children who struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their lives including: detrimental living conditions, family violence, potential risk factors for developing mental health issues, problems at school and identity challenges. These challenges they face have nothing to do with the value of who they are as people and who they can become. But, when obstacles get in the way, they may not have the opportunity to reach their full potential. That’s where Big Brothers Big Sisters comes in. Children are matched with mentors, who spend time with, and encourage

them to achieve their full potential, with the ultimate goal of putting an end to the continuing cycles of poverty and crime, or developing mental health issues children may face over the course of their lives. With the support and guidance of a mentor, the risks young people are faced with in their daily lives can be reduced or avoid altogether because they are reminded they can achieve their dreams and can aspire to be anything they want to be. There are a number of ways to volunteer, including one-to-one mentoring where young people are paired with a role model to talk to and share their experiences of growing up. Big Brothers Big Sisters also offers inschool, group and online mentorship pro-

cipality of Bertie and the Village of Fort Erie. (Fort Erie Council Minutes 1857-1882, MS 644, Reel 1, R.G. 21, Municipal Records)

Happy Birthday from Fort Erie Museum Services! If your birthday falls between March 14 and March 20 these are the milestone events that happened in our town on that date. If you would like to read more about what was happening in town on the day and year that you were born please stop by the Historical Museum to view the digital newspaper collection. A list of newspapers is available on the Museum’s website at Click on the Archives

and Database link and then the Newspaper Collection link. We are located at 402 Ridge Road, Ridgeway. Contact us by phone at 905-894-5322 or e-mail March 14 1850 - Bertie Town Council passes a by-law to license and regulate certain ale and beer houses and to prevent, restrain and regulate the exhibition of wax figures, wild animals and other “idle acts and feats.” (FEHM Files, Bertie Township Council Minutes) 1935 - An article

Letters to the Editor: Are welcome and must contain the writer’s full name, address and telephone number for verification purposes. Sorry, but anonymous letters won’t be published. Maximum 350 words. The newspaper reserves the right to change, condense or reject any contribution for brevity, clarity or legal circumstances. All material in this publication is protected by copyright. Reproduction is prohibited without expressed written permission of the publisher.

March 16 1971 - The Town of Fort Erie grants the Bertie Historical Society use of one room in the old town hall. (R. M. Disher, The Bertie Town Hall Story 1874–1974, Ridgeway, Ont.: Robert Disher, on welfare in Fort Erie 1974, p. 39) prompts a letter to the editor noting that reMarch 17 cipients of relief are liv1858 - The Irish Reing on 12 cents per day publican Brotherhood or four cents per meal. forms on St. Patrick’s Day. (Times-Review, March The American wing is 18, 1935) the Fenian Brotherhood. 1946 - Fort Erie Junior (Fighting for Canada: Chamber of Commerce Seven Battles 1758–1945, votes to arouse pubDonald F. Graves, ed., lic consciousness to the 2000, p. 137) need for mail delivery in 1915 - Five hundred Fort Erie. (Times-Review, and twenty-five troops of April, 1971) the 44th Regiment conMarch 15 gregate in Fort Erie caus1858 - Fort Erie Couning fear of a German incil authorizes the Clerk vasion. Authorities assure to go to Toronto and seek townspeople that it is only legal advice concerning for tactical training. (The the problems that have Ridgeway Herald, 1915) arisen between the MuniPublisher: Marina Butler phone: 905-871-2627 | Managing Editor: Sarah Ferguson phone: 289-321-2561 | Community Reporter: Bryanne Martin Marketing/Business Development/Composing: Jennifer Chornley phone: 289-354-3894 | Marketing/Business Development: Jennifer Wilkinson phone: 905-658-4250 | 1220 Garrison Road | Fort Erie ON | L2A 1P1

grams so there’s a number of ways to make a difference. If you can’t volunteer your time right now, there is still a way to support all the good work the organization does. Carroll’s Bowling Lanes in Fort Erie is holding a Bowl for Kids’ Sake event on March 23. Teams of four to six people are needed, and games will be played with time slots available at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. This year’s theme is Fandemonium, which means participants are encouraged to come dressed as whatever they are a fan of. For more information or to register a team, visit or call 905-735-0570 ext. 221. Sarah Ferguson

1936 - The roof of the Peace Bridge Arena collapses as over 25 inches of heavy, wet snow fell in less than 8 hours. (Many Voices, Fort Erie, Ont.: Fort Erie Museum Board, 1996, p. 226) March 18 1947 - George W. Holmes manufactures Motorettes, a threewheeled car, in the planing mill in Ridgeway. (Many Voices II, Fort Erie, Ont.: Fort Erie Historical Museum 2004, p. 124) March 19 1864 - Fort Erie Council holds a special meeting in order, “to have this Council Chamber suitably furnished”. Meetings were then held in a schoolhouse on the southwest corner of Waterloo (then Victoria) and Forsythe Streets. (Fort Erie Council Minutes 1857-1882, MS 644, Reel 1, R.G.21, Municipal Records; Many Voices II, Fort Erie, Ont.: Fort Erie Historical Museum, 2004, p.267)

1864 - Fort Erie Council holds a special meeting in order, “to have this Council Chamber suitably furnished”. Meetings were then held in a schoolhouse on the southwest corner of Waterloo (then Victoria) and Forsythe Streets. (Fort Erie Council Minutes 1857-1882, MS644, Reel 1 RG21, Municipal Records; Many Voices II, Fort Erie, Ont.: Fort Erie Historical Museum, 2004, p.267) March 20 1909 - Ridgeway Free Public Library opens its new building on Disher Street in Ridgeway. (The Ridgeway Herald, Mar. 25, 1909) 1931 - Fire destroys the Odd Fellows Hall and Presbyterian Church on Courtwright Street. (FEHM Files, Municipal Government) 1976 - Fort Erie’s only regular bus run connecting Buffalo, Crystal Beach and Port Colborne ceases operation. (Buffalo Courier Express, Mar. 20, 1976)

Advertising: The Fort Erie Observer regrets any errors or omissions that appear in advertisements in this newspaper, however; we will not be held responsible for more than one ad sent or incorrect insertion or for any damages beyond the cost of space containing the error. Contributed articles are the opinions and thoughts of the writer and do not reflect those of Observer Staff. The Fort Erie Observer is an independently-owned and operated publication.

Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019


Weddings · Airport Service Corporate · Special Events Graduation/Prom · Sporting events Niagara Wine Tours


Councillor wants money spent on mental health, not barriers Tom Insinna

Niagara Region

Fort Erie Regional Councillor It has been a very busy time with the meetings regarding the Regional budget being finalized and all the other demands on one’s time. This month has flown by. One of the issues regarding the budget that I felt very strongly about is the netting that was to be built on an existing structure in St. Catharines, to prevent death by suicide. I stood before council and requested the funding be halted until an unbiased report could be drafted by staff regarding this venue. I am an advocate of doing what I can to help those with mental health issues, I however do not believe that spending over $4 million on a structure to prevent death by

suicide is the answer. I would rather see that amount of money being put into the health system to help those with mental health issues before it reaches that point. There have been many studies about venues and methods employed by people who are intent on dying by suicide. During my previous career I saw these events first hand and yes had to deal with the events associated with it. I am not saying that barriers to a structure would not help but I believe the money should be put into programs and outreach to prevent someone from getting to that final stage. I truly believe that a barrier can’t

