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Weber Foundation transforms community with $22.5-million donation – July 2, 2024.

On Tuesday July 2, 2024, The Weber Foundation presented major gifts to thirteen local charities, totalling $22.5-million. The invite-only presentation took place at the Midland Cultural Centre (MCC), an arts and culture organization in Midland, significantly funded by The Weber Foundation.

The Weber Foundation was established in 1997 by Reinhart and Alexandra Weber. Over the past 27 years, the Foundation had donated more than $28-million to local charities. Together with today’s gifts, The Weber Foundation has now donated more than $50-million.

Reinhart Weber, Chair and benefactor of The Weber Foundation, commented: “We established the Foundation to support and enhance the work of local community charities that provide such outstanding facilities and programming for the people of North Simcoe.”

At the presentation on July 2, the recipient charities (listed alphabetically) received the following funding:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Simcoe – $250,000

CLH Foundation – $2,000,000

Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre – $500,000

Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) Foundation – $3,333,333

Huronia Transition Homes – $500,000

Midland Cultural Centre – $2,000,000

Orillia Soldier’s Memorial Hospital (OSMH) Foundation – $3,333,333

Royal Victoria Regional Health Care (RVH) Foundation – $3,333,333

Salvation Army Midland – $500,000

Shelter Now – $4,000,000

Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre (Friends of Wye Marsh) – $500,000

Warm & Cozy Children’s Charity – $250,000

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka – $2,000,000

“This may represent the largest single day single donor philanthropic gifting in Central Ontario history,” shared Fred Hacker, Trustee for The Weber Foundation. “It is such an honour to witness the outstanding impact that these gifts will have on our communities.”

Several charity representatives participated in the presentation, sharing the impact of The Weber Foundation’s previous donations and of the new funding.

Jill Tettmann, CEO of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, said, “Today’s generous gift from the Weber Foundation will continue to ignite the potential in the lives of youth in Midland and at YMCA Camp Kitchikewana, providing transformative leadership experiences for years to come.”

Gordon Hagen, Chair of the Midland Cultural Centre, stated: ““This donation from The Weber Foundation crucially sustains our operations, assisting the Midland Cultural Centre to remain a cornerstone of art, culture, and community in North Simcoe.”

Local health care has always been a top priority for The Weber Foundation, and this latest gift is no exception with $10-million allocated to area hospitals. “The Weber Foundation has had a profound impact on health care across our region over the past twenty years,” said Matthew Lawson, President & CEO of Georgian Bay General Hospital. He added: “This gift of $10-million, shared between GBGH, OSMH and RVH, will continue to transform the lives of patients at our hospitals for years to come, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to be included in the legacy of The Weber Foundation.”

Speaking on behalf of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation, Perry Esler, President and CEO, commented: “For nearly a decade, The Weber Foundation has supported the advancement of healthcare at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. We are filled with gratitude and truly honoured to receive this investment into our future for our healthcare providers, patients, and their families,”

Pamela Ross, CEO RVH Foundation said: “We are so grateful to The Weber Foundation for their extraordinary generosity in support of world-class, compassionate care, close to home. At RVH, this gift will help enhance and expand our regional care programs in cancer, stroke, cardiac, critical care, and youth and child mental health.

Sonia Ladouceur, Executive Director of Shelter Now, stated: “Shelter Now is excited to receive this donation. We will be seeking property and partners for another development of supportive housing.”

Sarah Kitchen, CLH Foundation Board President, commented: “We’re so grateful to The Weber Foundation for this transformational gift for a supportive housing project to support individuals who are the most vulnerable to life’s greatest challenges”


Heart of Summer – July 12/24 – By Linda Belcourt, Editor

What a blast! A blast of sun, blast of sand and the best is the blast of music on the sand and in the sun. On July 11, 2024 Charlotte and the Dirty Cowboys were a hit with the large crowd that gathered on the beach front. Music lovers were dancing in the sand, chair dancing in their lawn chairs, or listening from the bars and restaurants while impromptu young gymnasts entertained in front of the stage. This week’s event was sponsored by Charged Electrical Services. Thanks Leo and Sandie Dubeau!

