Other Community News

Ontario Expanding Learn and Stay Grant to Train More Health Care Workers

Province connecting over a dozen underserved and growing communities with more health care workers

The Ontario government is connecting over a dozen underserved and growing communities with more health care workers by expanding the Learn and Stay grant. The grant, which was announced in March 2022 for students who enrol in nursing programs, will also include paramedic and medical laboratory technologist programs in priority communities. Eligible students will receive full, upfront funding for tuition, books and other direct educational costs in return for working and caring for people in the region where they studied for a term of service after they graduate.

“Expanding Ontario’s Learn and Stay grant to include nurses, paramedics and med-techs in more underserved and growing communities is another innovative solution that’s connecting people to care, closer to home,” said Premier Doug Ford. “It’s also one more way we’re making sure that all Ontarians in every corner of the province, no matter where they live, have more convenient access to the care and support they need.”

Grant applications for the 2023-24 academic year open this spring, targeting 2,500 postsecondary students who in enrol in the following programs and regions:

  • Nursing programs in northern, eastern and southwestern Ontario
  • Medical laboratory technologist/medical laboratory sciences programs in northern and southwestern Ontario
  • Paramedic programs in northern Ontario

“This is a historic investment in our students and in the future of our health care workforce in Ontario,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “By providing targeted financial incentives to encourage students to learn and work in priority communities, the expanded Learn and Stay grant will ensure that our health care professionals get the training they need to make immediate impacts in local hospitals, long-term care homes and other health care facilities after they graduate.”

With more than 12,000 new nurses registering to work in Ontario last year – a record breaking year – and another 30,000 nurses studying at a college or university, the expanded Learn and Stay grant will continue to increase the number of health care workers providing care to people, closer to home.

“We know the status quo isn’t working, so we need to move forward with bold initiatives to add more health care professionals in Ontario and especially in rural and remote communities,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Expanding this grant beyond nursing, to include two additional health care roles in high demand will help ensure that Ontarians, no matter the size of their community, will receive the care they need in their communities.”

The government continues to take action to build up the province’s health care workforce to ensure patients can access the health care they need when they need it, no matter where they live.

Quick Facts

  • Applications for the Learn and Stay grant will open in Spring 2023.
  • The government has committed $61 million over the next three years for the Learn and Stay grant.
  • To be eligible for the grant, students must:
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person and live in Ontario
  • enrol in an eligible diploma, advanced diploma, undergraduate, masters or post-graduate program in a priority region
  • commit to work in the region where they studied for a minimum of six months for every year of study funded by the grant.
  • Students can also apply for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to help pay for other costs, such as living expenses.
  • The program is responsive to evolving labour market needs and could be tailored for any program, profession or region. In future years, the grant may be expanded to include more programs and regions to help respond to localized labour market needs in underserved communities in Ontario.
  • As part of the Learn and Stay Grant, $81 million will be invested to expand the Community Commitment Program for Nurses for up to 1,500 nurse graduates in 2022-23 and 2023-24 to receive full tuition reimbursement in exchange for committing to practice for two years in an underserved community.     Quotes

“The Ontario Hospital Association welcomes the Learn and Stay Grant, which will attract new health care workers to small, rural, and northern communities. This innovative program helps ensure that health care organizations in remote areas of the province have the health human resources needed to maintain access to the highest quality of care. Ontario hospitals appreciate the responsiveness of the Government of Ontario in recognizing the unique pressures being faced and in introducing timely solutions that will make a significant impact at improving recruitment and retention over the long term.”

– Anthony Dale

President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association

“The Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories welcomes today’s expansion of the Learn and Stay Grant program. We are pleased to see the program will focus on training additional medical laboratory technologists in northern and southwestern Ontario. The community laboratory sector is an essential component of Ontario’s health care system, and we look forward to welcoming these new medical laboratory technologists into our communities.”

– Paul Gould

CEO, Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories


Health Unit Shares Tips To Stay Active, Healthy and Safe This Winter

Physical activity keeps the body strong and healthy and can improve mental health. Winter is great season for outdoor activities, such as skating and sledding, but extreme cold temperatures, snow and ice can pose health and safety risks for everyone. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) offers some tips and reminders to help you stay safer this winter when being active outdoors.

