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Vol. 4, No. 1

Grand Bend W W W




Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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Strip Special: PVB in Grand Bend

2 • Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pro beach volleyball Why you’ll see PVB on the beach this summer PVB Enterprises runs Canada’s largest independent beach volleyball camps. When one of owner and former national team member Mark Reilly’s club players, Taylor Ivey, and her parents Charlie and Katrine invited him to Grand Bend, an idea was born. Reilly proposed developing a program in Grand Bend similar to the one he started in 1999 at Ashbridge’s Bay in Toronto. With plans to operate youth and adult camps and tournaments on the town’s north beach, Reilly and PVB approached Lambton Shores council in October 2009 and entered into a contract March 29, 2010 to run 15 courts for ten summers for $1500 per year. Residents were informed April 5, and expressed to Reilly and the Iveys at a PVB-hosted meeting May 1 that they disapproved of the project and wanted it stopped. While council supports the project, contractual problems (discussed on page 4 of this edition) led Lambton Shores to give PVB the 60 days notice required to void the contract. Council decided Monday night to renegotiate, and the matter is before lawyers. The Grand Bend Strip spoke with Mark Reilly Sunday night, ahead of the meeting, to see what he’d like to see now.

Photo by Casey Lessard Assisted by Alicia Adamski and Sarah Laws Interview by Casey Lessard Grand Bend is not your first venue for this project.

Some changes to your original contract have been made as of Friday. We started in Ashbridge’s Bay in 1999. We What is the status?

had six kids in my first camp, and now we have more than 200. The relationship through Not So Pro was to develop youth programming, and when I was developing that, my friend who played against me on the national team, Mike Slean, noticed the business and offered to set up the business in Pickering. That was the first time we set up a model outside of Ashbridge’s Bay. Over the years, as we started developing, the Iveys came into my life with their daughter Taylor, who plays on my club team. They invited me up to Grand Bend and I saw the venue and facility, and thought this was a great pocket to start a new program.

Following the May 1 meeting we had with the community, we realized and were sensitive to many of the residents’ concerns. We’ve scaled back the contract and nothing has been signed yet, but we’ve had discussions with the municipality on how we could change a few clauses. Essentially adapt the contract to better suit the needs of the community and the municipality. We realize that the nature of the contract will demand an exceptional relationship with the municipality.

Mark Reilly won the national college championship during his first year at Mount Royal College, and was named tournament MVP. After playing professionally in Japan and Bulgaria, a knee injury triggered a move to beach volleyball. Years representing Canada internationally led to an interest in training children and youth. He started PVB as a way to pay off the debt he incurred playing without government funding. a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week for pality that we are listening and we’re hoping 15 weeks. What is the new agreement the residents will be sensitive to the changes and aware that the changes were made on you’ve come up with the town?

We’ve scaled back the number of courts from 15 to 10 in year one. We’ve cut out all of the adult programming, all of the liquor licences and the idea of running tournaments where liquor would be involved for year one. We’ve entered a profit sharing agreement with the municipality where registration that comes through on the tournament side would result in revenue for the municipality. We’ve taken all of their concerns and digested them and came up with a proposal we believe will be suitable to the municipality and the residents.

behalf of them. The courts are not being used nearly as much as it appears. In terms of the beach being used 24/7 by the beach volleyball courts, that’s not even close to a true equation. We have three child youth camps in place that are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and that’s for a total of three weeks. We’re running three OVA youth tournaments; we cancelled our first tournament in June.

One big change is the venue. Here are some quick facts about the Yeah, the venue is now being changed to the main beach. For us, it’s equally exciting. program: the original contract pitched Is the time length pretty similar? 15 courts on the north beach for 10 We’ve scaled things back big time. We’re Each beach has its advantages, but the main years at $1500 per year; basically 9 trying to show the residents and the munici- beach, we’re very happy to be there.

FILM SHOOT LOOKING FOR LOCAL EXTRAS MEN AGES 16-30 – FILMING JUNE 21-25, 2010 Docu-drama called “Storming Juno” for History Television Canada to air on Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, 2010. We are looking for local young men ages 16-30 to appear in the film as Canadian soldiers who stormed Juno Beach on D-Day – June 6, 1944. Extras will be paid $120/day cash. We will be coming to the area during the week of May 25 to meet all interested participants.

Please direct all enquiries to Jake Rehorst at or at 416-913-0998 Ext. 247 Would you consider other venues?

The program needs to exist and function out of the Grand Bend beach. The beach is the lifeline to the success of the program. Tourists and volleyball clientele want to be on the beach and experiencing beach volleyball on the beach in front of the water. Grand Bend presents an exceptional beach to do that on. A lot of people remarked on the dollar figure for the original deal. What is the situation now?

The municipality will be making more money now, but it’s a win-win. What will end up happening in the new deal, the town will make more money with more programming. Should we be offered more tournament time, the municipality and businesses will make more money. Should they decide to lighten the tournament load, they end up getting less revenue. They want more money, they’re getting more money. But with that, we have to have more tournaments. What is your vision for beach volleyball in Grand Bend?

We’re going to take slow steps and see what the market yields. If you do your research, some of your top volleyball players, including the top male and top female, came from the London and Kitchener-Waterloo areas. Western Ontario has a great volleyball history, and that history will get better. You’ll start to see beach volleyball athletes develop. Athletes simply don’t want to travel to Toronto and Cobourg, so our hope is a lot of families will

Strip Special: PVB in Grand Bend see an opportunity to stay close to home and quickly realize this is a good, sound project, invest their time and energy in Grand Bend. and we’re doing a good thing for the community. People involved in the project are going What’s your reaction to the way the to take a lot of pride in the program, what we’re doing. I’m not concerned about safety at community reacted to your proposal? You have a generational gap who don’t this point. We’ve addressed some of the safety understand the demands that young children issues, and we made it very clear that we’re are faced with and the many routes young going to be watching very carefully for outchildren and adults can take these days. They siders who are not in support of the program. don’t get the PlayStations and all the other distractions life presents for these families and There have been suggestions that young kids. I’m sensitive to that. I’m not call- because of your relationship to Charlie ing them naïve. I’m calling them unfamiliar Ivey, who is related to former mayor with the environment kids are dealing with. Cam Ivey, that some favour was At the same time, I’m completely aware curried here. Has your affiliation with and sensitive to these families who are crav- the Iveys led to any special treatment ing more for their children. This program, at council? without a doubt, is going to give the commuFor anyone who wants to know how the nity a healthy, athletic focus. There are many volleyball business works, this has been the residents, older and younger, who are afraid most taxing volleyball project I’ve ever been to speak. The way the other side presented attached to. For anyone who thinks this has their case, it was quite bluntly very aggressive. been an easy journey and that the Iveys have Any time people are afraid to speak, you have helped streamline this process and make it a problem. People should be able to speak easy for us to get a contract, they’re sadly openly and voice their opinions, and that cer- mistaken. Of every deal I’ve ever put together tainly was not the case with this item. A lot – with literally 20 or 30 companies or municiof misinformation was dealt initially, and that palities – this has been an extremely detailed bred anger and created a revolt against the process. Charlie has been a mentor to me, but project. As a citizen, I don’t agree with that. in no way, shape or form has the Ivey name taken this deal through the pipes easily. I understand you have received some threats. Do you have any safety How do you heal the gap between your concerns? company, which wants to be here, I don’t. I think there will be a lot of focus and the people who are already here, and attention dealt toward volleyball and I especially the group led by Ed Fluter? think it’s a good thing. People are going to What steps can you and they take to

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 • 3 heal that rift?

I think they have to understand that there is a generation looking for more. We’re very grateful and thankful to be on the beach. We plan on working through a program model that is respectful to the community. If they plan to continue to slam the program and ruin the program, if that’s how they want to spend their lives and create their legacy in Grand Bend, that’s their path. If that’s the path they want to take, no one can stop them. But I’ll tell you that they’ll be upsetting a lot of families if it continues. What is Grand Bend missing if it decides not to do this?

It’s a watershed moment. In the community of Grand Bend, we’ve had countless people email us to say they’re scared and are starving for a program like this. There’s a group of people that yields a lot of power and they do it in ways like mobbing. That’s what this was. They created misinformation and have managed to get a whole lot of people angry. What if you aren’t here? What will you do?