take the place of a person who can talk with and assist someone in mental heath distress. This matter will be brought back to council once a report has been completed and I will keep you informed. The temporary Chief Administrative Officer has taken up her role at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, her name is Gayle Wood. Gayle comes to the NPCA after having led several other Conservation Authorities and with many years of experience. I have met with Mrs. Wood and am very impressed with how she is going about her job. Her term of employment is for five months and it is hoped that we will have a permanent CAO in place at that time. I have been attending several meetings regarding the selection of the next CAO and the process continues. I was also able to meet many of the hard working people at the NPCA office in Welland. They are a dedicated group of very educated people who are trying so desper-

ately to do what is right for the environment. Yes, we need to keep the politics out of it for this to succeed. I was able to tour the water treatment plant in Welland as part of the NPCA Water Source Protection meeting. I was truly amazed at the process and what was involved in order to get safe and clean drinking water to our taps. I also saw what state the facilities were in and the work that is needed to keep them in good working order. This only reinforced the need to increase the monies budgeted to the infrastructure as cracks were obvious and cement was deteriorating in the facilities. No, there is no need for alarm. The professionals that work at these facilities are doing a remarkable job; it is just that the life expectancy is nearing an end. In the month of April and hopefully once a month thereafter, I will be going to locations around the Town of Fort Erie and hosting information sessions. These are meetings I would like

to have with people in our community who may have suggestions as to how they see things and what else could be done to help Fort Erie from a Regional perspective. I am hoping that we could meet at a local establishment in different parts of the community, have a coffee, tea or water and discuss your suggestions and comments. I don’t know everything that there is to know about our community and what works and doesn’t work, that’s why I am turning to the people of Fort Erie for input. I will be making arrangements for locations and times and will ensure that they are posted here so that everyone will be informed. I am looking forward to hearing your suggestions on how we can make Fort Erie better, stay tuned! A special congratulations to the Town of Fort Erie employees for reaching an incredible milestone, 1 million hours accident free. Well done and keep up the good work. As always I can be reached at or 905-321-5908.

Hey, good-lookin’, whatchya got cookin’? Foodie resources galore Laura Trabucco


Community Engagement Librarian If you like to cook, where do you find your recipes? Cookbooks are among our most popular non-fiction books, and we have new cookbooks arriving at the library all the time. With the explosion of the Internet, there are now countless recipes to choose from online. But it remains true that some of the best recipes are the ones that are passed along in person. Perhaps you have a tattered recipe card in your grandmother’s handwriting. Maybe you have a scrap of paper where you hastily scribbled down a recommended recipe at a dinner party. There’s something to be said for a tried-andtrue recipe that someone else has already vetted, and

there’s bonus points if someone has already made it for you, and you’ve been able to taste it. At the library, we always want to empower you to learn. Sometimes that is from books, sometimes from the internet, and sometimes, from each other. Which is why we’re hosting an Instant Pot recipe swap! One of the most recognized multi-cooker brands is the Canadian-made Instant Pot, which has helped make pressure cooking fashionable again. The Instant Pot has nearly 30,000 reviews on Amazon, many of them glowing with praise. Year after year, the Instant pot smashes its own sales records: in 2018, Amazon reportedly sold 300,000 units in just 36 hours. Unlike the stove-top pressure cookers you might remember from your grandmother’s kitchen, the Instant Pot plugs in, and can be left to cook without any supervision. It’s a seven in one counter-top appliance, with different settings that allow it to work as an electric pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer, a rice maker, a sauteer, a yogurt maker, and a warmer. The

The GIC with an extra guarantee!

3.25% for 15 months

claims of the Instant Pot seem almost too good to be true: it promises healthy, convenient, fast, homemade food a fraction of the time. There is one catch that hinders many would-be enthusiasts: there’s a significant learning curve when it comes to the Instant Pot, or any multi cooker. It’s common for purchasers to buy their multi cooker and leave it in the box for several months. It can be an intimidating tool to start using. Since pressure cooking changes the boiling point of water, it is a different cooking technique. The Instant Pot has lots of buttons and settings, and it’s not necessarily intuitive. Whether you love or fear your Instant Pot, join us at the Centennial Branch at 7 p.m. for our Instant Pot recipe swap! You don’t have to be an expert -- just bring your questions. If you have a favourite recipe, you’re encouraged to send it to me ahead of time at or bring it on Wednesday, and we’ll make copies (free of charge) to share with the rest of the group.

Visit our Garrison Road branch in Fort Erie or any of our 8 branches across Niagara! @PenFinancial

Plus—if the Bank of Canada rate goes up, so does your GIC. For Terms & Conditions, visit our website at


Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

Budding musician inspired by Queen Sarah Ferguson Fort Erie Observer Phoenix Leach was three years old when he heard Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody for the first time. The instant he heard Mercury’s charismatic and powerful voice, Leach was hooked. “I remembered Phoenix asked me, ‘Mummy, who is that?’ What three-yearold asks that,” Leach’s mom, Sherry Torkos said with a laugh. After he heard the song, Leach wanted to hear it again, and again. “Phoenix wanted to know everything about Freddie Mercury, who he was, was he still alive,” Torkos explained. So, Phoenix and his parents searched for Queen videos on YouTube and Leach studied him. One of the first videos the young boy watched was Mercury’s Live Aid performance. He learned all the words to his new favourite song and learned everything he could about this amazing singer he just discovered. Torkos remembers watching her son pretending to play Bohemian Rhapsody on his toy piano

as a toddler. He’d even tried to sing the words and did his very best to perform the song note for note. When asked what it is about Queen that’s so special, Leach couldn’t quite put his finger on it. “I don’t know. I just think of how beautiful it sounded to me.” He said Bohemian Rhapsody is a song that “changed (his) life and made him love music. Torkos and her husband, Rick, aren’t musically inclined, and although they had a Queen CD somewhere in the house, they weren’t what they would describe as super fans. But the couple continued to fuel their son’s passion for music, and at the age of five Phoenix began music lessons under the guidance of Margie Feduck in Sherkston. “Margie is incredible with Phoenix and she’s a stickler for (technique) and making sure a piece is played right,” Torkos said. They found an old heavy piano on Kijiji in need of some tender love and care and fixed it up as best they could.

“The keys were ivory and chipped. Phoenix worked with it for about a year and that’s about the time we realized he was pretty serious, and we invested in a new Yamaha piano,” Torkos said. By the time Leach turned six, his parents said they noticed his growing passion and his ability to quickly pick songs up by ear. About six months ago, Leach began learning the guitar from Rob Rolston at the Fort Erie Music Academy, which has been a lot of fun for him. He enjoys playing everything from classical music, to Queen and a variety of classic rock songs including Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire.” He practices about 10 to 15 minutes a day, although when he was younger, sometimes it was a bit difficult because he has always been so full of energy and on the go. “When he was little, it was hard to get him to sit still,” she said. “When he first started, it would be for a couple of minutes.” The eight-year-old Grade 3 student was recently fea-

Ridgeway Lions

Pasta Dinner Thursday, March 21 | 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm Crystal Ridge Community Centre 99 Ridge Road S. Crystal Beach Adults and Takeout: $10.00 Children (Ages 5-12): $5.00 | Under 5: FREE

Sarah Ferguson/Fort Erie Observer

Phoenix Leach is set to perform with the Niagara Youth Orchestra on April 6. tured playing a Concertino in D Minor, by Walter and Carol Noona, in an episode of CHCH’s Tiny Talent Time. It’s a piece he performed at the Festival of the Arts in Port Colborne and won a gold medal for. The budding musician first heard about the opportunity through the Down the Rabbit Hole Theatre Company. Torkos said producers approached the local theatre company and asked to send in auditions. “We sent in a video and the producers got back to us within two hours,” Torkos said. Leach typically plays the concerto which has parts for two musicians, with his music teacher but had to learn and play both parts on his own for the television

performance. “He learned his teacher’s part in a couple lessons, and he did the television performance in one take,” the proud mom said. When asked if he was nervous about being on television, Leach laughed and said, “it was easy.” Torkos said it took a lot of hard work for her song to get there, and admits she was probably more nervous then he was. “Phoenix operates well under pressure. If you put him on stage, something kicks in and when he’s under pressure, he gives a flawless performance.” What Leach said he liked about the experience was meeting other kids and having the chance to perform on television. Up next, the youngster

