The Corporate Services Committee recently took the opportunity to meet and discuss the annual Christmas reception that the Village has hosted at the Legion the first Saturday in December for the past three years. This reception was intended as an opportunity for the Village to honour and show our gratitude to the many volunteers that serve our community. Each committee member is sent a personal invitation by Staff and each Committee chair has been encouraged to personally invite the members of their committee to the reception. To ensure no one has been missed, the Village has placed this invitation in the Review Mirror. Unfortunately, the response to these invitations has only encouraged about a 15% turnout, which has driven home the realization that perhaps this has not been the most opportune venue to honour our volunteers.
On the other hand, the Corporate Services Committee has taken note that the New Year’s Levee is a very popular event enjoyed by a great many in the community. Therefore, the Committee has recommended that this year the Village shall expand and extend the period for the New Year’s Levee to include a variety of hot and cold foods as well as entertainment. The reception at the Legion will be cancelled and replaced by this enhanced opportunity to celebrate our community and its very special volunteers.
In 2019, the Chairs of the Village Committees of Council will consult with their team members to ascertain whether there are other suggestions of something festive that would appeal to most people.
All members of Council and residents and business owners have deep gratitude and respect for the volunteers that serve the Village however, we recognize that the reception was not a popular event and enhancing the New Year’s Levee this year will provide additional resources to a setting that most of you attend and enjoy.
Thank you for your commitment to the Village of Westport and for the important work that you have been doing. I know that you do not seek recognition and I appreciate your patience as we work to devise creative options for getting together at future Christmas gatherings.
The past couple of days, you may have seen some work crews in the Village and wondered – hmmmm, I don’t recognize any of them. You would be correct!
Pastor Scott Roth of the Perkiomenville Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and a group of church youth were camping at Murphy’s Point and wanted to do some volunteer work in the Village. On Tuesday, they painted every one of the 44 fire hydrants in the Village. You probably have noticed the change subconsciously, and now will spot each one of the bright yellow fixtures! Yesterday, they worked at the Harbour with Harbour Master Kevin Kardash helping get things ready for the Manotick Antique and Classic Boat Show being held on Saturday.
Thank you to Pastor Scott and every member of the friendly (and hard working!) team. You are welcome back any time!!!!
Westport in Bloom volunteers have, once again, raked, fertilized, selected beautiful flowers, dug holes, planted and watered in record time to ensure that our flower beds are full and colourful. It is not that we take Blooms for granted, however it is what we have come to appreciate. And one Bloom volunteer in particular this year, spent a significant amount of time getting the flower gardens at Town Hall groomed and planted. Extra trips to the nursery were required and even a bit of a wrestling match with the hose occurred – until she was satisfied. You see her goal wasn’t merely getting the gardens ready for the summer. It was important to her that the gardens were planned so they would be in bloom and filled in by June 9. That is the day that the Canadian Armed Forces is parading in the Village, stopping at the Town Hall for the Freedom of the City event.. Extra effort and you can see the results. Much appreciated. (Sorry about the hose!)
Last week, a member of the Baptist Church Odd Job Squad called and asked if there was a project that they could handle for the Village. Yes! I said. The baseball volunteers have spent many hours grooming and revitalizing the baseball field and yet the benches in the dug outs are past their expiry dates. The Odd Job Squad made a plan with CAO Paul Snider, picked up the benches on Saturday and returned them today. The players and coaches will not recognize them. You have helped us raise the standard at the ball diamond, Odd Job Squad. Thank you.
The Heritage Committee is holding its Heritage Days on Saturday, June 2 from 9 – 4:00 p.m. at the Library. These volunteers have been planning this interesting event for several months. Interested in your heritage? come on down and give ancestry.com a try – a volunteer will help you. Lots of other things to do and many other volunteer organizations helping out. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee is running a BBQ – so pls come hungry. All proceeds from BBQ will go to the Lockwood Park fund. The Westport Arts Council is doing its BIG REVEAL of this year’s “One of a Kind, hand painted Muskoka Chairs” at 11:00. There are 6 chairs and you will be able to buy a ticket for the chair that you like. The lucky winner of each chair will be selected at MUSICwestport on August 18. By the way – did you know that the original name for the Muskoka or Adirondack chair was the WESTPORT chair. Seriously!!!!!
There are other volunteer groups hard at it in the Village. They don’t go home at the end of the day and watch TV. Rather they are coaches and umpires, food bank shelf fillers, drivers to hospitals and medical appointments, fire fighters and church leaders, and take on many other roles – too many to mention. They work as part of committees, non-profit organizations, clubs and unorganized ad-hoc groups of volunteers. I am sure I have missed some, but their efforts are not overlooked. I have said many times that the volunteers are the backbone of the Village … these are some of the reasons why.
Please shake the hand of a volunteer next time you see them contributing their time, effort and sweat for the good of our home town.