I’ll continue on. I’m a passionate guy who’s involved in a game that’s done a lot for me. I don’t plan on ever stopping my volleyball journey. The sport has done wonderful things for my life and I feel I’m a disciple of the game. If we need to go an alternative route, we will. But my hope is we don’t have to go down that road. I’m really confident that Grand Bend is the right spot to be.

Residents say: NO beach volleyball Ed Fluter is a Grand Bend resident and representative of a new community association supported by many residents in the area. Fluter and his group oppose the PVB project – and any others – using the public beach for commercial purposes. The Grand Bend Strip spoke with him shortly before Monday night’s council meeting.

Interview and photo by Casey Lessard What are your main issues with volleyball on the beach at Grand Bend?

This is not a volleyball issue. I am a strong proponent of volleyball and other sports. My career was as a physical educator and coach. I love volleyball and sports and the benefits of sports. This issue is about commercializing our beach, a beach that has been designated for public use. It’s my feeling and our feeling – I represent a fairly large segment of the population right now – that no commercial activity should take over any portion of any of our beaches. Beach volleyball is big business. If you have John Morrison of Not So Pro owing the City of Toronto $328,000 (including, according to the Globe and Mail, $113,000 for three months rent), you have to know this is big business. Even if it weren’t a huge potential for business, it’s still a for-profit activity on our beach. So what do you say to suggestions that many of those opposed are of a certain generation that does not understand the needs of young people?

It has absolutely nothing to do with it. We are trying to protect this beach for people of all ages. We feel it is totally unfair that an organization of any kind is allowed to take over

and lease a portion of public beach for private use for four months. One of the great joys I’ve seen over the years, on that part of the north beach that is not used for bathing purposes, the area considered underutilized is often used for spontaneous free play for people of all ages. I’m a strong advocate of that. Zoning regulation states that lakeshore be used for such passive recreation. This deal is a precedent we don’t want to be set. I’m not against non-profit groups coming in and using a portion of the beach for a weekend, preferably during the shoulder seasons. In fact, I would be a proponent of that. That portion of the beach that will be used for beach volleyball can be used by nobody else if they’re running from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week for the entire summer.

Ed Fluter

You are part of a new group referred to at council as the Community Association of Lambton Shores. Can What do you plan to do if the revised agreement you tell me about that? with fewer courts, shorter hours and fewer We felt that our voice was not being heard. When you can tournaments goes ahead this summer?

show up with 100 people at three or four council meetings, when you can show up with 200 at the only meeting we had any opportunity to have input in (the PVB meeting on May 1), when you can get over 1000 names on a petition, including 50 businesses, when you can get that kind of vocal majority and be totally disregarded, you have to take further steps to fight this and other concerns through a group.

We are against that because it still doesn’t solve the bottom line issue. We have a number of strategies planned that I would prefer to keep in confidence at this point in time. We’re not going away. We’re not going to roll over and give up on this issue. We’ll take it as far as we possibly can. There’s a small minority – I call them the silent minority – who claim they haven’t been heard, but have made no attempt to be heard in a formal, professional way other than complainThis has become quite a heated debate. Someone ing and gossiping in the background. Let them step forward suggested they would put spikes in the courts and speak out. We’re not getting personal in this debate. I have no personal where the children were playing volleyball. Do you issues with the proponents. This is an issue we’re fighting and your group condone such violence? because we strongly believe in it. Absolutely not. We condone no form of civil disobedience.

Strip Special: PVB in Grand Bend

4 • Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How Lambton Shores got out of its PVB contract And why council still wants to see beach volleyball in Grand Bend this summer Interviews performed by Casey Lessard in advance of May 17 council meeting Gord Minielly, Mayor Years on council: more than 25, mayor since 2006. Position sought in October 2010: none Did you support the initial proposal from PVB?

Yes. Do you support the contract the way it was signed?

Yes, I did. We’ve certainly altered it since the original, so I’m supportive of what’s being changed since the original.

is a percentage of people who don’t support it. I like the concept of volleyball for kids on the beach, and I think it’s going to be beneficial to some of the people on the main strip. Maybe we should have done it on a yearly basis. We haven’t done anything about tournaments, but the fact that they’re not going to have any alcohol is a positive. The food voucher thing used to be done by the guy who rented the beach house, but it certainly wasn’t our intent to include that, so it’s gone. If you bring more people to Grand Bend, the revenue of the businesses should increase. With Americans not coming the last little while and probably again this year, it’s an opportunity to get folks to bring their kids and generate revenue for the main street.

on the Grand Bend beach?

I think they should. If they become successful, perhaps we can find a second venue so some of it can happen on the beach and some of it locally nearby without having to drive four or five miles to do that. We’re kind of out of the contract, in my opinion, so we do have an opportunity to renegotiate if they’re interested. We’re not sure if that’s true or now. As of Friday afternoon, with 60 days notice, we’re out of the contract. They have been given notice. It gives council some control to tighten up the contract if they’re still interested.

beginning of the season in the agreement was May 1. (They’ve been informed of this?) Yes. Do you plan to make a new contract?

If council agrees, we will. If council doesn’t agree, we won’t. As of now, they still have the right to renegotiate. Because of the 60 day notice, there’s a little more time on our side to modify the agreement to what the residents were looking for. What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand Bend’s beach?

The beach is for everybody’s use. If we can make this successful and bring more people, the long term would be to have two venues. What rationale broke the contract? Is there anything you would change It was the insurance portion and the fact Volleyball on the beach and volleyball close that they were supposed to pay their $1500 by. It would bring more folks and help everyabout the contract? I think it’s still a good idea, although there Do you think PVB should be operating by a certain date, which they didn’t do. The body be a little more economically viable.

Carolyn Jamieson, Deputy Mayor Years on council: more than 20 Position sought in 2010: Deputy mayor

majority. (interviewed May 16), would you do it? Is there anything you would change about the I have no idea. I hadn’t thought about that. contract? What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand Bend’s beach? No.

As a beach. They play volleyball there now, so they should continue to play volleyball. They swim, they sunbathe, they walk. You use it as a beach. I am not a beach person, so I am a Do you support the contract the way it was signed? I do not have a problem with them operating on the beach. poor person to ask. I do not like the water and I do not swim. But I understand that many, many people use that beach. In principle. I still think it’s probably too big. I had my doubts about the number of courts, but I went along with the If you could get out of the contract today They enjoy the beach. Did you support the initial proposal from PVB?

Not the way it was, no. It was way too large.

John Dehondt, Ward 1 Years on council: four Position sought in 2010: mayor Did you support the initial proposal from PVB?

Yes and no. I supported a volleyball school. I didn’t support tournaments, beer tents, food concessions, or the size that it came up at. Actually I suggested it be two-thirds the size they suggested. Do you support the contract the way it was signed?

No. Is there anything you would change about the contract?

Do you think PVB should be operating on the Grand Bend beach?

There was to be a clause in it that should the residents not be on side, that we can terminate the contract. There are a number of things wrong with it. That would be the simplest. The way I saw it happening, they would go out and do their communications program. They would come back and say, “it’s not going the way we thought, why don’t we do this and this?” Work out a collaborative agreement between what the residents and PVB wanted.

Yes. What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand Bend’s beach?

My vision is to keep it uncommercialized. I qualify that, too. I’d like to see an international rugby tournament. I’d like to see volleyball played, but being played on four permanent courts that allow people to play, including the teams that have been coming there for years. I’d like to see a committee created that would be made of people Do you think PVB should be operating from the service clubs that would come up with recommendations of what and how we on the Grand Bend beach? should protect our beach. That would be the No, I do not. best solution. As far as the volleyball goes, If you could get out of the contract it should go back to the recreation and leitoday (as of May 16), would you do it? sure plan. I think what would be supported

Bill Weber, Ward 2 Years on council: 22 Position sought in 10/2010: mayor

I do not agree with all of the terms in the contract.

would be a small community-based volleyball school. We have enough talent in the community that we could probably create some sort of volleyball school that would be at a different scale than PVB but still give us the opportunity to let young people have sports activities. But it doesn’t have to be on the beach. Is Klondyke still an option?

Kids don’t care if volleyball is on the beach or at Klondyke. I really don’t believe that. The kids just want to learn and go play volleyball. I can see doing 90 per cent of the activities off beach. They could do finals and tournaments on the beach. That would be perfect. I think residents would get behind that.

cial to our residents and our businesses, so yes.