Helping You Help Your Pets. Julia Ries & Bobby Marr, Co-owners

3-3840 Dominion Rd, Ridgeway 289-876-8258

Delivery Available Within 20 kms of Fort Erie

is planning to perform with the Niagara Youth Orchestra on April 6 at St. Thomas’ Church at 99 Ontario St. in St. Catharines. The show will start at 3:30 p.m. While Leach doesn’t have any of his plans set in stone, when he grows up, he hopes that his job includes music in some way. “I would like that,” he said. His parents say they have no expectations for their son, they just want to see him enjoy something he is passionate about. “There’s so many benefits to music,” Torkos said. There’s a lot of research that shows music helps improve fine motor skills, language and even makes students better at math. When she was pregnant with her son, Torkos put headphones on her belly and played a lot of Bach and Mozart. “I read a lot of that research that says music helps with brain development and I thought I have nothing to lose.” “I think he came out of the womb with an affinity for music,” Torkos laughed.

VISIT our plumbing

Bring in this Ad to Receive $1.00 off!

Langdon Hardware

showroom for great ideas on your next bathroom reno.

Good Luck to the Fort Erie Observer! Serving: Spaghetti, Penne, Homemade Meatballs, Sausage, Bread, Salad, Cookies, Coffee and Tea.

1238 Dominion Road | Fort Erie | (289) 320-8250

Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm | Saturday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm View our flyer and monthly specials online at

Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019


Observer Advertorial

Tea time

More saddle time less screen time For hundreds of years people have held a fascination for horses. They conjure up many different images from the old days of dusty cowboys riding the range, gunslingers riding up to that saloon looking for a drink or a good poker game. They have been romanticised as couples ride off along the shoreline as the sun sets behind them. For Ben VanderMeer his love of horses started as a child and extends beyond his purchase of Montasola Farms back in 2004. Having grown up on a large chicken farm, Ben was no stranger to the long hours and hard work of farm life, but his love for horses really started when he and his younger brother attended a horse camp one summer when they were kids. After graduating from high school, he furthered his interest in horses by completing a two year equine management diploma course and a two-year horticultural course at Guelph University. After completing his studies, Ben worked in the horticultural industry for a few years before becoming the Director of Site Operations at Niagara Christian Community of Schools. That started him on the path to where he is now.

Bryanne Martin/Fort Erie Observer

St Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church held a St. Patrick’s Day tea on March 9. Admission was a bag of food for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank or a donation to the Education Foundation of Niagara, an organization which provides students services from nutrition programs to coats and footwear. This is the seventh year and more than 50 people attended the event. Photographed are volunteers Ada Mills, Helen Fraser, Maria Featherston, and Lorraine Hampel.

Montasola Farms is quietly settled right here in Stevensville in the middle of 100 acres that’s surrounded by bush and conservation land, offering a relaxed, fun, family atmosphere. The farm offers Horseback riding lessons in both English and Western for all ages and all discipline styles and interests, trailering, boarding and personal care programs that can be adapted to fit the needs of the rider and their horse. Catering Food Service & Take-out

Congratulations Fort Erie Observer on the Launch of Your Print Edition! 336 Central Avenue | 905-871-4545

Monday - Friday: 11 am - 6 pm| Saturday: 10 am - 2 pm Creative Dining By Angie


The farm includes 62 stalls, a 130 x 200 foot outdoor show ring, 60 x 160 foot indoor riding arena, a 4 horse indoor exercise machine, 2 round 60-foot pens, half-mile private training track, Aquaciser for therapeutic training, over 40 acres of tile drained paddocks and a cross-country course. Ben says there are over 40 people in the lesson program aged two to 42 and, over the years, well over hundreds of students have filtered through. Included in the lesson program are a few students with learning disabilities. This year Ben will be offering two one-week summer camps in July and August. Not only is Ben an avid horse lover, he is also very active with his children’s sporting endeavours. His coaching interest began when he started with indoor soccer at the YMCA which then grew to include hockey and baseball. Ben has been coaching multiple local hockey teams for the past 13 years for all three kids, plus is entering his third two-year commitment in participating with the Denmark hockey exchange. Ben states, “Kids don’t seem to spend much time outside anymore. They are connected to cell phones and video games and are losing the love of being outside”. For Ben’s crew Brianna 15, Tyler 14 and Courtney 12 and they are all involved in the horses and share the love of outdoors. Not only does Montasola Farms have horses but also 19 cows used for both roping and cattle sorting events. Montasola Farms has been able to host Ontario Extreme Cowboy sanctioned and rookie races. Montasola Farms hosts five Jumper shows yearly, all of which are free for the public to attend and watch. There is a Halloween show in October complete with costume class and games and Barrels and Pole bending days throughout the summer.

Spring Tune-up Time

“It’s not about what I get really, it’s what I can provide for people as an outlet, an escape from the pressures of life” Ben says about operating the farm and providing the riding experience. “It’s amazing to see kids and adults come to the farm to enjoy the horses and escape the stress of everyday life for a short time.”

• Latest Technology for Diagnostic Testing

Ben invites people of all ages and levels to come out and try a new experience, or revisit an old one, connect with your family while enjoying the outdoors and maybe you too will open your heart to our four legged friends.

• Oil Changes • Brakes • Front End • Tires & Suspension • Air Conditioner Service • Safety Inspections and More!

We Sell

All Tire Brands Available! Over

We Service All Makes & Models A Knowledgeable & Professional Team

Call Larry Today 905-894-1683 5051 Garrison Road, Hwy 3 Ridgeway

25 Years Automotive Experience

For more information about the shows, lessons, boarding or horse care contact Ben at Montasola Farms 1500 Stevensville Rd, Stevensville 905-651-6816


Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

Uprooted bringing global sound to Sanctuary Robert Walker Special to the Observer Uprooted is coming to the Sanctuary Centre For the Arts, March 22, bringing with them a soundscape that touches every corner of the globe. You might recognize some of the lineup—along with leader Michael Glabicki, several of the players are from platinum selling world-music group, Rusted Root. It’s going to be a night of the classics and new material, says Glabicki. Glabicki can trace the germination for his musical journey to a trip he took to war-torn Nicaragua in the early 90s. The struggles and tribulations of the people there left a mark on the young man, and faced with the impossibility of the situation, he fell into a depression. “I found out I couldn’t change the world.” He returned to Pittsburgh, unsure what to do next. But there was one thing he was sure of in life: music. So Glabicki dropped out of school, (without telling his parents), and rented a modest jam/recording space.