Cold weather is common in the Simcoe Muskoka region and exposure to extremely cold temperatures can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening health problems. Knowing the weather conditions before going outside can help you prepare and adjust your plans accordingly. When spending time outdoors, stay alert and watch for signs of  hypothermia, frostbite, and frostnip, and consider shortening outdoor play for children when temperatures are between -20ºC to -25ºC (with or without wind chill).  Keep children indoors if temperatures reach or drop below -27ºC (with or without wind chill).

It can be tempting to stay indoors when its cold out but being physically active outdoors is good for your overall health. Getting outside and being active can be as simple as going for a walk around your neighbourhood, or as action packed as hitting the slopes to go skiing, snowboarding or sledding – and be sure to remember to wear a helmet to reduce the risk of head injuries.

Dressing for the weather helps to preserve body heat when spending time outdoors and should include a base layer, a fleece or wool sweater mid-layer, and a wind/waterproof jacket. Top it off with a hat, gloves or mittens, and a scarf to cover exposed skin. Remember that winter boots are not just for keeping your feet warm. A well fitted boot with a good tread that offers stability can help prevent slips and falls on ice or in slushy and snowy conditions.

As respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza and COVID-19 infection continues to be transmitted in our communities, the health unit strongly recommends using multiple layers of protection such as staying up to date with vaccinations, staying home when sick, wearing a mask and cleaning high-touch surfaces to prevent infection and severe illness.


RVH’s Emergency Department experiencing higher than normal volumes

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is currently experiencing higher than normal patient volumes, especially in its Emergency Department (ED), resulting in longer than usual wait times.

As  reminder to the public, in the event of a health emergency, RVH’s ED is the right place to be and receive care.

As an alternative for non-urgent health issues, RVH’s COVID, Cold & Flu Care Clinic is open for pre-booked appointments seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. To book an appointment at the clinic, please go to the RVH website www.rvh.on.ca.



$1 Million Gift Revolutionizes Medical Learning at RVH

Transformative donation positions RVH as provincial leader in VR Education

Innovative Automation, a Barrie company recognized as a global leader in advanced manufacturing technologies, today announced a $1 million gift to the RVH Foundation’s Keep Life Wild campaign to support the advancement of immersive

medical education at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH).

The Innovative Automation Simulation Lab at RVH will be a state-of-the-art medical education centre focused on the integration of high-fidelity manikin and virtual reality (VR) simulation technologies. It will give medical teams the opportunity to practice their skills in hyper-realistic environments.

The investment has positioned RVH as a leader in immersive VR medical education. Simulations can be customized to match the health centre’s physical layouts and equipment configurations and reproduce complex medical scenarios. It can also integrate team-based immersive experiences to train for major traumas and other highly specialized situations. The

goal is to establish a first-of-its-kind partnership with hospitals across the region to share these virtual resources and improve the teaching quality and capacity across Simcoe Muskoka.

“For RVH’s care teams to advance their skills, they must have opportunities to stretch beyond their current competencies without taking risks on real patients. A modern simulation lab incorporating virtual reality alongside physical patient simulators provides an immersive world where clinicians and trainees can practice high-risk, low-incidence scenarios safely and effectively,” said Dr. Chris Martin, Chief and Medical Director for Critical Care, Director of Medical Education, and Co-Medical Director, Trauma.

Dr. Martin emphasized the impact this gift will have on the region to the Innovative Automation team during a demonstration of virtual reality simulation technologies.

“We are excited by this opportunity to transform the learning experience at RVH,” said Stephen Loftus, Innovative Automation’s founding partner and CEO. “This investment in simulated learning will give our region’s medical community advanced and specialized training, which will in turn positively affect the health of everyone who receives care at RVH.”

The Innovative Automation Simulation Centre is part of RVH’s expansion plan to bring more world-class care closer to home to better meet the needs of a growing region. The Keep Life Wild campaign, with a goal of $100 million, will support the expansion to ensure that everyone in our regions stays healthy and can keep living the wild life they love.

“Our vision is to be Canada’s leader in immersive medical education in a community hospital setting because we know that to do so will save lives,” said Pamela Ross, RVH Foundation CEO. “This gift is an example of philanthropic leadership.

Innovative Automation is using its giving to change the future of health care in the region. This is the power of generosity and imagination in action.”

About Innovative Automation: Innovative Automation in Barrie, Ontario is a global leader in automation assembly and production services, specializing in innovative solutions for the most advanced manufacturing technologies. Through a broad range of community initiatives, charitable giving and volunteerism, Innovative Automation seeks to keep our community as a place where Innovators want to live and work.

