The annual Coldest Night of the Year walk, was the warmest in recent memory. This event raises funds for Ray of Hope, which has been helping those struggling with homelessness or addiction, since 1967.
Many people form teams to fundraise and go for healthy walk. The team from Centennial Public School in Waterloo had a lot of enthusiasm and brought in well over $3000!
We can all be proud that the KW CNOY walk is one of the top fundraisers nationally, and they were approaching their $185,000 goal.
Help push them over the top by donating now.
The City of Waterloo is known for discovery, entrepreneurship and diversity. We are a welcoming community that works towards a sense of belonging for all.
What better way to celebrate inclusiveness, and also demonstrate our community commitment, than to have a rainbow crosswalk in our uptown core.
At a council meeting yesterday, we approved a consultation plan, and funding, to have crosswalk in the rainbow colours installed in Spring 2018.
We’re all part of building a great place to live…for everyone!
PHOTO CREDIT: By bambulshakibaei [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
For over 20 years, the House of Friendship organizes a community food drive for potatoes at local grocery stores. It has grown so much over the years that this year’s goal is 300,000 pounds of potatoes.
Waterloo Region Police and Auxiliary, including Chief Larkin, were on-hand at my neighbourhood grocery to store to gather all the gifts from shoppers.
If you missed the opportunity, you can participate from your mobile phone by texting SHARE to 41010 to donate $5.
Our community vision celebrates Discovery – Entrepreneurship – Diversity, and our local cultural celebration is so important to build Waterloo as a conglomerate of all aspects of the globe.
Today we celebrated Pongal, a harvest festival for the farmers and future season. Milk, rice and sugar cane are boiled…to overflow!...and the excitement translates to a great growing season.
Our youth are absolutely key to our future, and I was pleased to see the continued leadership of Leya, 2016 Grade 5 Councillor for a Day, in the cultural dance component.
More importantly, I was able to spend time to advise Councillor Leya on her upcoming Science Fair project on winter tires and sand!
The cold weather brings the need for shelter top-of-mind, and all citizens are rightly concerned for fellow citizens are without homes. Our regional system, operated by social agencies, has an overflow handling process so that everyone is accommodated, even on the coldest nights. No one is turned away.
Shelter usage actually decreased in 2014 and then stabilized, until recently. Regional staff noticed usage spiking, beginning in October 2017, and worked with local agencies to mitigate the need for motel-based overflow.
The shelter system has a total of 245 spaces, and Regional staff developed a plan to add 70 more spaces throughout the winter, in partnership with the House of Friendship and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.
Council readily endorsed this new plan. This new program will serve everyone well through this winter. These partners deserve thanks from all of us.
Longer term, we are in a leadership position for a community of our size to functionally eliminate homelessness.
Stay tuned. In the meantime, please give generously to your favourite charity.
Many of our fellow citizens sometimes need the help of the Food Bank of WR. And businesses and staff realize that they need to give back to the community, through sponsorship and volunteerism.
Stuff-a-bus is a great annual campaign that helps gather food during our holiday season.
An opportunity to give back and feel grateful for all that we enjoy.
The University of Waterloo hosted their 60th anniversary President’s Gala, and launched their first-ever Community Impact Awards. The awards recognize innovation, and contribution to our strong and prosperous community.
The honorees were Sally Gunz of the School of Accounting, Idrisa Pandit of Renison, Mary Jane Patterson of REEP Green Solutions, and THEMUSEUM, through Executive Director David Marskell.
We can all be proud of the talent in Waterloo and local contributions.
Our annual Christmas display in Waterloo Park kicked off with a bang…..literally! About 2000 attendees were amazed by the fireworks display. The displays are powered by 100,000 light bulbs and many 1000s of volunteer hours, who work year-round.
Take your family out any night in December, starting at 5:30pm.
In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, come out for the fireworks on New Year’s Eve at 7:30pm!
The Ontario Library Association selects ten books annually, oriented towards children Grade 2 and under, for their Blue Spruce Award. Vista Hills Public School librarian Cyen King invited me to read one of the 2018 nominees to about 100 of our youngest learners. The hockey-themed book was entitled Great and was authored by Glen Gretzky and Lauri Holomis. The foreward was written by Wayne Gretzky, who actually retired a decade before any of these kids were born! This book taught about the importance of team work, and practice, and the kids loved it.
P.S. Be careful about hosting a Q+A with Grade 1’s. First question: How OLD are you?
For less than the price of a good paperback book annually, per household, we can have a new library branch at RIM Park…a destination for many.
Whether you are a senior who walks RIM Park or plays pickleball, or a family who plays hockey, soccer, figure skating or uses the gym for basketball or volleyball, you will have a new library to call home.
The City has approved a new Waterloo Public Library branch in Eastbridge that listened to the input of hundreds of citizens. A modern branch that support music-makers and maker-spaces.
The $7.5M capital cost of the library was wisely saved for by previous councils. The proper operating costs will be edged into, over a handful of years, with costs shared 50/50 by current residents and new development. And the costs to current homeowners will be less than $10/year.
The Eastside Library will complete our 4 site library system and will ensure learning is accessible for everyone.