Armed with a four-track recorder, Glabicki started to invite other musicians over the play and record. “There was all kinds of musicians there,” recalls Glabicki. “Drummers, singers, keyboards—I was basically pulling people off the street.” This went on for two years, all the while Glabicki worked to find his worldmusic voice. Eventually, the players that would become Rusted Root came together, and in 1994 they released their platinum-selling When I Woke, which spawned the hit single Send Me On My Way. The song would climb to 72 on the Billboard Hot 100. Then in 2018, the band found itself on hiatus. Not one to stand still, Glabicki opted to use the time to grow and evolve musically, and so Uprooted was born. Uprooted features the entire Rusted Root’s catalogue, as well a bevy of new material. “We’ve really opened up the music,” says Glabicki. “The musical landscape is huge. But at the same time, the goal of it was always to connect with

Uprooted is coming to the Sanctuary on March 22.

the audience. And I’m a fan each night of whatever happens.” A big part of that experience is the setting, Glabicki says, signing praises for venues like the Sanctuary. “These listening room-


type venues, the connection with the audience is much vaster. You can feel their energy opening up. I would have kept it this way for all my career,” given the choice, says Glabicki. New music is on the

Photo Courtesy of Uproot/ Brynn R. Bailey/Special to the Observer

horizon for Uprooted, says Glabicki. “We’re in the studio now, working on the new album.” The tentative release date is about five to six months down the road. The Sanctuary lineup for Uprooted will be Glabicki,

joined by Dirk Miller on electric guitar, a member of Rusted Root for almost 13 years. Opening the Friday, 22 March show will be PA Line, a folk-rock group of Buffalo, NY. Doors open at 7:30, show begins at 8 p.m.

Kids helping kids


We’re looking for people like you, who may struggle to hear and understand conversations in noisy environments, to try a remarkably sophisticated hearing aid[1] for yourself. Find out if this is the solution to your hearing difficulties. Call today for your FREE hearing test and hearing aid trial – promotion ends March 29th 2019.

NOW Testing

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Niagara/Special to the Observer

Students at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Elementary School held at bowling event at Carroll’s Bowling Lanes in Fort Erie last week and raised $2,388 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Niagara. This year’s theme for Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Fandemonium and participants are encouraged to come dressed as whatever they are a fan of. Pictured here is Jessica, Fundraising and Events Coordinator, Lukas, fan of telling Jokes, Kaitlyn, BBBS Caseworker and Caitlin, fan of Roller derby.

Call or book online:

Fort Erie 238 Bertie Street | Call Nancy at

Other nearby clinics in: Grimbsy | Niagara Falls | Welland




* Offer valid until March 29th, 2019 and is subject to change without notice. No-cost hearing tests are provided to adults ages 19 and older. A fee will apply for a copy of your audiogram. Child hearing tests are conducted at select locations for a fee, please contact us for more information. Candidates must be private sale, or eligible for ADP. Some conditions may apply. Please see clinic for details. Offer not valid in Quebec. [1]

Promo Code


Sarah Ferguson Fort Erie Observer

The students at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School sold candy grams and held a dodge ball game that saw students compete against teachers to raise $300 in donations, which were picked up and delivered to Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Niagara last week. Pictured here are students (back row) Jennelle McMahon, Ava Venzon, BBBS caseworker Kaitlyn Krahn, (front row) Bodie Cook and Katie Cook. Read more online at

Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019


We want your Sports Results and Athletes of the Week! Know of any athletes or teams that are at the top of their game? If so, we want to know about it!

Niagara Realty Ltd., Brokerage Each Office Independently-Owned and Operated

Buying or Selling? Call Jim Today!

Send your submissions to

Over 25 Years Experience

Jim Carver,

Office: 905-871-5555


Sales Representative

Direct: 905-651-5268 |

Trek to Everest basecamp a trip to ‘push boundaries’ Penny Coles Special to the Observer At least once a week, Kami McCallum turns the pages of her cherished, most recently-acquired photo album, reliving the memories of an adventure of a lifetime. The 30-year-old woman who was born and raised in Fort Erie and works as an assistant manager at Reif Winery, loves to travel, and chooses destinations off the beaten path — she prefers trips that challenge her. Her most recent one will be hard to top. As she was approaching her 30th birthday, she decided her next challenge would be a climb to Mount Everest base camp, at the foot of the world’s highest mountain. “I had zero experience in high altitudes, and I don’t even like camping. But I felt that going into my 30th year, I wanted to have something to train for, something to prepare me to be the best person I could be. Once I realized I wouldn’t have to climb Everest, that I could go to base camp, I knew I needed to do this. It was a goal that would really push my boundaries, mentally, physically and spiritually,” said McCallum. “I was on a journey of self-discovery, and this was going to be a defining moment.” The year of training leading up to the climb was to be a huge part of that journey, she says. The trip was booked May 5, 2017, with a departure date of May 3, 2018. McCallum was joined by her aunt, whom she describes as an adventurer, an athlete who also loves to be challenged, and who was approaching her 50th birthday. The two-week climb fit in nicely between the two milestone celebrations. “There was no one else I could have done this with. I knew she was the one to go with me,” says McCallum. “She is someone who is always pushing her limits.” For her aunt to have her husband accept her joining McCallum, she had to promise she wouldn’t come home determined to climb to the top — that was considered a real possibility, said McCallum. “She’s travelled the world. My uncle was terrified it would spark her mountain-climbing career again. In her younger years she would have climbed to the top.” The trip even to base camp is not for the faint of heart. No matter how hard you train, or how fit you are, there is no way to predict how the high altitude will affect you, she learned. But she prepared herself as best she could. Living and working on the Niagara River Parkway, she began walking a 17-kilometre stretch of the

recreational trail three times a week, with weights of 30 to 50 pounds in a backpack. And every single kilometre, she would stop to do 50 squats. “That’s more than 500 squats, three times a week,” she says. “The first time, I just about puked. But I had music to listen to, and motivational podcasts that helped. The music was a bit of everything and anything.” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was one of her favourite songs, as well as “I Would Walk 500 Miles,” she says. She also listened to Petit Biscuit, a French DJ and music producer, whose style she found uplifting, and without lyrics, gave her time to think. She had also just started to work at Reif. “I told Klaus (Reif, the winery owner) I was going to need two weeks off. He was so excited for me. To start a new job and start this journey at the same time — I look back on that time and I couldn’t be happier about the way it all worked out.” To train, McCallum walked in all kinds of weather, and on Boxing Day 2017, she and her aunt went for a two-hour hike in -26 degrees Celsius to make sure the gear they had purchased would keep them warm. It did. The next test was to see if they were physically ready. In April, about a month before their departure, they signed up to climb 1,776 steps to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto — a fundraiser for the World Wildlife Foundation. It took them 20 minutes. They felt strong; good to go. The flight into the airport in Nepal was the first terrifying encounter, she says. “You fly into Lukla, the world’s deadliest airport. There is this tiny, 1,600-foot runway, with a 2,000-foot cliff at one end and a wall at the other, and clouds hanging over the mountain, reducing the visibility. In or out it’s dangerous, but we made it.” The first day ended at a tea house — similar to a hostel — in Namche, the staging point for the climb. “It was the cutest little village. It really reminded me of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” she said. There were interesting little shops — it’s famous for its bazaar —“and even a Baskin Robbins — that was our reward.” There was also an Irish pub, she said, but drinking was not a great idea at that altitude — although it was a stop for a celebration on the way back down. McCallum and her aunt were part of a group of 10, with two guides. There were other groups also climbing during the same period whom they would see off and on, and they didn’t realize until their climb had been completed safely