About RVH Foundation: RVH is the heart of healthcare in Simcoe Muskoka. As the region grows and ages, the strain on this vital resource is significant. In 2022, RVH Foundation launched the Keep Life Wild campaign to rally the community to

protect the unique way of life that comes with living here. Our goal is to raise $100 million to expand RVH, doubling the size of the current site in Barrie and building a new healthcare facility in Innisfil. Donor support will make it possible to reduce wait times, end hallway medicine and bring more world-class, specialized care close to home so that everyone in this region can stay healthy and stay wild.


Ontario Expanding Mental Health Services for Children and Youth in Every Corner of the Province

“One Stop Talk” program connects youth to mental health counselling by phone, video, text and chat

The Ontario government is investing $4.75 million to expand the “One Stop Talk” virtual “walk-in” counselling program to connect children, youth and their families with more convenient and timely ways to access mental health counselling no matter where they live.

“Our government is making it easier and more convenient for children and youth in every corner of the province to access mental health care,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This program offers modern, convenient options for youth to connect to help in ways that they’re used to communicating.”

The “One Stop Talk” service offers convenient ways to talk to a clinician by phone, video conference, text and chat without an appointment. The program began as a pilot in November 2022 with six participating mental health organizations and is now being expanded to additional organizations and their waitlisted patients. When fully implemented, the program will eventually be available to all children, youth and their families.

The government is also significantly expanding the number of Youth Wellness Hubs across the province to make it faster and easier for young people to connect to mental health and substance use support, primary care, social services, and more. Through the Addictions Recovery Fund, the government is adding eight new youth wellness hubs to the 14 that were created since 2020, bringing the total to 22 across the province.

These hubs help fill the gap in youth addictions services and also provide children and youth aged 12 to 25 a range of other services, such as vocational support, education services, housing and recreation and wellness.

“Through our Roadmap to Wellness, we are focused on fixing our complicated and disjointed mental health and addictions care system once and for all,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Significantly expanding our network of Youth Wellness Hubs is one more way we’re creating a system where Ontarians of all ages have convenient access to the highest-quality mental health and addictions supports, when and where they need them.”

Ontario’s Roadmap to Wellness plan – the province’s mental health and addictions strategy – has so far provided $525 million to use innovative solutions to improve the quality and access to mental health supports while shortening wait times and removing gaps in service. The plan is built on four central pillars – improving quality, expanding existing services, implementing innovative solutions and improving access – that are designed to work together to support the delivery of the services people need, where and when they need them.

Quick Facts

  • The eight new Youth Wellness Hubs will be in Algoma Region, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington, London-Middlesex, Sagamok Anishnabek First Nation, Sarnia-Lambton, Sudbury, Thorncliffe Park, and West Toronto.
  • One of these new Youth Wellness Hubs will be located at Sagamok Anishnabek First Nation and will offer culturally safe and appropriate primary care, mental health and addictions services to Indigenous youth in and around that community
  • Ontario’s mental health and addictions strategy, Roadmap to Wellness, was released in March 2020. It sets out a vision for an Ontario where everyone has access to high quality mental health and addictions treatment and support, when and where they need it.
  • The Roadmap was developed from the ground up, based on conversations with Ontarians.
  • Once fully implemented, the One Stop Talk service will provide immediate, low barrier access to brief counselling services through a single virtual access point from anywhere in the province.


Who Murdered Michael Kent?

Another year has almost passed since I first wrote this article many years ago on the murder of Michael Kent and his death has still not been solved almost 57 years after his body was discovered in the arena parking lot in 1966.

I will continue to republish this article every February until hopefully someone will finally come forward to police with information to finally punish the person(s) involved in this crime. written by Mike Townes


Who Murdered Michael Kent?

Everyone has events and dates that have taken place in their lifetime that they will never forget. If you are around my age, born in 1953, you will remember Elvis and the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and yes, even the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup.

The above events were all seen on television and were many miles away, but closer to home, most people my age in our area will remember February 11, 1966. That is the date that Elmvale went from a sleepy, innocent small town to the place where six-year old Michael Kent was murdered.

February 11th was a normal busy Friday night at the Elmvale Arena and Curling Club. The weather was a little snowy but the parking lot was full of cars as teams from Midland came to play hockey against Elmvale.

