17.9 C
Niagara Falls
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Editorial: Community-building personified
The Lake Report's weekly editorial. File

Swimming the Niagara River from Queenston to Queen’s Royal Beach is a daunting prospect at the best of times.

Those waters can be swift-moving and tricky.

The 12-kilometre journey is not for the faint of heart and to see Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Dylan Rumsey tackle it successfully – twice – to raise money and awareness for Pathstone Mental Health is impressive.

To know that he literally did it this past weekend with his hands tied (!!) is phenomenal, though a bit unusual. We all enjoy a challenge, but doing what Rumsey did is really exceptional.

Kudos also to 13-year-old Liam Berry, who joined Rumsey (hands-free, though), doing it in honour of his late brother Ben Jeffries.

This kind of selfless effort and community-building is to be applauded.

They are among several similar examples of outstanding community efforts in this week’s edition of The Lake Report.

Who doesn’t enjoy a slice of pie? Or two?

This week, at Cornerstone Community Church on Hunter Road, 260 delicious peach pies were collected by pie lovers who, through their $20 donations, helped to support the annual Terry Fox Run (yet another superb community event in NOTL).

The pies raised more than $5,000, which will be contributed to Joe and Mike Pillitteri’s Team Pillsy – which is aiming to raise another $100,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation again this year. And the team hopes to top the $1 million all-time fundraising mark.

We have no doubt they’ll do that, and more, thanks to their dedication and the generosity of the community.

Meanwhile, the NOTL Sailing Club played host all last week to the Shark World Championship, the pinnacle of competitive sailing for one of the most popular small sailboats in the world.

And, fittingly, the Shark was conceived and first created here in Niagara-on-the-Lake by George Hinterhoeller, whose son Richard was race director for the championships. Talk about your six degrees of separation.

Among other awards earned by NOTL sailors, not only local boats place first and second in an amazingly close-fought competition, but the sailing club took environmental concerns to heart and was able to feed and entertain hundreds of people over the week in a way that produced almost no garbage.

Think about that: No overflowing garbage cans like you’ll typically find at many big community events.

Laurel Gordon, who headed the project for the club, aimed to ensure that everything was reusable, recyclable or compostable. Mission accomplished.

Gordon and the sailors proved that when people take the environment to heart large undertakings like the world championship regatta could serve hundreds of meals without generating tons of trash for landfills.

It’s a message many other organizations can take to heart.

And finally, thanks to Abe Epp, Dave Hunter, Betty Knight, Tracey Dau, Stuart McCormick, Coun. Gary Burroughs, Andrew Niven and others, more than 3,000 books will soon be arriving at six schools in Jamaica.

It’s an important and selfless effort that no doubt will pay big dividends for the children who benefit from the donation.

Because, as Knight reminded us, we can all do our part. “You can change the world, not the whole world, but the part you touch.”

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