and they were ready to return home, that three people had died in that same two-week window they were climbing. They had seen one man “in shocking condition,” being carried on a horse and still heading up to the next stop, where he could receive medical attention. It was a day near the end of the trip when the visibility was so poor a helicopter couldn’t make it in to take him off the mountain. “He didn’t make it,” she says. “On our way home we heard of two others who also died, and realized how really dangerous it had been. We were so lucky we had the guide we did. You can build up muscle in training, but you don’t know how your body is going to react to altitude sickness until you’re in that situation. Even if you have trained at high altitudes and been fine, that’s no guarantee it won’t happen — it can affect you at any point. It’s terrifying to think you could train for a year, and put your whole heart into it, but then come up against something that’s out of your control.” That’s part of the danger, she says — climbers have worked so hard to get there and are so determined to complete the journey, they can’t turn back. “That’s why people die. You need a guide to understand that and turn you back if it’s too dangerous to continue.” “Believe it or not,” she says, “there is Wi-Fi along the route, and you can call for a helicopter if you need to, with the exception of bad-weather days. There is no controlling that.” The first day of the trip, she recalls, climbers are quickly lulled into a false sense of “this is easy, I’ve totally got this.” They start out actually trekking downhill for a bit, before the hike becomes a steep climb upwards. “You feel so confident,” she says. You start at 8,700 feet above sea level, on the way to 17,000 feet. But after a “brutal, steep climb on a seven-hour hike, all up, you ask yourself, ‘what have I done,’ and you’ve still got this huge climb ahead of you.” In addition to the altitude, the other factor that prevents climbers from finishing is food poisoning, she says. People are warned not to eat the meat that is transported by yaks, which is not properly refrigerated along the trek, so McCallum existed mostly on a diet of potatoes — mashed, roasted, pan-fried and delicious, fresh, hand-cut French fries. Add to that lots of rice, scrambled eggs, French toast, nak (the female yak) milk and cheese, and she had enough to eat to sustain her, although she lost 13 pounds. “The cheese was pretty awful. It tasted like Swiss cheese, and that’s not my favourite. We also brought our own protein bars,

and that helped.” McCallum became the DJ of the group with her playlist — she would make sure it was loud enough for everyone to hear, and it became a motivator for them all, she says. “Even the people in the other groups loved it. I was so glad to have it.” The group of 10 became a family, looking out for each other, and they continue to keep in touch. “We shared such a great experience, and had such great camaraderie. We always felt we had each other’s backs. We started as a team and finished as a team,” she says. During the day, while climbing, she says, “you get into your thoughts, and you tend to look down at your feet. Then you look up, and you remember why you’re there. The views were so incredibly stunning.” Each day ended in a small Sherpa village, where the climbers slept in tea houses, basic structures that had heated communal space, but unheated sleeping quarters. “The higher you climbed the colder it got — down to about -10 degrees Celsius at night.” Once they reached base camp, she says, “it feels like you’re standing at the bottom of the top of the world. Looking up to the top of Everest, it’s hard to believe people could climb so high.” Thinking about that now, back at the winery with a job she loves, she says she feels humbled, and very fortunate to have reached her goal. “I feel like I can do anything now. I still can’t believe I did it. To have accomplished something like this is life-changing.” There was a morning after she returned from her trip, back at work at Reif, when she was called to the tasting bar. There were some women there she had met before the trip, and they had chatted about her plans.

Penny Coles/Special to the Observer

Kami McCallum looks through the photo album of her trip to the base camp of Mount Everest

They’d asked for her on their return — they wanted to hear about her adventure. “Telling them some of my stories was so much fun. There are so many great stories to share. I tell everyone about that village, Namche, that reminded me so much of Niagara-onthe-Lake and home, and how comforting it was to be there.” One story that is not so great, McCallum recalls, is how sick she was the last day of the climb. She woke up feeling like she had an elephant sitting on her chest. Her heart rate, which was supposed to be 74 to 76 beats per minute, was 108. The difficulty breathing she was experiencing made her fear she would not be going any further, and she wept to think she was so close, but would not finish. “I thought I was done,” she says. But fortunately her guide had a different prognosis — he gripped her shoulders, looked her in the eyes and told her, “‘Crying is for the weak. You are not weak.’ My oxygen level was

low, but above the cut-off level.” Her aunt had an inhaler for asthma, and she borrowed that, which helped, before setting off on their final climb. “I would have been devastated if I hadn’t made it,” she says. Instead, she has an incredible feeling of accomplishment that has changed her, that will stay with her forever. “If I have a bad day because of some little thing that might have bothered me before, it doesn’t bother me now. I remind myself, ‘there ain’t no mountain high enough.’ I’ve done some pretty cool things in my life — swimming with sharks, glacier-climbing in Iceland — but nothing like this. I would recommend it to others, but only under certain conditions. It’s definitely not for everyone.” Why the attraction to climb Everest, even to the base camp? “Because it’s there,” said McCallum. “Because you can. I’d love to do it again.”

It’s Golf Time


Ladies’ League Sign-up March 28 | 4-8 pm

• New Members Welcome • Wine and Cheese Served • Sign up Early for the Hat of Hope

1150 Sunset Drive | 905-991-8883 |


Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

Kilty B’s defeat Meteors 4-0 in play-off series Bryanne Martin Fort Erie Observer The season has come to a close for the Fort Erie Meteors as they went 0-4 in the playoffs against the Hamilton Kilty Bs. They travelled to Mountain Arena to play Game 3 in the series on March 4and came out with a 7-4 loss. Then on March 6, the Meteors fell in a fantastic 2-1 battle against the Kilty B’s at the Fort Erie Leisureplex. The final game left Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League fans sitting on the edge of their seats as both teams fought for dominance throughout. The first period was fast and showed the Meteors were there to play; a complete 180 from the last game. Both teams went back and forth with both goalies making unbelievable saves, which meant the scoreboard remained empty for the first period. As the game headed into the second period, both teams continued to meet each other in skills and fought for goals. As fans watched on with trepidation at almost the end mark of the period at 19:19 the Kilty B’s were awarded a penalty shot. Jacob Hearne was able to block the shot and the period continued. Unfortunately, the Kilty B’s scored a goal at 19:50 and ended the period with a 1-0 lead. With the arrival of the third period, the Meteors showed they weren’t done

fighting for their chance to win. The Meteors gave their all and things seemed to be improving when Cail Cirillo shot a goal that found the back of Hamilton’s net at 13:31 into the period. Both teams continued to fight for goals for the rest of the period, but each team’s goalie showed their strength and the score held at 1-1, which brought the game into overtime. Fans shouted with excitement as they watched the teams battle. “It’s do or die. The last resort and the feeling of nothing else to play for but to keep playing kept our momentum going,” Meteors forward Drew Passero said. At 8:24 in the 20 minute overtime Hamilton was awarded another penalty shot, and luckily for the Meteors and fans watching with bated breath, Hearne was able to make another incredible save. This OT period was starting to keep fans on their toes and furious with the referees as a goal was called off from both sides. The called-off goal for the Meteors though had fans up in arms as the referees decided to call a penalty. Luckily for the Meteors, their penalty kill showed strength and kept the Kilty B’s to the tie. Nearing the end of the game the Kilty Bs did find the back of the net ending Fort Erie’s season with a 2-1 loss. “The adversity we went through during the season really helped us in this

Bryanne Martin/Fort Erie Observer

Fort Erie took on the Hamilton Kilty Bs in Game 4 of playoffs last Wednesday at the Fort Erie Leisureplex and lost 2-1 in overtime. Drew Passero is pictured here taking a shot.

playoff run, especially in this game. All around this was our best game of the year. Our defence really stacked up tonight. Our APs really came through for us and played a great game back there.” Passero said.

He thanked Fort Erie’s fans for “sticking around” to watch the season. “I know we didn’t pull out too many wins this year, but come back next year and we can hopefully pull out a few more for you.”