Is there anything you would change about the If you could get out of the contract today, would you contract? do it?

The initial proposal from PVB was different than what was approved by council. Many changes and controls were added by staff following council’s direction from discussions held in open council meetings.

Things I believe should be negotiated: I have always said that a smaller number of semi permanent courts would be better – six may be a good number; and I think the contract should able to be reviewed, amended, extended, or cancelled each fall after the season of operations.

Anyone can get out of any contract. But what is lost in reputation or opportunity for the community may take years to recover from. The last motion from council was to look at options and negotiate with PVB to address concerns and work toward a volleyball program in Grand Bend.

Do you support the contract the way it was signed?

Do you think PVB should be operating on the Grand

What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand

Did you support the initial proposal from PVB?

Bend’s beach? Yes. The contract was moved and seconded and passed by a Bend beach? quorum of council so I support it as a member of council. No, I believe a school for volleyball on the beach can be benefiThe beach is public and should be enjoyed by all.

Strip Special: PVB in Grand Bend

Mark Simpson, Ward 3

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 • 5

As a member of council, I accept the contract as written.

While I wasn’t at the council meeting where the contract was approved (I have missed 2 meetings in 7 years, and that Do you think PVB should be operating on the Grand was one of them), I support all the decisions made by my colleagues that night. Bend beach? Did you support the initial proposal from PVB? The municipality does not provide programming. We proIn principal I did support the concept. I had concerns with vide the facilities for both non-profit and for-profit organiza- What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand the number of courts, parking, the amount of the lease, and tions to provide the programs. Bend’s beach? alcohol at events. Passive recreational use with the continued use by comIf you could get out of the contract today (as of munity groups for their activities, and for other programs that are suitable for beach use. Do you support the contract the way it was signed? May 16), would you do it?

Years on council: seven Position sought in 10/2010: mayor

Ruth Illman, Ward 4

operational costs be the responsibility of the organization. I do not envision provision of alcoholic beverages on the beach, use of food Did you support the initial proposal vouchers, use of amplified music or PA systems. It is also important to have an evaluafrom PVB? I supported the concept of a volleyball tion of the program at the end of the season. school on the beach as I believe it provides increased opportunity for physical activity for Is there anything you would change youth and adults. The volleyball school can about the contract? also be seen as having potential for economic If I had this to do over, I would prefer that spin off for community businesses. the municipality initiate the communications plan and that we start smaller than what we Do you support the contract the way it initially agreed.

Years on council: seven

was signed?

Lambton Shores does not have a parks and recreation department and I can support the for-profit proposal provided that we treat this organization consistently with other forprofits that have provided programming in our Lambton Shores facilities and that all

We agreed as a council that we wanted staff to go back to PVB and discuss a modified version of the volleyball school. I am hopeful that negotiations and discussions can achieve some positive adjustments. What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand Bend’s beach?

I see the Grand Bend beach as one of the many jewels of this municipality. I want to see the beach as an attractive, safe and fun place for all of our residents to live and play and for tourists and families to visit. I want to see opportunities for both organized and unorgaDo you think PVB should be operating nized play for children and youth. I want to see the beach continue as an on the Grand Bend beach? internationally recognized “Blue Flag” beach Yes. with more opportunities for environmenIf you could get out of the contract tal programming in partnership with other today (as of May 16), would you do it? community groups and organizations. The

opportunity for partnerships for environmental education and partnerships in beach safety education is certainly possible in conjunction with a beach volleyball school. I want to see more opportunities for the handicapped and disabled. The main beach enhancement goes a long way to making the area more accessible but we do need to review the overall beach enhancement plan and consider accessibility possibilities for the north beach. I look forward to community discussions of these issues as we move forward with the Recreation and Leisure Master Plan. We do not staff a recreation department and we do not have the financial means to do so unfortunately. We facilitate programming by partnering with both public organizations and private profit and not for profit organizations.

Gerry Rupke, Ward 5

cant effort by the company to sell their program to residents.

Years on council: four Position sought in 10/2010: Ward 3

Is there anything you would change about the contract?

Did you support the initial proposal from PVB?

The communication plan. Nothing proceeds until local Yes. I would alter it. (But you support them offering someresidents are happy with the plan. thing on the beach?) Yes.

I thought it was a great concept. We had some significant concerns, and they were to be addressed and brought back to Do you think PVB should be operating on the Grand council again. I wasn’t there when it came back to council. Bend beach? I think it’s a good potential use of the beach, yes. I’ve seen Do you support the contract the way it was signed? it done in other communities. In fact, I was just in Israel, and It didn’t address all the concerns we had, and one of them in Tel Aviv they have a very similar beach. There were four or was communication with the local residents. We realized from five courts there in continuous use and quite compatible with the start that would be problematic, and would require signifi- other uses adjacent to it.

Doug Cook, Ward 6

If you could get out of the contract today (as of May 16), would you do it?

What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand Bend’s beach?

It’s a primary asset of our municipality and should be used for the benefit of our municipality as a whole. All the way along our shoreline we have a great asset, and we should ensure it is used in an environmentally appropriate way to benefit this community.

Is there anything you would change If you could get out of the contract about the contract? today (as of May 16), would you do it?

What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand Bend’s beach?

I’m a business owner, so I thought they I still like the premise. The fact that you’re were given a pretty lucrative opportunity for giving young people the opportunity to have a sports program in Grand Bend is a good Did you support the initial proposal $1500. That’s my only position. thing. The spinoff benefit to the local busifrom PVB? (Was not on council at the time.) Do you think PVB should be operating nesses was another opportunity for them. Businesses on the main drag tend to need Do you support the contract the way it on the Grand Bend beach? some support, so I think more traffic in town was signed? I have no problem with that. wouldn’t hurt them at all. I would support most of it in principle.

I really don’t know the issue very well. I’d have to find out more about what’s going on in Grand Bend. There is a recreation committee being put together right now that will be coming out in the next few months, and it will give direction for what we will see in parks and recreation use across Lambton Shores.

Years on council: A few months Position sought in 10/2010: Ward 6

John Russell, Ward 7 Years on council: less than a year Position sought in 10/2010: Undecided Did you support the initial proposal from PVB?

Yes. Do you support the contract the way it was signed?

made mistakes and PVB made major mistakes because they without recreation is not strategic. I supported what they were trying to do. The idea of havdidn’t listen to us when we said they had to deal with the public. That’s our mistake, too, because we didn’t force their ing volleyball on the beach is a good idea. But we have a bad history on this council of not using the public in a correct hand with that. manner. That’s why you have these types of documents and Do you think PVB should be operating on the Grand public processes (master plans, etc.). Because this wasn’t quite correct, I suggested that the world wouldn’t come to an end if Bend beach? you don’t do it right now. I have no problem with them operating on the beach.

I don’t support the existing contract because I didn’t know it was going to be signed (missed meeting due to family con- If you could get out of the contract today (as of cerns). May 16), would you do it? Yeah. I made a motion that was defeated at the last council Is there anything you would change about the meeting that referred the issue of volleyball as a use of beach. It should be referred to the master plan on recreation, which contract? Those are all details. The issue is for or against. I’m for is starting as we speak. We have a strategic plan. Recreation, it. I’m for volleyball. I’m for recreational opportunities. We heritage and culture are not in that plan. A strategic plan

What is your vision for the long-term use of Grand Bend’s beach?

I don’t have one. That’s why I go through processes like that. I spent a lot of years chairing planning in Bosanquet, and my feeling is this: it’s not my vision; you get public input and find out.

6 • Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Strip VIPs

Larry Whiting’s race to prevent youth suicide Grand Bend Speedway team in memory of his late son is a way to help others Larry Whiting formed the Derik Whiting Foundation in memory of his son, who took his own life in 2006 at age 24. Derik was an avid racer at the Grand Bend Speedway, and Larry Whiting has started a race team to help stop other youth from sharing Derik’s fate.

