From the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada
After a six-year hiatus, Canada’s premier reality skating competition is back.
Joining hockey players with figure skaters, Battle of the Blades pits pairs to see who can perform the best figure skating routines. The winning couple receives a $100,000 donation to the charities of their choice.
Olympian, and most recent BOTB champion, Amanda Evora is skating in support of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
Inspired by the death of a close friend who passed just a week after she received the call to rejoin Battle of the Blades, Evora hopes to give back in their honour.
Evora and her partner, retired NHL enforcer Colton Orr, must find common ground—or perhaps, common ice—in order to skate circles around the competition.
The special two-hour premiere airs on CBC on September 19, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET.
From Sarnia This Week
One of North America’s most successful gym franchises officially opened the doors to its new Sarnia location on June 17.
Hundreds turned out for the grand opening of Sarnia’s new Planet Fitness, a 21,880-square-foot Exmouth Street facility that contains scores of new cardio machines, numerous weight circuits, banks of televisions, locker rooms, showers, massage chairs and several tanning beds.
Planet Fitness, which has over 1,800 locations worldwide, is aiming to attract first-time gym users to the health club, said marketing manager Sarah Wilson.
“Typically, we’re kind of the gym for everybody,” she said. “We have members from all age groups and backgrounds.”
Always open and staffed by one of the club’s nearly 20 employees, Planet Fitness decided to open in Sarnia because a void was identified in the community, said Wilson.
“We really saw an opportunity to bring our low-cost fitness model to this area,” she said. “We really cater to first-time gym users and we saw a void here that we thought that we could fill. So it really works out for us and for the community.”
Along with offering celebrants pizza, wraps, cupcakes and purple, Planet Fitness-themed giveaways, staff at the facility also presented a cheque for $5,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia-Lambton, a continuation of the North America-wide partnership between Planet Fitness franchises and Boys and Girls Clubs.
“What we do is we can help spearhead some anti-bullying programs or support local Boys and Girls Club anti-bullying programs that are already in place,” Wilson said. “It’s really about creating a judgement-free generation.”
For more information, visit Planet Fitness’ 1330 Exmouth Street location or visit www.PlanetFitness.ca.
From the Sarnia Observer
Parents and grandparents of children whose heroes wear capes or gowns (or both) are invited to attend a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia-Lambton on Saturday, May 4.
The club will be holding its inaugural Princess and Superheroes Party at Sarnia’s Our Lady of Mercy Church Hall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
With activity booths, sing-a-longs, story readings and prizes, children ages three to 10 will have the opportunity to indulge their inner Batmans, Captain Marvels and Elsas, meet, greet and socialize with other superheroes and princesses, and burn off some of that superhero energy while getting stimulated through a variety of interactive and enticing activities.
Youthful attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favourite superhero or princess – and they just might get the chance to meet some full-sized heroes during the three-hour gala, said Boys and Girls Club program facilitator Janet Ireson.
“We’re going to have actors come, and they’re going to be dressed up as everybody’s favourite superheroes and princesses,” she said. “Periodically, they’re going to do sing-a-longs and story times with kids, we’re going to have multiple activity booths, Croc-A-Doodle will make an appearance, we’ll have door prizes. … It’s going to be a really fun afternoon.”
While their progeny are busy at the activity booths, parents, grandparents and guardians can take a few minutes to examine the wares of local vendors who will be present at the gala, including Once Upon a Tu Tu, Thrive and The Fudge Lady.
And for princesses and superheroes who find their tummies grumbling, the party will feature a cookie station where kids can decorate their own cookies before consuming them.
Unlike many other family events that end up being rather costly, Ireson said, tickets for the May 4 event need only to be purchased for the kids coming (tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door). Parents and guardians accompanying the kids get in free.
“It’s an affordable and fun event for families where guardians don’t have to pay to attend,” Ireson said. “It’s kind of a nice afternoon for everybody on a Saturday to come out and enjoy themselves. We really hope it will become an annual event.”
Money raised from the fundraiser will go right back into the community, helping countless kids across Lambton County reach their full potential, Ireson said.
“All the money we raise goes right back into the club,” she said. “We offer multiple programs here – we have an after-school program, we have a drop-in program, we support Project Backpack and we do a lot of varied things for varied age ranges. So we have a pretty large audience we cater to.”
Asked if parents or grandparents could also don their capes, gowns and tights for the event, Ireson simply said the more superheroes and princesses at the event, the better.
“Parents – absolutely, go for it,” she said, laughing. “I never thought about that but if they want to, they can sure do it if they like.”