TASC set to bring Mamma Mia! to the stage

Photo special to the Observer

Members of Therapy and Alternatives for Special Children and Adults with Disabilities are hard at work preparing for their upcoming show at the Crystal Ridge Community Centre. This year’s theme is Mamma Mia! Pictured here are performers Danielle Waters, Abby Barnhart and CJ Dessy.

Sarah Ferguson Fort Erie Observer Mamma Mia! Here we go again. Members of Therapy and Alternatives for Special Children and Adults with Disabilities, better known as TASC, is hard at work preparing for their annual performance involving music, movement and a lot of fun. TASC president Nancy Kacur said the non-profit organization puts the show on each April, and this year shows have been planned for April 5, 6, 12 and 13 at the Crystal Ridge Community Centre in Ridgeway.

The theme for this year’s show is Mamma Mia, and Kacur is positive everyone that comes to watch will enjoy the show. “Everybody knows Abba and Mamma Mia. (Choosing the theme was) a no brainer,” she said. “It’s always a great time. I have people that start calling me in January for tickets, no matter what theme we are doing.” The doors will open at 5 p.m., with a roast beef and turkey dinner to be served by 6 p.m., with the show to follow. The event will also offer door prizes, a raffle and a 50/50 draw. Proceeds from the show

will support TASC, which was founded in 1998, and continues to offer music, drama and other programs for individuals of varying disabilities to engage with one another in an encouraging environment. Tickets are $40 per person and limited quantities are available at Our Corner Café, Boggio and Edwards IDA and the Crystal Ridge Community Centre (only Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) Tickets can also be purchased directly from Kacur and she can be reached at 905-894-1768. The Crystal Ridge Community Centre is located at 99 Ridge Rd. North.

Fort Erie Observer, March 14, 2019


Fort Erie’s ice wall will be left to melt Sarah Ferguson Fort Erie Observer Fort Erie is known for horse racing and the Old Fort, but the town has quickly gained notoriety for its latest attraction, which is here for a limited time. In mid-February, Old Man Winter unleashed a powerful windstorm over Niagara with winds reported as high as 120 kilometres an hour in some places and left behind towering piles of boulder-sized chunks of ice that were shoved tossed over the barrier wall and the road way near Mather Arch. The Niagara River ice boom broke, which allowed for ice build-up on Lake Erie to break free and flow into the river. The ice then smashed into and up and over the wall. When this happened, news spread quickly across the Internet through news outlets, as well as through pictures and videos shared repeatedly. A portion of the Niagara Boulevard that runs along the water’s edge was closed for several days for safety reasons, but once it was reopened, there has been a steady flow of visitors to the site. With March Break this week, David Adames, expects many families will come to see the massive ice wall that has taken shape. Since the ice wall has formed, it has drawn about a few hundred people a day to see the spectacle. “The parkway already sees a lot of visitors annually. It’s a great heritage property in itself,” he said. “I think these ice formations are great. It’s part of our story and it’s amazing to have been able to share our story in this way (through social media).” While he encourages people to view the site from a distance, Adames remind people to stay off the ice and not to climb it. “We encourage visitors to visit because it’s a unique sight, but we’ve posted safety signs and we’re reminding people no climbing because the ice is still moving very quickly.” There’s also the danger of the fast-flowing water on the other side of the ice wall. He said NPC police have done a good job of monitoring the situation. Adames added that the Niagara Parks Commission is going to let Mother Nature take its course and let the ice melt on its own.

“Given the scope and the size of the ice wall, we think it’s best to let it melt.” As for the damage done to the wall, Adames said the NPC won’t know the extent of it until the ice does melt. Frank Seglenieks, water resources engineer with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said the ice wall that formed along Fort Erie’s waterfront is uncommon. At 30-feet high in some spots, Seglenieks Fort Erie’s ice formation is some of the highest he’s ever heard of. “It takes the right combination of ice and strong wind in the right direction, and the right conditions,” he said. “It’s a tough call to say how often it happens. It may be something once in every 10 to 20 years or more, depending on a lot of different factors.” He said, depending on the weather, the ice wall could be here well into April. “Again, a lot of it depends on the temperatures and precipitation in the next few weeks,” he explained. “Because it’s pure ice, it also depends on where it’s located as far as the sun goes. If it melted before the next couple weeks I’d be surprised. Even if it was here in a month, I wouldn’t be surprised.” If we have a week of 25 degrees in March, that will change things. While it may seem safe to climb SegleniSarah Ferguson/Fort Erie Observer eks said looks can be deceiving. The Niagara Parks Commission has said it will let Mother Nature take its course and “It’s possible that some parts of the let the ice along the barrier wall along on Niagara Parkway near Mather Arch melt. structure can be very stable, but it’s also possible some parts of it are very unstable. The problem just from looking at it, you couldn’t tell the difference and it’s better to Family-Owned err on the side of caution.” and Operated Fort Erie Fire Chief Ed Melanson said the ice wall is something “we may never see for over again.” 47 Years “It is imperative people take their pictures from a distance and they stay off of it.” With warmer temperatures on the • All automotive repairs horizon, Melanson said the wall will beand mechanical services · Oil, Lube & Filter come unstable if it isn’t already. performed by · 30-Point Inspection Members of the Fort Erie Fire Departhighly-qualified · Tire Inspection and Rotation ment know first hand just how risky ice technicians. · Cooling & Heating System Check can be having recently completed its an• Service all makes · Test & Recommendations nual ice water training course. and models · Plus So Much More... “With the ice there, and what could • Superior standards possibly happen, not only are people putting themselves at risk, I am putting my * Most Cars. Includes Conventional Oil & Filter • Our mechanics always have firefighters at risk,” the fire chief said. Synthetic Oil Changes starting from the best interests of our

FINLAYSON TIRE Automotive Service Centre

Spring Maintenance Auto Repairs Special Includes:

$29.95* $49.95

customers in mind.

New Tire Rebates Starting Now! To register your team, phone 905-735-0570 ext 221 or online at

Rebates from $40 to $125 off Select Tires

FREE Alignment Inspection with Tire Purchase.

(905) 871-2905 or (905) 871-8010 1200 Gilmore Road | Fort Erie


Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

Beacon Beam on Business


Director y

Hobbies & Crafts

DYI Home Improvment

Niagara Sewing Machine Services


Sales & Notions


Niagara’s Finest in Sewing Machines and Repair Services! We Repair Most Makes & Models Sewing Machine & Serger Maintenance New & Used Sales | Visit us Online for Upcoming Classes

Langdon Hardware

7116 McLeod Rd, Unit 5 | 905.358-5710 La Rose Plaza, Niagara Falls

authorized dealer

authorized dealer


View our flyer and monthly specials online at

Health & Wellness YOUR HEALTH. WE CARE. Friendly, Family-oriented Health Care Team Passionate | Caring | Knowledgeable

Sam Bashta B.Sc., phm., Manager/Pharmacist 315 Ridge Road N Ridgeway

Conveniently located near the intersection of Ridge Rd. N. and Cutler St. in downtown Ridgeway.

(905) 894-2520

1238 Dominion Road | Fort Erie | (289) 320-8250 Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm | Saturday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Hours: Monday and Tuesday: 9 am to 8 pm | Thursday and Friday: 9 am to 8 pm Wednesday and Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm | Sunday: Closed


Paint & Decorator Services

Fort Erie Paints

A Business Built on Referrals Since 1972!

Paint | Wallpaper | Window Coverings

Concrete · Asphalt · Spray Foam Insulation

Your News Source For Everything Fort Erie!

Integrity, Honesty & Excellent Service Every Time!

News | Sports | Features | Local Government Sarah Ferguson, Managing Editor | 289.321.2561


Advertise With Us!