As told to Casey Lessard Photos by Casey Lessard When the small oval track opened in Grand Bend, I was the track manager and I took Derik out. He was 14 or 15 years old and he used to park the cars in the parking lot and then he got to watch the racing. He kind of got the bug and wanted to do it. This was 1996. We raced for 10 years, starting with 9 HP mini-sprints and to the mini-trucks. We raced Peterborough, Sauble, Delaware, into New York. But our home track was Grand Bend. Derik’s best friends were racing. When he thought he could start racing, he was so excited and wanted to get in the race car and run it. I remember we bought a brand new race cart from Cambridge, and the first time I

told him, “You race at your own pace; don’t worry about the other people.” He was out there, and it was his second time out. He did about 18 laps and his buddy passed him and he decided he’d keep up with him. About two laps into it, I got up to the guard rail to tell him to slow down, and just as I got there, he slammed into the guard rail. He wasn’t hurt, but the cart sure was. The first thing he said to me was, “I know, I should have listened to you.” From then on, he became a good, cautious driver. He won a few awards for sportsmanship, and I believe that should be number one in any sport. It’s not all about winning; it’s about having fun in what you’re doing. We had a lot of fun. We raced for a lot of years. He wasn’t a good racer at first. It took four or five years, and when we got into doing mini-truck and he started doing the work on the truck, that changed him around. He got through more wrecks because he knew that if he didn’t, he had to fix it. His last three years of racing were his best. He finished second to Louis Desjardine his last three years, and

made a lot of friends at the track. Those kids said, “Can you come over to the shop?” When I got to the shop, Rick met me outstill keep in touch with each other. side and told me that Derik had hung himHe said he was going to hang up his hel- self. It was hard to believe. First you think, met in 2006. He wanted to try some other no, it didn’t happen. I put reality together and stuff. He was working for me doing some knew it had. I was dumbfounded. Lost. I did go in and property management, and was in the process of getting a truck on the road. He had look. I felt I needed that to know that it really gone through school for tool and die, and had happened. Then the police showed up. At the funeral, I didn’t realize he had so passed with flying colours. His school had five awards, and he won all five. I think it was many friends. Jim Hoffman told me it was the because I told him that if he flunked, he was second largest funeral they’d had. I can underpaying for it, and if he passed, I would pay for stand it because he was so well liked. it, so he made sure he passed. I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I He had a job working in tool and die for a short time in Strathroy, but it was the begin- don’t think about him or wonder why. He was ning of the crunch and they were laying a vibrant young man who loved life and made people off. He struggled to get a job in the the best of everything he did. People called industry and came back to work with me in him a greeter because he was so friendly. He was the life of the party. We were all very maintenance. shocked when it happened because, to this It was May 29, 2006. It was the morn- day, we don’t understand why. It was a real shock to the family. He did leave ing, and I was working at the medical centre around 8 a.m.. I used to have another shop a letter to the family that he was tired of crying with my friend Rick Maguire. Rick called and himself to sleep, which we found very shocking.

Three young people are part of the Derik Whiting Foundation’s racing team at Grand Bend Speedway. Above left, Jason Monteith of Grand Bend practices filling tires. Above, Amanda Welsh of St. Joseph is the driver this year. She was dealing with depression and finds the program is helping her a lot. “It’s given me a chance to let my feelings out through driving instead of a negative way. On a scale of one to 10, it’s a nine.” Welsh hopes to become a psychologist to help others.

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Amanda Welsh asks for some sunglasses before she heads out on the track. Joining the scene are team member J.J. Johnson, Larry Whiting (crouching), and sponsor Mark Heywood of Prosper’s Garage.

A depression that ’s held inside is the worst kind. If he had reached out to my wife Marlene or myself, or to his sister, or to someone at the medical centre where I work, that might have changed something. It took about six months before I came up with the idea for the Derik Whiting Foundation. Derik was working on saving the ball diamond, so I took that on. It was something I would never have done, but Derik started it, so I felt I had to finish it. So far, with Bud Desjardine and Vince Bury, we’ve got that done. We put an ad in the paper and in the first year, we had 35-36 T-ball kids. Today, we have five traveling teams and still T-ball. The diamond’s still there. The diamond’s used so much now, we have actually taken over Dashwood for the bantams, and hopefully we’ll add two more teams, the midgets and mosquitoes.

A few people commented that Huron County has a higher than average suicide rate. I realized there weren’t a lot of programs for kids to hear about this, and I felt I had to do something. I knew how much Derik liked getting into the race car, and thought this was a good way to get kids who were having a rough time in life, or couldn’t afford it, into a race car. Give them some self-esteem and help them get over that hump in life. A year passed, and another. We got the charitable status, but didn’t have the funding. We’re at the stage now where we have enough funding to buy a race truck and get kids into the program. We don’t just race. It’s a program where they learn mechanics, auto body, all the way down to writing stories for the local papers and taking pictures, speaking, announcing at the track, and so many other things. If one likes mechanics, we’ll try to help get that person into a garage or school

Larry Whiting would like to acknowledge the support of the team’s sponsors: Prosper’s Garage, Mike & Terri’s No Frills, Track21 Graphix, MacTools, Four Seasons Performance, MacFadden’s Welding, TNT Security Systems, Warwick Collision, and Glassford Chrysler.

Larry Whiting’s focus is for the racers to take their time becoming comfortable on the track. It’s a lesson he tried to teach his son, Derik, who tried too hard his first time out but became a frontrunner after a few years.

The end goal is that if I can save one perfor apprenticeship. Same with auto body or photography. And provide counseling while son’s life, I’ve accomplished it. I’d like to do more than that. I have a feeling we will do they go through the program. a lot more than that, and that the program We have three kids in the program now, will grow. The future doesn’t have to involve Amanda, JJ and Jason. Amanda is driving this racing. They could build a house. Let them year and we’d like to put another car on the do it and learn that they did something. That they’re part of a team. That’s what it’s all track next year. We don’t pick people off the street to be about. At the end of the day, the team did it. part of this. They have to be in a counseling I feel like I’m doing something for Derik. program. They’re being counseled because they’ve either made an attempt on their life I miss his smile, his jokiness, his little smirk. or they have a real rough life. If the coun- I miss everything about him. I totally miss selor feels the person needs a boost and is him. I miss him every day. It’s been frustratstable enough after counseling, that person ing getting this foundation going, and I think he’s the only one keeping me going. It was at can come to us and be part of the program. We welcome any volunteers. We are looking a point about a year ago that I almost gave up for people who would be interested in helping on it. I’m glad I didn’t, because now we have the kids. Over the next winter, we would like to some kids – team members – in the program, build the trucks, so when they get on the track and it’s really satisfying knowing I could be helping save their life. next year, they know they’ve built that truck.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010 • 7

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8 • Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Strip on Stage

Scenes from South Huron DHS Drama Festival

Katey Hartai is Melissa in Among Friends and Clutter, a play about friends, family and love.

Photos by Casey Lessard

Trevor Skochinski is Miguel and Virginia Iredale is Jane in Catch Me, written by student Alexandra Jones.

Meghan McGill portrays Ashley in Among Friends and Clutter.

Emily Ainslie stars as Jenny in True Love, True Crime, a play she directed for the SHDHS drama festival.

Shawn Burtch is Jon, Maggie Ainslie is Mabel, and Sam Zehr is Fancy-pants in True Love, True Crime.

Strip on Stage

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 • 9

Guys and Dolls at North Middlesex DHS Allison Whiting (centre) is the Sky Masterson’s love interest, the missionary Sarah Brown

Thomas Pardo is the ultimate gambler, Sky Masterson

Erin Flanigan portrays Nathan Detroit’s love interest, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls at North Middlesex DHS.

Keith Lockhart, John Campbell and Randy Olise discuss the horse races.