Michael came to the arena with his father and mother to watch his older brother play against Elmvale. At some point, he became separated from his parents. Investigators are not sure if Michael was taken from the arena or if he had followed his father outside. The family’s car had become stuck in the parking lot, so, after getting the family inside, his father had gone outside to try to get the car out of the snowbank.

After a quick look inside the arena, a search party moved outside in the hope of finding Michael. At about 8:40 pm, he was found outside lying near the hydro pole on the west side of the Curling Club (The addition to the Curling Club was not there in 1966.)

Michael was rushed to the office of the late Doctor Douglas Patchell located were Superior Cleaning is now situated. At the time, the search party had thought Michael had been hit by a car, but after removing his snowsuit, Dr. Patchell soon realized that the young boy had been stabbed several times. Doctor John McKenzie was called to rush down to the office to assist, but it was too late to save the six-year old.

Almost instantly, the Ontario Provincial Police were everywhere in Elmvale, especially at the Arena. Everyone leaving or coming had their cars searched for the murder weapon or clues that would help find the murderer. Eventually, the knife was found on the roof of the Curling Club. The knife had no fingerprints and could not be traced to any stores or owners in the area.

I can remember being at the Arena that night. I had refereed my youngest brother’s hockey game at approximately 6:00 p.m. and had stayed around the rink because I played at roughly 8:00 p.m. I played goal, so halfway through the game I was called to the bench for a goalie change. That is when I first heard about the murder of Michael Kent. I will never forget that. Life in Elmvale changed that night.

Kids that walked to the arena or any other place in town were now driven or accompanied by an adult. Neighbours looked at each other differently as rumours ran rampant on who was being investigated for the murder.

All the kids and adults that were at the arena that night were interviewed by the O.P.P. We were mostly asked if we had seen anything unusual in the lobby or outside. I remember, after telling the officers that I had arrived at the arena 2 ½ hours before my game, why I was there so early.

After fifty-seven years, the murder case of Michael Kent is still an open investigation. Over that time span, numerous leads have been followed up, but these did not lead to any arrests. Officers involved in the investigation over the years have met to see if anything has been missed. A few years ago, an officer traveled to the east coast to interview the family just in case any new facts about the case surfaced. I was told that any new investigation tools that were not around in the 60’s also were not of any help in solving the murder of Michael Kent.

Police still cannot reveal details of the case because the investigation is still open and the case is being looked at periodically when new information becomes available. I had a chance to talk to police several years ago about my memories, the rumors, and the weapon used but, again, since it is still an open investigation, understandably, they could not confirm or deny any of my questions.

It is good to know that the investigation of this case is still active, even after such a long time. It is a day I will never forget. Michael Kent will always be part of my life. Hopefully, if still alive, the person responsible will come forward, or anyone who has information leading to that person(s) will contact the authorities for further investigation. You can call 24-Hour Police Services at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477 with information on this case or any other case that is still open. If you can help, make the call.

Today, we still do not know who murdered Michael Kent. I hope the person responsible for this crime is still not walking among us. If they are, they must have been living their life with a guilty conscience eating away at them for almost 60 years. The family of Michael Kent needs closure. Elmvale needs closure. I know I do.

Over the years, I have hashed over that night thousands of times.

Was the murderer local or from the Midland area?

I feel that whoever committed this crime had to return to inside of the arena and that is why the knife was thrown on top of the Curling Club. They did not want to be caught with the murder weapon. This makes me lean more towards an out-of- towner, as a local would just leave the area with the weapon. This seems like a planned crime as the murderer brought the knife, and if a local, they would not have planned to return to inside the arena.

Why commit the crime on the west side of the arena?

There was a street light next to the curling club near where the body was found on the west side. If the murderer went to the east side, there was less chance of someone exiting the curling club or arena and catching them in the act or being seen. The east side was very dark with lots of room to commit the crime and a lot less chance of being caught. This again, would make me lean towards a non-resident who did not know the lay of the land around the arena. But a resident could have used the curling club to lure Michael to the west and then pull him around the west side when they realized there were no witnesses. A person taking a child around the corner on the east side would not have an explanation for their actions if caught.

Why pick Michael Kent?

Any given night at the arena, kids were everywhere. If the murder was planned by bringing the knife, I think the chances the murderer had picked Michael in advance would not be reasonable. The murderer likely waited until the right opportunity and Michael was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A local that would have stood out at the arena would be less likely to commit this crime, but a visitor would be less visible to the crowd.