Len Klauck, Owner-Operator Independently-Owned & Operated forteriebenjaminmoore

Fort Erie PaintsBenjamin Moore

Visit our Showroom: 401-B Garrison Rd, Fort Erie Phone: (905) 991-8181 |


Jennifer Wilkinson | 905-658-4250 Jennifer Chornley | 289-354-3894

Hours: Mon – Fri: 8 am-6 pm | Saturday: 9 am-5 pm | Sunday:10 am-3 pm

Health and Wellness

Hearing Specialists

Tire Sales & Repairs


Serving Niagara Communities for over 35 years

Donnie Edwards, B. Sc. Phm., R. Ph


Call or book online:

Fort Erie 238 Bertie Street | Call Nancy at


Pharmacist Owner

307 Ridge Road | Ridgeway 905-894-2200|

Automotive Repair

Empire AUTO & TRUCK · A/C · Brakes · Tune-ups


Event Catering & Dining

Every 5th Oil Change is FREE!

100s of Tires & Rims in Stock Now! (905) 871-2905 or (905) 871-8010 1200 Gilmore Road | Fort Erie |

Employment Recruitment

Catering Food Service & Take-out

161 Niagara Blvd at Bertie St | Fort Erie Book your appointment today!



· Check Engine Light · Wiper Blades · Tires & Tire Repairs

* Offer valid until March 29th, 2019 and is subject to change without notice. No-cost hearing tests are provided to adults ages 19 and older. A fee will apply for a copy of your audiogram. Child hearing tests are conducted at select locations for a fee, please contact us for more information. Candidates must be private sale, or eligible for ADP. Some conditions may apply. Please see clinic for details. Offer not valid in Quebec. [1]

Family-Owned and Operated for Over 47 Years

336 Central Avenue |905-871-4545

· Diagnostics · Oil Changes · Front-end Inspection/Repairs · Diesel Tech on Duty

Monday - Friday: 11 am - 6 pm | Saturday: 10 am - 2 pm

Advertise with us! The Fort Erie Observer is proud to extend to Fort Erie and area readers its print edition after the inaugural digital launch October 2018. We are a truly community-focused publication that’s dedicated to the Fort Erie area. Our writers strive to offer a variety of news, sports, feature articles, columns, local government that matter most to the reader.

Having worked with both corporate and independent publications, our staff has a combined experience of 50 years. Our talents include sales, design and writing. Newsprint experience matters! We look forward to working with our future advertisers and providing them with exemplary customer service.

We have a variety of advertising options to suit all business needs. All advertising supports community journalism so we can beacon of observation shining the light on community issues, events and people who matter most! Call us today to see how we can help you get your message out: Jennifer Wilkinson: 905-658-4250 | Jennifer Chornley: 289-354-3894 |

Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

We want your Classifieds!

Have a Special Announcement? Submit your announcement ad to or phone 289-354-3894 by Fridays at 5 pm for the following week’s edition.

DAYCARE SERVICES Teeny Tiny Angels Daycare has 1 part time spot available immediately for 2 yrs old or older for Wednesday-Friday or 1 FULL TIME spot for a child 8 months-2yrs immediately! LOCATED IN RIDGEWAY ON DOMINION ROAD. 19 yrs in business. CPR and First Aid Certified. Vulnerable sector background check. Excellent references and reviews. Large fenced-in backyard. Dedicated daycare area. Homemade meals served daily. https:// Feel free to book an appointment to view my home daycare through my daycare page or call 289-776-8406.

COMING EVENTS Fort Erie Conservation Club’s Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Join us March 19th from 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm @ 2555 Ott Rd Stevensville. Adults $14.00 children under 10 $6.00. Tickets available at the door. Bar is open. All welcome! Fort Erie Conservation Club’s Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Join us March 19th from 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm @ 2555 Ott Rd Stevensville. Adults $14.00 children under 10 $6.00. Tickets available at the door. Bar is open. All welcome! Monday Night at the Movies on March 25 at the Centre for the Arts, Greater Fort Erie Secondary School. Start Time is 7:30 pm The Fort Erie Film Circuit, in partnership with the Toronto International Film Fes-


Submit your classified ads to or phone 289-354-3894 by Fridays at 5 pm for the following week’s edition.






Fort Erie Company requires a Full-time multi-disciplined Administrative and Funeral Assistant to join a team of committed professionals. We are looking for an individual we can task with providing support to both staff and the general public. The ideal candidate will combine knowledge of the community with a caring attitude have the ability to handle confidential and sensitive information with care and compassion.

tival, (TIFF) presents Monday Night at the Movies. We will be showing a selection of the best Canadian and International films. Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25. Call Kathryn Rogers at 905-894-5952 for more information. Canada 250 Speaker Series: Old Fort Erie in the 1700s on March 27 at 7:00 pm. The 1764 fort and the growing community around the military post is the first English settlement in Ontario. The authors will discuss topics on the early history of the fort. Peter Twist on “Soldiers at Fort Erie 1764 to 1800, What They Wore”. Call 905-871-0540 for more information. Adult Literacy Council Trivia at the Fort Erie Legion - 130 Garrison Road, proceeds to benefit our programs. Saturday, April 13 from 6 to 9 pm. $15 includes food & refreshments. Tables of 4 to 6. Discount for groups of 6-$80.00. Prizes for each person in top team. Amazing prizes to be raffled. Call 905-871-6626 or

A well-established hair salon located in the Clarion Hotel at 1485 Garrison Rd, Fort Erie is for sale. Owner is retiring. Business will include all equipment and fixtures. Since 1979, The Seville has grown to encompass a well-established clientele and goodwill. Serious inquiries only please.

Contact Rita at 905-871-8671 or 905-894-3373. VEHICLES FOR SALE 1991 Mazda Miata “Special Edition”. Racing green exterior/ tan leather interior with wood wheel & shift. Good condition. Only 125,000 KMS. $9,000 as is. Port/Wainfleet. Phone 905-8346098 for more details.

Administrative tasks expected to be performed will include: • Preparation of government and legal documents • Preparation and maintaining government reports/filing • Development of customized printing • Answering of phone/email • Maintaining of social media sites • Ordering supplies/services • Maintaining inventory • Workplace compliance and documentation Assistant tasks expected to be performed will include: • General maintenance of facility • Greeting and comforting of individuals • Placement, movement and coordination of equipment • Successful candidate will be proficient in computer skills, including Word, Excel, and Photoshop and will have the ability to learn industry specific software. • Proven ability to multi-task in situations that can sometimes be stressful along with a kind respectful and understanding demeanor will elevate the candidate. Driver’s license with clean record required, First Aid AED preferred. We offer fair compensation commensurate with experience. Benefits including extended health and RRSP contribution available for the successful candidate.

Reply only via email to

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Boncore Property Management. Apartment rentals, property management, landlord licensing, smoke alarm and carbon monoxide inspection, Problem-solving. Call George Cottage 905-328-3141

Advertise with us! The Fort Erie Observer is proud to extend to the Greater Fort Erie area readers its print edition after the inaugural digital launch October 2018. We are a truly community-focused publication that’s dedicated to the Greater Fort Erie area. Our writers strive to offer a variety of news, sports, feature articles, columns an local government issues that matter most. Having worked with both corporate and independent publications, our staff has a combined experience of 50 years. Our talents include sales, design and writing. Newsprint experience matters! We look forward to working with our future advertisers and providing them with exemplary customer service.

Top speakers

Call us today to see how we can help you get your message out!

