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Read this week’s Perth Courier for a hospital meeting update. – Second Section
IN THE NEWS
Photo by AMY HOGUE
Twelve year-old Tyler Lowery convinced his friend, Braden Ferguson, to take the plunge with him on New Year’s Day. The group of 50 plungers braved the frigid waters to raise money for the Perth Legion. See inside for more photos.
Freddy Dixon has a new book on the shelves, and is working on a show. – Page 25
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Plungers raise $10,000 for Legion By AMY HOGUE
EMC News - More than 50 plungers turned up at the Perth Legion on New Year’s Day for the Perth Polar Bear Plunge challenge, raising more than $10,000 for the Perth Legion Branch 244. Although the sun was shining, with an air temperature well below zero it took daring and determined individuals to volunteer for an icy dip into the frigid waters of the Tay River. Eighty year-old Eva Gentle was a top fundraiser with a pledge total of more than $3,300 and her dip in the Tay River was accomplished with a smile and aplomb, despite the frigid temperatures. Mary Lou Brankin raised more than $2,000 in pledges. Brankin was jumping this year in memory of her father,
Second World War veteran, Jack Byrne. Terry O’Hearn, chair of the Legion’s Polar Bear Plunge committee, stressed the money raised will be used to assist veterans and their families in the future. “We are not earmarking it for anything in particular,” O’Hearn said. “We are going into the New Year with an open mind.” The Perth Polar Bear Plunge into the Tay was first introduced in 1994 and in the 20 events since has raised more than $200,000 for Perth community organizations. According to the Perth Plunge organization (or committee), Perth is considered to be one of the safest and successful Polar Bear Plunges in Canada. O’Hearn commented on the unique nature of this year’s
plunge, noting that although the Legion has traditionally been the venue for the event, this will mark the first year the Legion was named as the recipient. As part of the tradition, the recipient for the following year’s plunge was announced on New Year’s Day. Perth’s Youth Action Kommittee (YAK) will be next year’s recipient. YAK has more than 600 members between 12 and 18 years of age, with a core group of 50 youth who come from the Perth and surrounding areas. Tanis Cowan, YAK’s executive director, explained that she would like to aim high and set a fundraising goal of $20,000 for the 2014 plunge. “We’re thrilled,” Cowan said, adding the young people themselves are 100 per cent behind the 2014 Polar Bear
Plunge and many youth will be taking the plunge themselves. “We already have been getting youth and their families who want to get involved… I think it’ll be a good show.” YAK regular, Sydney Perkins, said she is definitely planning on taking the plunge in 2014 “because people take risks for us youth so why can’t we take a risk too?” Perkins said she will try to find some friends to make the leap with her. With a full year before the 2014 plunge, Cowan is not taking a break from the planning of the event. Instead, she said she would like to start now to allow for an organized and successful event in 2014. “I think we’re going to need to start cheering everyone on now,” she laughed. “It’s going to be a busy year.”
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Funds raised from the 2014 plunge will be used to provide a base for future program planning at YAK. Cowan explained that although YAK is generously funded through a variety of organizations, it does not have a single, sustainable funding source. Next year, plunge funds will be a benefit to the YAK organization when planning ahead for funding needs in 2014. “It will be nice to know at the beginning of the year that funds will be available to carry a program for the duration of the year,” Cowan said. For more information about pledging for the 2014 Perth Polar Bear Plunge or other ways to become involved in the event, please contact Cowan at yakyouthcentre@gmail. com or at 613-264-8381.
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Country Music Heart Jam in memory of Ron McMunn set for Feb. 3 EMC Events – Country musicians from Lanark County and across eastern Ontario will perform in Carleton Place Sunday, Feb. 3 to remember local music legend Ron McMunn and raise funds for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. McMunn, who died of pancreatic cancer in July 2007, was well known across the region. Nicknamed ‘The Silver Fox,’ he was inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame in 1986. His sons Jamie and Jeff have continued the family tradition of country music. They will be among 21 individual or group acts who are scheduled to sing and play during what is being billed as the Ron McMunn ‘The Silver Fox’ Country Music 2013 Heart Jam. The annual event will be staged in the main upper hall of the Carleton Place arena complex from 1:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 3. Doors open at 1 p.m. Last year’s event was a complete sellout and the capacity crowd of 400 raised $8,000 for the Ottawa Heart Institute. Bob White, a long-time employee of the Carleton Place recreation and culture department, is also familiar for his role in organizing fundraising events locally, especially country music shows. White is once again assisting with the early February venture. He says the jam, which has run for over two decades, will be in the style Ron McMunn preferred, unscripted and easy going. “This is an audience participation event, not a concert. People will be encouraged to get up and dance. It’s about having fun. “Of course it (jam) has also raised a lot of money over the years,” White notes. He says the organizing committee is hoping to equal or better last year’s total. White stresses that country music fans in Carleton Place, Lanark County and west Ottawa should purchase their tickets early if they plan to attend. “This is an extremely popular event. Last year we had to turn many away at the door. There were some very unhappy people. But the facility is limited to 400 and we are obligated to respect the safety regulations (provincial fire code).