For more information about the Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia-Lambton’s Princess and Superhero Party, visit www.bgcsarnia.com or their Facebook page.
From Sarnia This Week
Staff and youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia-Lambton held an honest-to-goodness kitchen party at their Lochiel Kiwanis Community Centre headquarters on Feb. 19.
The cuisine-themed celebration was held to thank Goeasy Financial Services, which provided the non-profit, community-based agency with a refurbished kitchen last summer.
Sarnia’s chapter of the Boys and Girls Club was one of 100 clubs across Canada to receive a new kitchen courtesy of Goeasy.
Goeasy Sarnia branch manager Trish Paquette said that the company has had a long and fruitful relationship with Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada for five years.
“Goeasy has been a sponsor of the Boys and Girls Club since 2014,” she said. “Basically, we’ve helped out with scholarship programs and we’ve donated backpacks filled with supplies. And since 2014 we started renovating club kitchens. We’ve committed towards renovating 100 and we have 19 more planned for 2019.”
The new kitchen, installed last June, will help local youth develop their basic cooking skills and make their experience at the Boys and Girls Club more positive, Paquette said.
“We’re just happy to help out the kids and make their lives easier,” she said. “Anything we can do to help the kids or our community is great.”
Boys and Girls Club program co-ordinator Lisa Lanouette said she was thrilled with the new kitchen, which will be used to prepare snacks for youth enrolled in the club’s after-school program, while also teaching children about making healthy food choices. It’s also used for the club’s twice-weekly evening cooking program.
“Everything is new – new floor, new cupboards and a new backsplash. We got a kitchen island, a new microwave, the whole kitchen is just more functional and it’s much easier to cook and bake with the kids in the program,” she said.
“It’s easier to prepare our after school snacks, it’s more convenient in there and we have a lot more storage,” Lanouette added. “We couldn’t be happier.”
A recently launched initiative that provides youth with a bag full of food, toiletries and information is helping address the growing issue of food insecurity in Lambton County.
This past summer, the Boys and Girls Club of Canada entered into a partnership with President’s Choice Children’s Charity to launch Project Backpack.
“Basically it’s an initiative to tackle food insecurity for children and families in communities across Canada,” said Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia-Lambton program coordinator Lisa Lanouette. “Specifically here in Sarnia-Lambton we’re targeting youth aged 14 to 24.
“It’s geared towards youth who can’t access the food bank for whatever reason,” she continued. “They could have food insecurities, they might be nervous to go to the food bank, they may not want anyone to know that they’re struggling, so this gives them a barrier-free access to nutritious food that can get them by for a few days.”
Every week, volunteers from the Boys and Girls Club assemble bags that contain items such as food that can be used to make easy-to-assemble, healthy meals, sanitary products, snacks, cereal, drinks, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Each bag also contains coupons, reading material and information from local agencies directing youth to their services.
The bags can be picked up at one of several locations across the county by youth aged 14 to 24, Lanouette said – and at no cost to the recipient.
“We distribute about 20 bags a week from the Boys and Girls Club here in the Lochiel Kiwanis Community Centre, we also distribute 10 at Lambton College, five to LCCVI and five to the Hub,” she said. “We’re looking to expand out to the county as well because there’s definitely a need for it out there too.”
With winter coming, the Boys and Girls Club are asking individuals and local businesses if they can donate mittens, hats or scarves to put in the bags, Lanouette said.
“We’re also looking for other donations,” she said. “We’re grateful for all the help we’ve received so far. Myles Vanni from the Inn of the Good Shepherd is one of our greatest supporters and several local organizations have already helped us out, they’ve provided us with so much.”
To donate or for more information about Project Backpack, contact the Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia-Lambton at 519-337-3651 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Backpack pickup locations and times
- Boys and Girls Club of Sarnia-Lambton, 180 College Ave. N. (Lochiel Kiwanis Community Centre): Monday to Friday 3 to 6 p.m.
- LCCVI – 4141 Dufferin Ave., Petrolia: Thursday/Friday
- The Hub – 350 Indian Rd. – Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.
- Lambton College – SAC office – Thursday/Friday
Thank you to Easy Home for turning our kitchen from:
Learn more about the Easy Home Partnership:
President’s Choice Children’s Charity has partnered with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada to support the Project Backpack program, a national initiative that helps tackle food insecurity for children and families in communities across Canada.
The Sarnia program is geared to adolescents 14-24. Once a week, program participants are given a bag filled with nutritious food that they can easily assemble into healthy meals over the weekend or during time periods when Clubs are unable to provide meals.