Special to the Observer

Branch 71 in Fort Erie hosted the Royal Canadian Legion Public Speaking Contest on Saturday, March 2. Allyson Coholan, from St. Philomena Catholic Elementary School, was the winner. Her topic was poverty and she’ll move on to represent Branch 71 in Beamsville. Jaida Zimmerman Baughn, from Our Lady of Victory Catholic Elementary School, finished in second place and her topic was the right for freedom against human trafficking. Other students who participated in the event were St. Philomena students Teagan Vitali, who spoke about refugees, and Manit Butalia, who spoke about security. The public speaking contest, part of the Legion’s Youth and Education program, is meant to give young people an opportunity to speak in public. The individual chooses their own subject matter for the address. The contest progresses through zone, district and area levels, concluding at the provincial level in May of each year.

We have a variety of advertising options to suit all business needs. All advertising supports community journalism so we can beacon of observation shining the light on community issues, events and people who matter most! Jennifer Wilkinson: 905-658-4250 Jennifer Chornley: 289-354-3894 Advertising Booking Deadline: Classified Booking Deadline: Advertising Copy Deadline:

Fridays at 5 pm Fridays at 5 pm Mondays at Noon


Fort Erie Observer, Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sister fulfills promise to create cancer support centre Sarah Ferguson Fort Erie Observer Ann Mantini-Celima didn’t know anything about business or how to run a non-for-profit agency but she wouldn’t let that stop her from keeping a promise she made to her brother. Wellspring Niagara first opened its doors in June 2001 in a 2,000 squarefoot space on Schmon Parkway with the intention to provide free social, emotional, psychological and spiritual support to people living with cancer and their families. Currently, Wellspring has eight facilities across Canada. But when Mantini-Celima opened the Niagara chapter, it was one of only two centres. The not-for-profit was a dream that belonged to Aldo Mantini, who lost his life to cancer when he was only 31 years old. It’s an inspirational story Mantini-Celima shared with a room full of women from all walks of life on Friday at the Greater Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce’s annual networking luncheon hosted in honour of International Women’s Day. Mantini-Celima talked about the beginnings of Wellspring Niagara in a Q and A style chat led by radio personality Marie Cassidy from 105.1 FM The River. The event, held at the Cherry Hill Golf Club in Ridgeway, provided an opportunity for women to gather together for a few hours of networking, shopping and to celebrate International Women’s Day. When her brother was diagnosed with cancer, Mantini-Celima said it was “a devastating time” for her family. Mantini-Celima explained she was living in Toronto at the time while her family lived in Niagara. “We talked every day. I would go to all his appointments with him. But it was a challenging time and I was introduced to a model of services that existed in downtown Toronto (known as Wellspring),” Mantini-Celima said. ‘It was someone who said, ‘You can go there as a family member and get support.” It took a lot of courage for” Mantini-Celima to walk through the doors because she “felt so guilty” to be the one to have to go and receive support. “But I knew I needed to talk to someone, because (my brother’s cancer) impacted my life and our family’s life.” Mantini-Celima said she was welcomed with open arms into a warm environment where she was able to talk about her fears and anxiety. “I walked away feeling like I could get through this and it allowed me to learn coping strategies…” Being given the opportunity to talk about her feelings gave Mantini-Celima the power to be able to move forward. But there wasn’t anything like Wellspring available to Aldo and the rest of their family in the Niagara region at that time.

Sarah Ferguson/Fort Erie Observer

Ann Mantini-Celima was the guest speaker at the Greater Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce’s International Women’s Day Luncheon at the Cherry Hill Club on Friday. She shared her story during a Q and A style-session led by radio personality Marie Cassidy from 105.1 FM The River.

It was about a year after Aldo’s diagnosis when Mantini-Celima said her family was told it would only be a matter of time before the cancer would take him. That’s about the time Aldo made his sister promise to create something like Wellspring here in Niagara. “It was his passion. He really felt there was a reason why he was diagnosed with cancer,” she said. “He spoke to people, he would talk to doctors, nurses, anyone who would listen. He kept saying we’re going to start a cancer support centre. We’re going to help people. I don’t want anyone to feel alone.” When Aldo died in February 1999, his death led Mantini-Celima to embark on her journey to open the centre. She described it as a gift, in a way, because it gave her something else to focus on other than the immense sense of loss she felt. Mantini-Celima admitted she wasn’t sure where to begin. Professionally, Mantini-Celima is a member of the singing trio, The Mantini Sisters, a critically acclaimed act that has been entertaining audiences across Canada and the U.S. for nearly 30 years. “I’m a singer, so I had no idea. I didn’t understand the non-profit sector,” she told the room full of women. “That’s when I approached Wellspring because it was a model that I knew, and I was so impressed with them. I asked them, ‘Can we use your model?’ and ‘How can we bring a Wellspring to Niagara?’” There was a lot of work to do; Mantini-Celima needed to put together a business plan and raise all the money to get it going.

She also realized she couldn’t do it alone, and took an offer of help from Dr. Udayan Rege, who was head of the business and commerce department at Brock University, and at the time was also battling his own cancer diagnosis. Mantini-Celima said she learned a lot from the doctor. “I was so afraid to meet him. He was so encouraging. He said, ‘You’re going to be able to do this. It’s a good plan’.” It was a strange coincidence that Rege had known Aldo and both men were treated for cancer at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto at the time. Also had also been one of Rege’s students. When Wellspring Niagara celebrated its grand opening in Thorold almost 20 years ago, Mantini-Celima said enough money had been raised to hired one full-time staff member and the centre provided five programs. About 35 volunteers had been trained and were ready to go. “We registered more than 70 individuals and had 700 program attendances,” Mantini-Celima explained. Wellspring Niagara has come such a long way since then, and by the end of 2017, 40 programs were being offered in the region. More than 850 people were enrolled in Wellspring’s programs and attendances were up to 7,000. Mantini-Celima said the centre, which relies completely on donations and support from the community, wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of its volunteers. She credited volunteers like Sue Bernier, a two-time survivor of ovarian cancer, who was in the audience.

“Sue was one of our first members. She was living with ovarian cancer and benefited greatly from the support. She wanted to give back and bring awareness to Wellspring,” she said. Mantini-Celima noted that Bernier began crocheting Necklaces of Hope and her goal was to raise $500. The necklaces grew in popularity and Bernier had to recruit more volunteers to help with her endeavour. According to Mantini-Celima, a group of about 100 volunteers, known as “The Happy Hookers” have raised more than $300,000 for Wellspring Niagara. As the years whizzed by, Wellspring Niagara was quickly outgrowing its home and needed a new one with more space. Mantini-Celima said it was meant to be when she had a chance meeting with a councillor from the Town of Pelham in the fall of 2017 at the at the Niagara Grape and Wine Parade, which is held in St. Catharines. The encounter led to an opportunity to open Wellspring Niagara in a new 11,000-square-foot facility on two acres of land in the heart Pelham. Mantini-Celima recalled when the Town asked her if it was okay with the address of the regional cancer centre, 50 Wellspring Way. She believes it was a sign from Aldo. “That year, my brother would have turned 50.” If Aldo could see what his dream for bringing a regional cancer centre to Niagara has evolved into, Mantini-Celima thinks it would exceed his expectations. “I don’t think he would have envisioned it as big as it has become,” she explained. “I think his jaw might hit the floor,” she said with a smile.

Profile for Fort Erie Observer

March 14 Fort Erie Observer  

Help is available for vulnerable seniors - Page 5 - Young pianist shares his love of music - Page 8 - Meteors edged out of play-offs - Page...

March 14 Fort Erie Observer  

Help is available for vulnerable seniors - Page 5 - Young pianist shares his love of music - Page 8 - Meteors edged out of play-offs - Page...