“Don’t plan on purchasing tickets at the door,” White advises. “Buy them early at the outlets involved.” Tickets for the fundraiser at $15 and can be purchased at the Carleton Place Town Hall reception desk, Temptations, 117 Bridge St. in Carleton Place; the Naismith Pub on Ottawa Street in Almonte, Nicholson’s Sundries on Graham Street in Pakenham and at Mark’s Cobbler Shop on Gore Street East in Perth. Charlie Kitts of Almonte, a 2010 inductee into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame, is a member of the organizing committee. Kitts will again act as emcee and auctioneer for the afternoon and evening. Heart Month “The jam is held during Heart Month (February) and it is extremely popular,” Kitts says. “It started at the Army, Navy Air Force Club (in Carleton Place) and it’s been running for more than 20 years now.” Carleton Place Coun. Jerry Flynn, who is also well known for his involvement in local
musical events, is co-chairing the jam committee along with Darlene Thibault. Flynn says the event is an excellent fundraiser. “People really support it and obviously we hope that will continue this year. “We want to keep the Silver Fox element in there. Ron was so well known and it is great to see this continuing as a tribute to him.” The always popular auction, held as part of the event, includes homemade baked goods, Lanark County maple syrup, beauty products and other items. Two 15-minute auction breaks are scheduled during the venture. Anyone who wishes to donate an item for the auction is asked to telephone White at 613-2535046. The early February extravaganza will feature a who’s who of the country music scene in Lanark County, Ottawa and eastern Ontario. Besides the McMunn brothers other headliners include Fred Ducharme, a member of the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame; well-known singer
John Foster; young Perth sensation Henry Norwood (he is gaining a major reputation in the region); George Chenier, who entertained during last year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Ottawa; Kathleen Stroud, one of the ever popular Mississippi Girls and Harry Adrain, a popular fixture on the Perth music scene. Also scheduled to take part are the Carleton Place duo Smokey Rose along with bands Ridin’ Shotgun and Blend N’ Roots. Among the local contingent is rising singer/songwriter Brea Lawrenson who, besides her regular work on the Ottawa pub circuit, has spent considerable time performing in Nashville and in suburban Franklin, Tennessee during the past three years. Carleton Place native Lawrenson is scheduled to return to Nashville soon to work on her songwriting as well as perform in and around the world country music capital. Jude Moffatt and Barry Munroe along with Gary Pond are also listed. The house band will be led by Andy Bowes of the Bowes Brothers on bass guitar. He is
expected to offer some of his trademark yodeling. Other members of the house band are fiddler Wade Foster, lead guitarist Brad Scott, steel guitar player Brian Ostrom (he too is a member of the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame) and drummer Mike Belajac. John Bowes, (Bowes Brothers), will provide the sound for the jam. The house band opens proceedings at 1:45 p.m. At 2 p.m. Kitts will introduce Jeff McMunn and the event will kick into high gear. The volunteer organizing committee includes Flynn, Thibault, Kitts, White and Lee Hodgkinson. Thibault and Hodgkinson also perform as Smokey Rose. There are plenty of parking
spaces at the arena located on Neelin Street, behind Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital. There is elevator access from the main lobby for the handicapped or anyone who finds stairs challenging. Waterfall Catering will provide the food for the day. The New Oak Tree is a major sponsor of this year’s Heart Institute fundraiser. Pledge forms will be available at the event for anyone who wishes to make a private donation to the Ottawa Heart Institute. Tax deductible receipts are issued to anyone who makes such a donation. For more information on the upcoming Ron McMunn ‘The Silver Fox’ Country Music 2013 Heart Jam telephone Flynn at 613-257-4748 or White at 613-253-5046.
By JEFF MAGUIRE
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For your entire mortgage needs contact Trevor at 613-250-9281 firstname.lastname@example.org FSCO 11963
Photo by AMY HOGUE
EMC News –More than 50 plungers braved the frigid waters of the Tay River on New Year’s Day during Perth’s annual Polar Bear Plunge, raising more than $10,000 for the Perth Legion. Above, Perth Polar Bear Plunge founder Dave Lavery, left, and Alfred von Mirbach were the first to take the plunge on New Year’s Day.
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