There are lots of questions that I cannot answer about this crime. If you know anything, please call Crime Stoppers right away. It may be just a little thing that solves this case.


Bill & Suzanne Richardson Invest in Imaging

The Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation is thrilled to announce a $100,000 gift from Bill & Suzanne Richardson to support the purchase of an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine for the Midland hospital.

In December 2022, GBGH announced that the Ontario government would be providing annual operational funding for an MRI in Midland, in order to alleviate wait times across the region and provide equitable access to this service for local residents. Shortly after, Bill & Suzanne approached the GBGH Foundation about making a gift to support this important and impactful project.

“We don’t know when we, or our friends and family, will need the hospital, but we want to make sure it’s here today and in the future,” share Bill & Suzanne. “It’s inspiring to see our hospital growing, and advocating for the best health care services for our community. We want to do our part to support this growth and help bring the best imaging technology to Midland.”

Bill & Suzanne have been loyal donors of the GBGH Foundation for 16 years, generously supporting the hospital through events and sponsorships. This gift is a testament to their continued connection to the organization, and to Bill & Suzanne’s commitment to having an impact in their home community.

“Bill & Suzanne’s investment in the MRI for GBGH demonstrates the importance of local health care,” says Nicole Kraftscik, executive director, GBGH Foundation. “We all rely on GBGH for care, and this gift is going to have a significant impact for our community. We are so grateful to Bill & Suzanne for helping to kick start our campaign to bring an MRI to our hospital.”

GBGH will be offering MRI service to residents as soon as it is able to complete construction and commissioning of the new machine. The cost for this project is approximately $4-million and must be raised through the GBGH Foundation. Anyone wishing to join Bill & Suzanne in supporting this campaign can contact the Foundation office, 705-526-GIVE (4483) or visit https://GBGHF.ca/MRI.


Under The Glass: Maximizing Your Returns Via Bragging Rights
Under the glass is a column by Mr David kai for VMLC.David Kai is a published author nationally, a TV and radio commentator on investments, asset classes,collector and investment markets.

To an investor, maximizing your returns is important.

Most collectors are not concerned about the returns they will get monetarily on a future date. Most collectors’ returns are in the gratification they receive upon acquisition. The problem…How do you collect and be able to sell later, at a profit? This is a big problem we see all the time is in estates (deceased peoples stuff), that is then to be sold without any background or history.

You need to keep associated records with your treasures. You need to tell others where those records are, what those records say, how to get the records, and most importantly, why they need to review those records.

VMLC as an organization, and myself on a personal basis, often get approached to provide an estimate of a sale price for an item.That’s fine, it’s what we are here for. Often there is a hint or a suggestion that such was used here or there, but no documentation or circumstances to add value. To turn a collectible into an investment a certain set of conditions are usually required. Age and uniqueness, it has to be older unique yet  attractive to a searcher and potential buyer.

The right number made. Too many in existence lowers value. Not enough, it does not have a following to create a market for it. Condition better equals more value. Provable usage to create a value added. Desirable to an acquirer either by condition, display appeal, future potential appreciation, or my favourite “Bragging rights”. Once I attended a classic motorcycle auction in Las Vegas, where the motorcycles were selling from $5,000 to $250,000.

A special speaker came in to explain to all the collectors and investors why and how a classic motorcycle was valued and why its price may be higher or lower. His answer is applicable to almost all investment grade collectibles. The items value is in the fact that I have it and you don’t! That is what he said. So take that as good advice.

If you buy more expensive items that are on the verge of moving from collectible to investment grade, as long as other people want what you have, you can be fairly certain that the item will not only retain its value, but substantially appreciate.

VMLC specializes in these transition items in our Curated room. Drop in and see future wealth on the shelf. Call Brian or David 705-220-2433 or email vendormarketlc@gmail.com


Charity Ride for Down Syndrome
Last July, the Southern Cruiser Riding Club (SCRC), Barrie Chapter 328 once again was able to have their annual charity ride for Down Syndrome Association of Simcoe County.  On behalf of Down Syndrome Association, Kristie and Albert Penfield had the honour of stopping by Steelers Restaurant and Pub to present the owners Susan and Jason with a thank you for their continued support of this event.   Susan and Jason provided food for the event and because of their generous donation, it helped SCRC 328 raise over $10,500 for Down Syndrome of Simcoe County.