Strip Thoughts

10 • Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who’s to blame? View from the Strip By Casey Lessard I feel a level of simpatico with Mark Reilly. We’re not friends, not business partners; I met him once and talked to him on the phone once. But I know how he probably feels: he just wants to run a business in Grand Bend within the rules established by the prevailing authority. When I started the Grand Bend Strip, I got a some nasty looks from people I didn’t know. Others simply ignored me, considered the paper junk mail, or didn’t care. They liked the old way, the other newspaper. But, as I believe Mark Reilly is, I was committed to doing my best every day and showing that I wanted to be part of this community. Luckily, there is a vocal minority – you who are reading this – who said, let’s support this guy. He’s doing something good. I think Reilly’s dream of making Grand Bend a destination for athletes is a good thing. Somewhere along the line, he screwed up the execution. Too much, too soon. The town just redid the beach and downtown, after all. Add to that a contract that was too long for too little. But let’s try to determine who is responsible here. It is really Mark Reilly? Mark Reilly simply made a proposal to run a business. He did nothing wrong in that respect. His idea had no fundamental flaws. However, he made some mistakes by not communicating with residents, by not paying his initial fee, and by not securing insurance for the season. After his first mistake and the resulting meeting May 1, I can’t blame him

for making the other two mistakes. He probably didn’t expect this project would happen this summer. Is it Lambton Shores council, or perhaps the administration, that should bear the blame for the controversy and uproar by a group of concerned citizens? The administration wrote the terms of the agreement under direction of council, and made some critical errors in its construction. After a series of mistakes, council had enough reason to be concerned that it gave 60 days notice to terminate the contract with PVB. Good thing for them that PVB made the mistakes it did. I’m going to take it one step farther, though. If council and the administration are responsible for this mess, then perhaps the person ultimately responsible is you. After all, you voted in the council and they direct the administration. I want to hear who you think is responsible. Visit our website and answer our poll, which is active now. It’s an early way to express your opinion to council. You’ll get another opportunity in October with the municipal election. Regardless of your opinion, it looks like this project will go ahead. Ed Fluter says those supporting this project are a silent minority. But when it comes down to decision time, there may be a more important portion of the population that emerges. They’re the ones who vote in the councilors for wards other than Grand Bend. And when the residents of Grand Bend say, not in my backyard, are they listening? If not, who is in the majority here?

The Grand Bend Strip and publisher Casey Lessard took home more awards than any other newspaper in Ontario Friday, May 14 at the Ontario Community Newspapers Association gala held in Toronto. Here are the results and judges’ comments:

1st place – Best Feature Photo (under 9,999) – cover photo from Parkhill fair

overall paper), circulation under 1,999

2nd place – Education Writing – SHDHS music trip to Chicago

Judge Dave White: I think the photographer made some smart decisions regarding depth of field and camera angle to help us feel this child’s pure joy. The viewer is right there 3rd place – General Excellence (best with her. I really love this image. Note: Top marks in 4 of 11 categories, including Front Page, Presentation, Photography, and Production Quality Judges Norm Park, Cindy Beaulieu, Kelly Clammer, Heather Thomson: The most eyeappealing publication in this class. No question about artistic quality and photo presentation. That is tops in the class. This paper also provides good, easy to read features with strong leads. It’s a home-spun feel-good paper with a professional flair. 2nd place – Photographer of the Year (competing with all newspapers)

Judge Richard Dal Monte: Great photos and a good idea going along for the ride on the band trip to the Windy City. 3rd place – Best Sports Photo – Hockey Night in Zurich dressing room photo

Judge Ron Scheffler: The photographer is commended for exploring behind the scenes to reveal a closer look at those who play simply for the love of the sport. 3rd place – Best Photo Layout – Parkhill’s Five Fun Days

Judge Bill White: Strong features. Some Judge Joe Callahan: An uncomplicated layvery nice lighting. out and typography that allowed the photo1st place – Best Creative Advertising graph to communicate effectively.

The big question: Is April’s Easter hot spell a sign of global warming? SURVEY RESULTS (ONLINE VOTES): 12% – Yes (2 votes) 88% – No (15 votes)

Is mom stunned by the success of the Grand Bend Strip? Unfortunately, they only take one photo at the Ontario Community Newspapers Association awards banquet in Toronto, and this is the one they sent us. From left: publisher Casey Lessard, mom Rita Lessard, OCNA president Don MacLeod, and co-owner Anjhela Michielsen hold the most plaques taken home by any newspaper at this year’s awards, held May 14.

( u n d e r 9 , 9 9 9 ) – a d p ro m o t i n g 3rd place – Best Rural Story (under 9,999) – potato farmer Marcus Koenig

Judge Wayne Aubert: Unexpected clean Judge Jake Boudrot: Well written, well layout for the clutter of ads in a community researched, significant local story, with a nice paper. layout and excellent photographs.

Who is responsible for the PVB volleyball controversy? Tell us at


Grand Bend




Publisher/Editor: Casey Lessard Advertising Sales: Casey Lessard Chief Photographer: Casey Lessard


Grand Bend Strip P.O. Box 211 Parkhill, Ontario N0M 2K0 CANADA Phone: (519) 614-3614 Fax: 1 (866) 753-2781

Distribution: Joan McCullough, Rita Lessard and Casey Lessard Contributors: Rita Lessard – my mom Tom Lessard – my dad Anjhela Michielsen – social justice Jenipher Appleton – nature/birding Lance Crossley – national affairs James Eddington – fine dining Yvonne Passmore – pet training

Advertising is accepted on condition that, in the event of an error, the portion of the ad occupied by the error will not be charged for, but the balance will be paid at the usual rate. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to check their ads on first publication, and the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors in multiple insertions. The Grand Bend Strip reserves the right to reject or edit any advertisement likely to offend community standards and/or the law. All material herein, including advertising design, is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form.

Grand Bend Strip is printed every other Wednesday in the summer and monthly in the winter. For this edition, 1000 were printed with more than 600 sent directly to subscribers in the Grand Bend area, and across North America. To subscribe, use PayPal online or send a cheque: $24/year, $12 July-Oct/Nov-June Alert the Grand Bend Strip of any address changes, and to let us know if you should be but are not receiving your copy of the paper.

Locally owned and operated © Copyright 2010

2nd place Feature Series 3rd place Rural Reporting Business Writing Arts Coverage In House Ad Campaign

1st place Outstanding Reporter Initiative (Circulation up to 9,999)

Strip Thoughts

Greece is only the beginning Alternative View

Reflecting on mom Advice from Mom

By Lance Crossley As we are nearly halfway through 2010 – scary, I know – I thought it would be a good time to see how my New Year’s predictions are panning out. In my December 2009 column, I wrote the following: “My 2010 predictions can be summed up in one word: “insolvency”. To be insolvent is to be unable to pay one’s debt obligations. In my view, this trend will only get stronger on the individual, institutional, and state level.” For this column, I’ll keep my remarks to the state level. Last year, how many times did you see Greece on the news? These days, you can’t turn on the television without hearing the latest on the Greek debt crisis. What is happening across the Atlantic is extremely important. For those of you who don’t know, Greece has been under tremendous international pressure to get its fiscal house in order. The world markets are refusing to buy Greek debt except at insanely high interest levels. Why? They don’t believe it will ever get paid back. Markets believe it has gone past the point of no return. Even when Greece announced severe cutbacks to its public service, an action that provoked riots and deaths, currency markets have continued to turn its back on the country. Euro zone leaders and the IMF eventually had to step in and agree to a $146-billion bailout to restore confidence in the international markets. Only one problem: even with the bailout, the market still didn’t believe it would be enough to make Greece solvent. So European leaders went back to the drawing board and came up with a $1-trillion bailout scheme, the largest bailout in history. Incredibly, the effect of this massive liquidity injection lasted less than 24 hours. The Euro

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 • 11

almost immediately began to plummet. This was the market’s way of saying, “It doesn’t matter what you do at this point – this thing is broken.” This all in bet by European leaders has been going horribly wrong. What’s their next move? A ten trillion dollar bailout? The market just doesn’t buy this whole charade. Why is the market crucifying Greece? Because they know who is bailing them out. It’s other bankrupt nations. They know credit rating agencies have been downgrading the debt of Spain and Portugal. They know Ireland and Italy are also facing similar problems. They know this is the broke bailing out the broke. One of the reasons for the hasty bailout is that France and Germany’s banking sectors are hugely exposed to Portuguese, Spanish, and Greek debt. Leaders feared a contagion effect, and didn’t want a run on their banks. They prevented a run on the banks (for now) but they have not prevented a run on the Euro currency and various national debts. Greece is the canary in the coal mine. Once this European story plays out with the other nations I mentioned, currency speculators will turn across the Atlantic to the U.S. dollar. The balance sheet of the U.S. is no better than Europe. The dollar is currently benefiting from the European crisis as some investors are fleeing to it as a “safe haven”. This will only last so long. Eventually, investors will also abandon the dollar and run to the only immortal currency - gold. At that point, gold will soar well over $2000 an ounce. The monetary system as we know it will have to push reset and reinvent itself. Things will start again but it’s going to be a turbulent ride to get there.

