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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Editorial: A collective community effort
The Lake Report's weekly editorial.

From the outside looking in, it has been remarkable to watch the development and planning of what is now known as the NOTL Youth Collective.

It began years ago as the seed of an idea in the mind of Caroline Polgrabia.

Now it has grown into a seedling and is about to become a reality this Monday with the debut of its winter 2023 program at the old Cornerstone Community Church in Virgil.

It has truly been a community effort to get the collective to this point.

Now, with the help of literally dozens of people, plus several businesses and other organizations, we hope that seedling is able to grow and flourish.

As we have watched the planning continue for months now and seen some of the behind-the-scenes work of Polgrabia and her many helpers, we have been impressed with the professionalism and dedication they have brought to the cause.

This is not a slapped together, back-of-the-napkin effort conjured up by a loose-knit group of parents. It has been a communal effort, through and through.

The organization’s purpose has been painstakingly and thoroughly thought out, seemingly every eventuality accounted for, and then professionally planned and executed.

Most of that will not be known or visible to the young people who take part in the collective’s programs.

But the results of all that hard work will be visible for all come Monday and onward as the collective takes the first steps toward becoming an integral part of the community.

As we’ve said before, for young people growing up in Niagara-on-the-Lake finding or having “things to do” when you’re an adolescent or young teen can be a tall order.

And it’s common for kids growing up in any small town to want to head somewhere bigger and brighter as soon as they are able.

We would never discourage NOTL kids from seeing the world and enjoying new experiences.

But until that time, here at home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, having a community-based and community-organized body like the NOTL Youth Collective offers young people a vital and vibrant alternative.

As a community, we all owe the organizers and supporters of the collective a debt of gratitude for all their work. And we look forward to the group’s success and growth.

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