SCRC Barrie 328 will once again be having their annual charity ride for Down Syndrome Association of Simcoe County, on July 8, 2023.   This event is open to all motorcyclist and we once again will have our raffle tickets for awesome prizes.


German Canadian Club Gemuetlichkeit 70
Askennonia received a donation of $14,300 from GCCG70 to help with their expenses. After 52 years the GCCG70 was dissolved on November 6, 2022 due to shrinking membership and lack of volunteers to manage the affairs of the club. Any assets of the club have to be distributed to charities. Askennonia is the first of eight charities to receive funds from the sale of the property on Triple Bay Road.

German Canadian Club Gemuetlichtkeit, 1970 to 2022
In July 1969, during the annual German Canadian Pilgrimage at the Martyr’s Shrine in Midland, an idea was born to start a German Club in the Midland area.  The first membership meeting occurred on May 9, 1970 in the Panorama Inn, Midland, Ontario.  The group continued to meet and expand and on January 29, 1979, a 19 ½ acre property on Triple Bay Road was purchased by the club members.  Club members built a clubhouse on the property and it officially opened on September 11, 1989.

Many events took place over the last 52 years including Friday Night Socials, Carnival Parties, Canasta Card Tournaments, Pitch-in-Day, Dances, Picnics, Canada Day Celebrations, Meetings, Christmas Bazaars, Christmas Socials, Children’s Events, Bus Tours, Oktoberfest, Video Presentations, New Year’s Eve Parties, Luncheons, Social events and many more!  The club also made donations to local charities especially the Georgian Bay General Hospital over the years.

The Club property was sold in September 2021.  The Club continued to have Board Meetings and luncheons in 2022. Due to declining membership and the effects of Covid, the membership voted to dissolve the club at the Annual General Meeting on November 6, 2022.

As a registered Not-For-Profit organization, the club is required under the articles of dissolution to donate any remaining assets to charities.  At the AGM, the membership decided to donate to the following charities:  Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre, Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation, Georgian Shores Swinging Seniors, Hospice Huronia/Tomkins House, Askennonia Seniors’ Centre, La Maison Rosewood Shelter, Unity United Church and Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre.

The members of the German Canadian Club were fortunate to experience 52 years of events, friendships, and adventures and now as we say “Auf Wiedersehen”, we have a feeling of goodwill as the club gives back to eight organizations in our community.


Springwater News is Found in Iberostar Costa Dorada Puerto Plata –
Jerry and Kellie Wicklum celebrated their tenth anniversary in Dominican with around 36 friends from the Elmvale area and beyond. They were married there ten years ago. Thanks for taking the Springwater News on this trip. Maybe the next edition will show this current edition in Costa Rica with the editor. Readers are encouraged to take the Springwater News with them on their travels and take a picture.

1000 Trail Miles In One Day By Snowmobile, No Easy Feat
Lisa Whiteman, a local Elmvale resident, will be riding a snowmobile with her team mate, Jayme Hunt, of New Brunswick, for 24 hours to achieve 1000 trail miles. The event starts March 2nd at 5 pm and the entire ride is live and televised. Lisa is a finalist, on the first ever female team, for the 1000 mile challenge.  This is a snowmobile endurance challenge to raise money to send kids from low-income families to camp.

There are four riders that qualified for this event. Lisa Whiteman and Jayme Hunt on an all-female team and Myles Darrow and Justin Young on a all-male team. There was a panel of judges that determined the four riders based on skill set, proven safe riders, online presence and brand of machine, as they wanted four brands to be represented.

This event was started by Rudi Fowler and Sam Charters. It started in 2021, as a challenge between friends to see if they could go 1000 miles in 24 hours. They got noticed and people wanted to give to money to see if this task could be accomplished. The men did not need the money and looked for a charity to give to. Now this is a event that will be watched and followed by over 600,000 people so far.

The current 000 Mile Challenge is an endurance challenge where two teams of two snowmobilers set off on a 24 hour mission to achieve 1000 actual GPS Miles on New Brunswick snowmobile trails. The mission is to raise funds that will be used directly to send children to summer camp, who would otherwise not afford to go. The riders are equipped with two-way satellite tracking by Garmin Inreach, and anyone interested can track their location live on social media and on a tracking website.