By Rita Lessard Happy belated Mother’s Day to one and all. What a great station in life it has been for me to have the privilege and fortune to have been able to attain. I hope it has been as wonderful an experience for others as it has been for me. Being a mother has been a roller coaster of emotions, but for me it has been the best time of my life with absolutely no regrets. It is an honour to have raised five great and successful sons. Thank you boys for all you’ve achieved to make me happy and proud to be called your mother. This past weekend I was specially proud and delighted to attend an awards ceremony where Casey won eight awards for the Grand Bend Strip. What a thrill that was. Way to go, Casey!

of a cleaning fanatic. The one Friday night her teenagers had a party down in the recreation room, and she was not too happy about the mess they made, so she made them clean it up. As she watched them work, it was clear that she was completely dissatisfied with their cleaning efforts and she let them know. Finally the son, exasperated with having to do it all over, reached for a broom and asked, “Can I use this, or are you planning to go somewhere?” Wow! How brave was that?!

From Reader’s Digest:

All mothers have intuition. The great ones have radar. Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare. As mothers, we don’t get much time to Just be kind and good to your children. Not relax, but occasionally we let the housework only are they the future of the world, they’re slide and watch a game show or two. One day, the ones who can sign you into the home. I was talking to my neighbour and she was saying how her husband came home from Hints from Woman’s World: work one day to find the house in complete Like to round off that gas purchase to a disarray. There she was plopped in front of nice even number? Don’t bother. Adding fuel the TV. “So that’s what you do while I’m at after the pump’s auto shut-off kick actually work?” he said, smirking. “I just happened to doesn’t get you any extra. The tank needs a bit have it on,” she lied. The jig was up the next of room for gas to expand, and any extra fuel day when the family was watching the prime evaporates into the car’s vapor collection sysminister giving a speech. As he stepped out of tem. What’s worse, it could cause poor engine his car and waved to the cheering crowd, her performance. Wow, who knew? If this is true, son shouted, “Look, mommy, he won the car!” it’s a lesson for me. As mothers go, I always considered myself a half decent housekeeper. I enjoyed playing games with the kids, so that was my excuse for not being 100 per cent perfect in that area. My friend, on the other hand, was a bit

While you’re gardening carry a quart size spray bottle filled with a couple of drops of liquid dish soap and water. If you see bugs attacking your flowers, give them a hefty squirt and they’ll fly away.

The Maple Leaf forever? this disheartening situation is a result of high schools choosing not to sing the anthem each day. Perhaps it is because music specialists are no longer valued in our educational system. Or, even worse, maybe we just don’t feel the patriotism. By the way, Newfoundland scored By Jenipher Appleton the best in the national anthem survey. Good Do you stand tall and proud for the for them! Canadian National Anthem? Do you sing it out with a sense of pride in your country? View of a new Canadian If you are wearing a hat, do you remove it? If I were a new Canadian, depending on Apparently we are living in a time when many my country of origin, I might be heard to people not only avoid singing the anthem, say, “I am so happy and proud to become a some don’t even know all the words or mel- Canadian citizen. Life in the old country was ody! so hard. No jobs, no democracy, oppression According to a study conducted by the everywhere. Canada is the answer to all my University of Victoria in B.C., 30 per cent prayers. It is the best country in the world! of choir students polled did not know all of I am so grateful and feel such a deep emothe words; 46 per cent had the melody incor- tion toward her flag and her anthem. I am so rect. And these were choir students! Perhaps proud to stand up tall and sing it out loud!”

Living in Balance

View of war veteran If I were a Canadian war veteran, I might be heard to say, “I am deeply saddened that our young people do not show respect to the Canadian flag and the national anthem. If it had not been for my fellow veterans, in all areas of the military, Canada would be a terrible place to live. Thousands upon thousands of Canadians gave their lives to protect us from the supreme evil; they fought tooth and nail for our freedom, for peace, and for democracy. Because of them, we live in the best country in the world! Many of my brothers and sisters who have gone before would be so sad and disappointed if they knew our youth didn’t care about our national anthem and had no sense of pride in their country. I think maybe they do know, and are rolling over in their graves. Something must be done to stop the ignorance and the sense of

entitlement many of our young people seem to possess!” Perhaps we could pause and take some advice from a truly great Canadian, none other than Stompin’ Tom Connors. The lyrics from the chorus of his song Canada Day say it all: O Canada, standing tall together. We’ll raise our hands and hail our flag, THE MAPLE LEAF FOREVER!!

12 • Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Strip VIPs

Amputations can’t slow down this CHAMP Watch for Cole Martin, 9, of Zurich in his second War Amps TV PSA Cole Martin of Zurich is a fun-loving nne-yearold who loves to play soccer and swim. He’s also a double amputee appearing in his second PSA for the War Amps Child Amputee program. Cole was born with only three toes and missing parts of his legs, and doctors amputated his legs above the ankle at six months. The Grand Bend Strip sat down with him and his parents Dwayne and Claudia Martin to discuss their journey.

Interview and photo by Casey Lessard Screen capture courtesy War Amps Dwayne: We knew from an early ultrasound that there was something not right with his legs. That created confusion among the medical staff because they had never come across this kind of situation before. They realized that there was something wrong with the legs, so they checked other limbs. They dug further and looked at internal organs. They were pretty sure nothing else was wrong but that there would be something wrong developmentally. They couldn’t even guarantee that he was going to be a highly functioning child. Just before he was born, Claudia was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who finally gave this condition a name: fibular hemimelia. It means the absence of part or the whole limb. If he could adapt to walking with prosthetic


legs, he should be otherwise a healthy child. When he was born, they had a team ready in case there were other complications. Claudia: We were pretty confident that he was going to be fine otherwise. It was pretty devastating to hear that your child’s legs aren’t developing properly, but we believe there was a reason for him and we would do whatever we needed to do. He walks and jumps and plays. Cole hasn’t read the manual that he’s not supposed to be able to do what he does, and we’re not going to stop him. It’s a little different. We have to find legs in the mornings sometimes, and remember where we put them the night before. The biggest thing at the beginning was telling people that he was fine: “don’t feel sorry for him”. The more we baby him, the more disabled we allow him to become. He could become disabled if we allowed him to be. The biggest struggle was at school. When he’s climbing the ladder for the slide, he can’t feel when another child’s fingers are under his foot. We went into his class and explained this to the other kids. Dwayne: The biggest apprehension I had was peer acceptance. We’ve found that because all the kids he goes to school with have grown up with him, they don’t see him as different. In fact, there are kids that say they wish they could take their legs off. They think it’s cool. For us, it’s always been about educating people what it’s like having an amputation and prosthetic legs. Yes, you do things a little differently, but you can do basically anything that everyone else can do. You just have to adapt a little bit. He rides a normal bike; he needs to start and stop a little differently, but he finds his own way. With skating, he can’t feel the slipperiness of the ice, so he’s had to experiment on his own.

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War Amps’ help is crucial Claudia: He has a carbon-fibre foot that is responsive, so he gets lift off the toe. Right now they’re working on swim legs for him with an adjustable ankle so he can put flippers on. He’s also getting a pair of legs without the additional height so he won’t have the additional weight when he’s running. By that time, he’ll have three pairs of legs. War Amps covers everything. We just got the bill for the swim legs, and it was almost $25,000 for one pair of legs. Regular legs are slightly less than that. War Amps is covering everything. Without their help, he wouldn’t have them. Dwayne: We would be very limited in what we could provide him. War Amps does an amazing job of giving kids specialized gear, whether it’s arms and hands or legs and special feet. They cover everything over and above what insurance does. Claudia: Dwayne’s plan covers 80 per cent for one pair every two years. We also get help from ADP (Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program). But they don’t cover recreational legs. War Amps allows kids to be kids, to live a normal life. Because they’re normal kids. he would never walk. The day any child walks is a huge day, but the fact that he did it at 18 months on the day, that was emotional. Cole’s biggest challenges Dwayne: We’ve always taken the viewClaudia: The biggest problem is stump sores. The splits, the blisters, the bleeding point that if we don’t tell him he can’t do it, that happens. You deal with it. He doesn’t he won’t think he can’t, and he’ll try it. If he know any different. He was six months when tries and decides it’s too difficult for him, he he was amputated. This has always been and can pursue it or not. For the most part, he has always exceeded what doctors say he technialways will be. (When he was learning to walk,) we didn’t cally should be able to do. As he’s grown, he do anything differently. When he was learn- learns his limits and he has a lot fewer limits ing to crawl, we had to put pads on his legs so than we believed there would be. he could grip the floor, otherwise his plastic Dwayne: We all have challenges. His just legs kept sliding away on him. It was a little more emotional the day he walked across the happens to be more visible. Because of certain kitchen because this was a child that doctors limitations, he can’t become a firefighter, but said wasn’t supposed to live, and if he lived, otherwise, there are no limits to what he can do.

Dale stars in Sweet Charity Stratford actor and screen star Cynthia Dale is coming to the Huron Country Playhouse next month. Dale, star of CBC’s Street Legal and frequent stage presence at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, hits the stage June 9 to 26 as the title character in Sweet Charity.

Bob Dietrich HANDYMAN

Set in New York in the 1960s, Sweet Charity is Neil Simon’s Tony Award-winning musical about an optimistic young woman who always wears her heart on her sleeve. For tickets, call 519-238-6000 or visit

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Grand Bend




Strip at Night

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 • 13

Photos by Casey Lessard

S outh Huron District High School hosted a battle of the bands competition May 6. The band Mowgli won the night, which was headlined by Deny the Threat. Left: Charlie Weber of Preaching to the Prophet. Above: Jeff Penn of Unrelenting Vengeance. Top right: Jared Verellen of Unrelenting Vengeance. Right: Amanda Kyle captures the scene for posterity.

Sparks are flying in the bedroom Fido... Come... Sit By Yvonne Passmore I’m lying in bed, roll over and feel a chill. I pull up my low quality but warm, fuzzy polyester blanket to my neck and the sparks begin to fly. I smile thinking and reminiscing about my younger days and sharing a room with my sister. Way back then, the blanket sparks would have initiated a flurry of both of us tossing our blankets around to see who could make the most fireflies dance in the darkness of our room. Other times we would talk about our parents and their annoying rules, the cute boy that sat next to us in class and our dreams of becoming a world famous horse wrangler or flight attendant. The dark and bedtime was a time to bond, grow, and share secrets and fears. These reflections started a conversation between my husband and me about whether we are doing our children a service by ensuring our homes are big enough for every child to have their own room. Is being alone in the

middle of the night robbing children of the opportunity to really get to know their brothers or sisters? It’s hard to giggle uncontrollably under the sheets or get annoyed by the person who made that smell when you are all alone. Being with your family and loved ones in the still of the night is a comfort for most of us. For dogs, it’s part of their natural social structure to maintain that pack during that most vulnerable time. Bedding with a pack also helps create and strengthen a bond. In the wild, it serves as comfort against the cold and protection against predators. Given a choice, both dogs and most humans prefer to go to sleep with that feeling of togetherness. It saddens me to see dogs that sleep in the basement, or worse, outside, because there are some who don’t believe that a dog should share sleeping space with their pack. It’s another example of how people believe a dog should conform to the human’s way of thinking with no consideration for the animal they brought into their lives. I don’t believe dogs have to sleep in a bed with their owners, but mine do. I don’t think a dog has to sleep in the bedroom, but most would prefer to. Some dogs are perfectly

content to claim space in a hallway between the rooms of family/pack members. That dog’s comfort still comes from the noise of us snoring, tossing and turning throughout the night. That dog is surrounded by his pack. A few nights ago, my Great Dane decided he couldn’t climb the stairs to come to bed. Physically he was fine, but he does tend to develop the odd unexplainable mental block about what he can and can’t do with his body. I gave up trying to coax him up the stairs and decided that if he thought he couldn’t get up the stairs, he could go sleep on his pillow on the lower floor. After listening to his howling and moaning, and still not being able to get him to move his body past the first two steps, I decided to spend the night on the couch. His stress didn’t result from missing his usual sleeping spot; it was the result of being alone in the dark. Once I was on the couch and settled, he lay on his pillow and quietly slept the night away. Some may think that sleeping on the couch was above and beyond the call of duty. I think it was tending to a dog that I dearly love that was experiencing mental anxiety. As my sister did for me so long ago, it was my pleasure to help comfort, protect and dispel

his fear. For column suggestions, training help and book info, contact Yvonne through:

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To Do List

14 • Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Community/Charity WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2

7 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Dunes Duplicate Bridge

Grand Bend Nurser y School is now 12 p.m. – Grand Bend Legion offering five sessions a week of the Early Grand Bend Golden Agers Luncheon. TUESDAYS Learning Program, a FREE high qual1 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. ity program designed to help prepare young T HURSDAY, JUNE 3 Bridge children for school. If you have children 7 p.m. sharp – Grand Bend CHC 2.5 to 4 years old and reside in Lambton Sunset Cinema (Grand Bend Social Film WEDNESDAYS County, call Grand Bend Nursery School at Club). Last film till fall. 7 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. 519-238-8514 Dunes Duplicate Bridge

SATURDAY, JUNE 5 TUESDAYS 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Pt Franks Comm Ctr. Kids Matter every Tuesday. Join us as we crochet sleeping mats out of milk bags to send to the children in Africa and South America. Bring your lunch, scissors and a #7 crochet hook. Peggy Smith 519-296-5834. 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Bingo

FRIDAYS 5 to 7 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Meat Draw


8:15 a.m. – Port Franks Comm. Ctr. THURSDAYS Departure for Port Franks Garden Club 9 to 11 a.m. – Grand Bend Legion bus trip to the Bossu Wetland. Tentative Golden Agers shuffleboard return time is 6 p.m. Morning spent at Wetlands, then lunch in Wallaceburg. Tour 1 to 4 p.m. - Pt. Franks Comm. Ctr. of gardens there followed by trip to Sarnia Shuffleboard for two more garden tours. 7:30 p.m. - Pt. Franks Comm. Ctr. Cards TUESDAY, JUNE 8 9:30 a.m. – Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Women’s Probus. Everyone FRIDAYS welcome. 10 a.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Badminton

TUESDAY, JUNE 15 10 a.m. – Grand Bend Legion Grand Bend Men’s Probus. Topic: Probus Canada

6:30 p.m. - Parkhill Leisure Club Plant Sale and Auction. Outdoor Plant Sale $1, $2, $5. 7:30 p.m. - Live Auction SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 of Plants, Garden Tools & Accessories. 5 p.m. - Huron Country Playhouse Sponsored by Parkhill Area Horticultural Autumn Indulgence has become a Grand Society. Phone: 519-293-3645 Bend tradition - a splendid evening of food, fellowship, and live entertainment. The gala fundraiser supports and celebrates our wonSUNDAY, MAY 30 derful community and showcases the excep10 a.m. - Lions’ Pavilion, Grand Bend The Purina Walk for Dog Guides. Lions tional talents of our local artists. This year’s theme is “Nautical”. Enjoy Foundation of Canada Dog Guides provides Dog Guides at no cost to Canadians the exceptional atmosphere along with a with disabilities. The walk is a fun-filled gourmet steak and lobster dinner, unique day for both community members and their live and silent auctions, two live bands and four-legged friends to enjoy the spring dancing. The ticket price is $90 for the whole eveweather, meet fellow dog owners and conning, and $25 without dinner. Please note tribute to a wonderful cause. that the dinner tickets are now on sale. All proceeds support The Rotary Club of Grand Bend’s local and International projTUESDAY, JUNE 1 ects. 6:30 p.m. – Grandpa Jimmy’s Scottish Please join us for a fun and exciting  eveBakery, Grand Bend. Grand Bend Relay for Life 2010 meeting. ning that benefits the entire community. Buy your tickets now - this event sells out! Team Captains meet at 6:30 p.m., general meeting follows at 7 pm. Everyone welcome. Relay on July 9 this year.