Lisa’s story is that of a modern Cinderella. She was raised by a hard-working low-income family and persevered into a very successful and empowering woman. Lisa has passion to empower women to embrace life and take on all the challenges even while in a male dominated world.  The sport of snowmobiling is a male dominated sport and we are hometown proud of Lisa Whiteman and her team mate Jayme Hunt for rising to the challenge. As Lisa says, “Don’t ever let your circumstances define you, don’t allow your bloodline to clip your wings and force you into a life you’re better than.  You owe it to yourself and your own future to do what you want, to put yourself first and to stare difficulty dead in the eye and promise yourself you will overcome it. And if that means fighting for your place in a man’s world then you get up every single day and you do that.”

Lisa Whiteman is riding an unmodified Polaris 600cc sled. Lisa prefers this model because it has a “bullet proof” engine. It is not the fastest sled in the challenge, but she loves the stability that is has. She wants to finish the challenge. There are no winners for finishing the fastest, the goal is to just finish in 24 hours. The only winners are the kids that can go to camp.

This challenge is a large magnitude event that the average snowmobiler cannot accomplish. An average snowmobile rider may accomplish around 200 km in a day. The speeds that need to be maintained for this challenge cannot be done in Ontario. The trails in Ontario are too windy, hilly, and heavily forested. Our trails have low speed limits for a good reason, and it keeps us safe. This event is in New Brunswick for a reason. The trails are straight, and the visibility of the trails ahead is very clear. New Brunswick does not have speed limits on their trails (neither do Alberta, Manitoba, or Nova Scotia). To complete 1,000 miles in 24 hours, the speed will need to be minimum of 60 km per hour average. A Polaris 600cc can obtain 157 km per hour on a smooth lake. Don’t try this at home folks, it is not recommended in Ontario for sure. Our hospitals are overcrowded, and funeral homes are too busy.

The challenge is not a race but an endurance ride with the goal to finish. Each team of two will be travelling in opposite directions on the same trails in order to reduce the impulse to race. Lisa’s husband, Bobby, will have a support vehicle with two backup machines, extra suits, clothing, food, water and essentials for the ride. The riders will connect with the support vehicle every 2 hours or 100 miles. The event organizers also provide a media vehicle and a fuel vehicle.

Fans are welcomed to cheer trailside, record and post content, and get involved. Last year’s event captivated the entire province, parts of the country and fans from over a dozen States. People rallied together for the cause and the success of the event continued as race merchandise was ordered and distributed to fans across the nation.

The 1000 Mile Challenge 2021 Raised more than $19,000 for children to go to camp.  In 2022 this event raised $76,000.  Stay tuned for exciting details surrounding the 1000 Mile Challenge 2023!  The event is getting bigger by the day and has viewers from all over Canada and the US.

Check out https://www.1000milechallenge.ca/ for a live feed on the day of this event. Follow Lisa on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/1000milechallenge2022/ and send her messages of support to keep her spirits up. She will need it.

Lisa’s Sponsors to date: Clairerose Contracting Inc, Seguin Marina, Hidden Harry’s RMC Argo, Bob’s Glass, Prefera Finance, Toyloan.com, Amanda Wilson Insurance, Branching Out Landscaping and Fast Forward Audio Video. Sponsor Lisa and send low-income children, from Ontario, to camp.


Bourgeois Motors Sponsors LUSH Curling Bonspiel

Tim McGinnis, Wanda Spring, Tanya Rowntree, Paul Archer

Brad Dwinnell, Lisa Stroud, Donna Sullivan and John Degroot

The LUSH club is a long standing private club that was formed in 1981. A group of Elmvale and district area guys; Tom and Tim McGinnis, Murray Archer and Todd. LUSH stands for Lost Channel Unemployed Seagull Hunters. The name was created at the first hunt camp adventure they went on that took place at Lost Channel in Loring area. They were playing road hockey and thought that forming a club would be a great idea. Forty two years later and they are a group of   around 20 members that have been friends for life. Larry McMann stated, “The one thing that we done every single year, is we still get together. There has not been one fight”.  Every member has a nick name and even the name of the Lost Channel Seagull Hunters club has a nick name of LUSH. Tom McGinnis and Tim McGinnis both stated that they were the oldest LUSH member.  The twins both started LUSH at age of 22. LUSH curling has been running for 36 years.

The other clubs that have formed in our area are the Wilderness Club and Century Club. Maybe they will submit some facts for the Springwater News.


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