Arts & Entertainment

9 a.m. – Grand Bend Legion lower parking lot. MONDAYS Grand Bend Hor ticultural Society 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Grand Bend Legion Planting Day. Bring planting tools. Contact Golden Agers shuffleboard Eric Brown at 519-238-1583. Yes, please send me the Grand Bend Strip! My cheque for $24 (16 issues) is enclosed. [Visa/MC/PayPal accepted online]

Name: Address: Town: Phone: E-mail:

________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ____________________ Postal Code: _______________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

Send to Grand Bend Strip, P.O. Box 211 Parkhill, ON N0M 2K0. Rates listed are for Canadian addresses only, for 16 issues. Your information is safe with us. It will be used exclusively for subscription purposes. For U.S. and international rates, call 519-614-3614 or visit

1 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Bridge

8:45 to 10 a.m. (Mon/Fri), (to 9 a.m. Wed.) – Grand Bend Legion TGIF Exercise classes with Elinor Clarke. $3/week - all proceeds to charity.

MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS 6 to 7 p.m. - Precious Blood Catholic School gym, Exeter Workout for your Life. To learn more, call Shelley Van Osch at 519-234-6253.

TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS 9 a.m. – Port Franks Comm. Centre Healthy Lifestyle Exercise Program. Program includes warm up, low impact aerobic workout, strength work and stretching. Cost: Free. Everyone welcome. Register with Cindy Maxfield at 519-238-1556 ext 6. 9 a.m. – Catholic Church parking lot Grand Bend CHC Walking Program. Warm up stretching, walking and strength work. Call for details 519-238-1556 ext 231. Everyone welcome! Program runs until July. 9 a.m. - Port Franks Comm. Centre Walking program in Port Franks

1:30 to 3:30 p.m. - GB Youth Ctr. Grand Bend Drum Circle. Contact Anita WEDNESDAYS at the Youth Centre or call 519-238-8759. 9:30 a.m. – Lambton Heritage Museum parking lot Savannah Strollers Pinery Park Walking 7 p.m. - Port Franks Comm. Ctr. Group. Meet at 9:30 so we can coordiDunes Duplicate Bridge nate rides into the park for 10 a.m. walk. Different Trail each week. Everyone welSATURDAY, MAY 22 come! 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music by Mike Fagan

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2 SATURDAY, MAY 29 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music by Larry McQuarrie

SATURDAY, JUNE 5 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music by Cactus Jam

SATURDAY, JUNE 12 3 to 6 p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Live Music by Persuaders

Health & Fitness

10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Grand Bend CHC Cooking for One or Two. Learn how to scale down recipes, freeze portions and make new friends! Call Miranda 519-2381556 ext 222 to register.

THURSDAY, JUNE 3 2 to 4 p.m. – Grand Bend CHC Early Stage Alzheimer’s Support Group. This series is for individuals who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Contact Jennifer Burns at 1-800-561-5012.


7 p.m. – Grand Bend CHC Alzheimer Caregiver Support. Group program that provides education and sup8 to 9 a.m. - Southcott Pines port to caregivers. Alzheimer’s Society of Clubhouse Workout for your Life. To learn more, call Huron at 1-800-561-5012. Beth Sweeney at 519-238-5555


Your affordable advertising solution. Visit or call 519-614-3614.

Strip Thoughts

Disney’s High School Musical Huron Country Playhouse May 19 to May 30, 2010

Review by Mary Alderson (Mary’s reviews appear regularly at Disclaimer: her son Thomas is an actor in High School Musical .) Director David Connelly describes High School Musical as a Romeo and Juliet story: two kids from opposite sides – the jock and the brainiac – fall in love. Basketball star Troy meets Gabriella while on a ski vacation. They take part in a karaoke contest and are

surprised to learn they can sing. But when Gabriella enrols at Troy’s school, he’s embarrassed to tell his friends he likes singing. She is pressured into taking part in a math competition, rather than audition for the high school musical. This is the new Grease, but instead of peer pressure on the couple to conform, High School Musical celebrates the differences. The cliques can mix; the jocks, brainiacs, skater dudes and musical theatre geeks can all be friends. They can even admit to enjoying activities outside their clique, like the jock who bakes, or the skateboarder girl who plays cello. In act one, they are afraid to mix up the cliques, singing “Stick to the Status Quo”,

Network Classifieds:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 • 15

but by the end, the kids declare, “We’re all in this together.” David Cotton portrays Troy Bolton with hair à la Zac Efron or Justin Bieber, which is sure to impress the girls in the audience. But more impressive is David’s voice. He nails every song perfectly, with better harmony than Efron’s movie versions. Canadian Idol winner Melissa O’Neil portrays Gabriella as quiet, shy, smart, and endearing, much like O’Neil herself. Her solid singing experience is certainly evident. Lisa Lennox is the evil Sharpay, with ideal comedic timing and plenty of energy. Her twin brother Ryan is played perfectly by Chad McNamara. Lennox and McNamara, along with Jonny Wexler, who plays Chad Danforth, are TV’s Doodlebops,

Advertise Across Ontario or Across the Country!

so they know how to hold the young audience’s attention. Four other members of the Doodlebops live touring shows are also in this production. Family friendly, the show starts at 7 p.m. and ends by 9:30 p.m. so kids can get home to bed. Most kids have the DVD memorized and know exactly what will happen next. Last year, I chatted with one young fan who was upset that a new song had been added that wasn’t in the movie. This was forgiven when her friend reminded her that the song was an “extra track” on the CD. Even if you don’t have a pre-teen handy, you should see this show. It is a great evening of entertainment, with superior singing, lively choreography, and a positive message. For tickets, call 519-238-6000.

For more information contact Your local(519) newspaper Casey Lessard: 614-3614






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16 • Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Strip in the Kitchen

Roasted red pepper and tomato bisque Recipe by James Eddington Eddington’s of Exeter 527 Main Street, Exeter 519-235-3030 This is a simple little recipe that I hope will inspire you to plant some peppers and tomatoes this spring. If, as I do, you lack a green thumb, no need to fret; they are easy to grow. I bought the seeds, followed the instructions on the package and stuck them in planters on the front porch. Even with the lack of frequency in our watering patterns, I produced healthy, vibrant and delicious plants that were enjoyed all summer. Beyond the varietals, take a look at the benefits! Source: Tomatoes are fat-free, low in sodium, and have been shown to lower cholesterol. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A and calcium. They are also packed with phytonutrients, including lycopene, an antioxidant that protects our cells from damage. They have proven to help prevent a wide variety of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer. Tomatoes also contain an array of nutrients that work to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, including fiber, potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, and lycopene. Finally, tomatoes also contain phenylalanine, an essential amino acid important in the functions of the kidneys and bladder. Phenylalanine has been found to boost energy levels, ease depression and increase mental clarity. Bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. The vitamin B6 and folic acid in peppers reduces homocysteine levels that increase our risk of heart attack and stroke. Bell peppers are also a good source of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and reduce our risk of heart disease. Red bell peppers also contain lycopene.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 bunch 2 tbsp 1/4 cup 3 cups 2 cloves 4

yellow onion (diced) celery diced olive oil white wine chicken or vegetable stock garlic large red bell peppers roasted, skinned and diced

Note: when roasting red peppers, char out side until black, place in stainless steel bowl and cover until cooled. This will steam the skin, making it a lot easier to peel. 5

1 2 1 cup 2 ounces

large tomatoes, chopped in cubes (Any variety works. I used simple field tomatoes in my soup.) clove bay leaves heavy cream honey Salt and pepper to taste

In large stock pot, sauté onions and celery in olive oil over low/medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft. Add 1/4 cup white wine to deglaze pot. Add 3 cups of stock, 2 cloves of garlic, diced peppers and chopped tomatoes. Bring to rolling boil then simmer for about an hour. If needed, add water to thin mixture. Once ingredients are soft, puree with hand blender. Return to medium heat and add 35% cream and honey, and blend again. Add cloves and bay leaves and let simmer on low heat until ready to serve. Add pinch of salt and pepper as needed, or more honey if desired. If you want to be creative, add balsamic vinegar for a unique flavor or substitute one red pepper with a hot pepper for kick. Have fun and enjoy. Cheers, James Eddington

Photo by Casey Lessard For more, look for In The Kitchen under Lifestyle at:

Vol. 4 #1 - May 19, 2010 Grand Bend Strip  

Award winning journalism from Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada. Inside: The fight over PVB and beach volleyball on the Grand Bend beach.

Vol. 4 #1 - May 19, 2010 Grand Bend Strip  

Award winning journalism from Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada. Inside: The fight over PVB and beach volleyball on the Grand Bend beach.