Chris Figgures, founder of Dusk ‘til dusk talks about the event,  “(It) warms my heart to see that the community is strong and so affected by music in such a positive way. It is so special to so many people.” Chris is the President of the Business Association of Balm Beach and wanted to have live music down on the beach and he did it! He also has a passion to unit the residents of the lake front and back waters. There are so many political battles going on but everyone comes together on the beach for a calm neutral space. We can’t thank Chris enough for his great vision of how to entertain. This event is reliant on the “busk” portion so please fill the cash bucket that roams the crowd with donations. There is a debit/credit machine option. Look for the lime green shirts. Thanks to sponsors that make this possible!

New to this venue? Take some notes… Parking is a premium and people will get tagged for parking in a no parking zone. Don’t block residences driveways. Getting dropped off and picked up ensures you will get a chance to rock the beach with like minded people. Park only in a parking spot and it is free.

It is great to see locals waving to each other and folks meeting new people. This event is very respectful and can be enjoyed by all ages.  Come feel the sand in your tapping toes and watch spectacular sunsets with great tunes. You will not be disappointed.

Busk ‘til Dusk runs on Thursday’s from 6 pm – 8 pm, Balm Beach public beach

Other music venues in our area:

Penetang’s Bayside Summer Soiree, every Friday night at the Amphitheatre from June to August at Parc Rotary Champlain Wendat Park (8 Owen Street),

Elmvale’s Music in the Park, Heritage Park West of main lights toward Wasaga Beach each Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m,

Midland’s Little Lake Music in the Park, Sundays in July and

August 6 pm to 9 pm, Little Lake Park at the Rotary Stage


50th Anniversary – July 9/24 By Helmut Paddags

Georgian Shores Seniors Club celebrated its 50th anniversary as a social club that appeals to people 50 and over. While members waited for the official ceremony to commence, they were able to inspect the memorabilia collection consisting of a video of the building of The Place, a PowerPoint presentation showing activities of the last ten years, as well old newsletters and pictures on display.

The opening ceremony consisted of a reading of the Land Acknowledgement followed by a drumming circle. Members and guests were greeted in both English and French before the municipal, provincial and national dignitaries gave their greetings. Some recalled how their grandparents helped build this facility. A delicious lunch, prepared by volunteer members, was enjoyed along with sparkling fruit juice and a magnificent cake. Entertainment was provided by Chris Figgures.

The afternoon closed with a smudging ceremony and another performance by the drumming circle.

In the evening there was a catered dinner and dance at which the music was presented by Terry Chisholm. All agreed that the organizing committee had hosted a truly outstanding event to mark our 50th Anniversary of Georgian Shores Seniors Club.


YOU WANTED TO KNOW: Is this a new breed of Squirrel, asked Kim? – By Linda Belcourt, Editor

Kim, Black squirrels with brown tails are simply a color variation of the eastern gray squirrel and have the same behavior and temperament as other gray squirrels. Another myth is that black squirrels with brown tails are bad luck. This belief is not based on any scientific evidence and is simply superstition. It is not a new breed.


93 North Band: Salvation Army Donation

On Wednesday, July 10th, the 93 North Band donated $450.00 to the Midland Salvation Army, the result of the Sunday Evenings Little Lake Park performance on July 7th.  This follows the donation of $350.00 to the Knights of Huronia’s in May when the band performed a fundraising event in Penetanguishene.  Over the past couple of years, when allowed to do so, the band raises funds for the local food banks during their public performances.  They will be performing and fundraising in Penetanguishene at the end of July, a part of the town’s Bayside Soirée series.  The band members thank all those who donate during their performances. Check out 93northband.ca for details on where they will be performing, including their August 3rd Kempenfest show in Barrie, and their Parry Sound’s Stockey Centre performance on August 8th



From food vouchers to free fiddle lessons, programs that support and enrich our community are receiving funding from Huronia Community Foundation (HCF) through its “ Smart and Caring “ grants.  This year 31 local charities and organizations will share in almost $ 21,500.

Successful applicants qualified with projects in one or more of HCFs’ 6 giving categories, including Arts and Culture, Community Services, Health Care and Mental Health, Seniors, Sports and Recreation and Youth and Scholarships.  Among the 2024 recipients are the Georgian Bay Food Network with its Food 2 Door Program, BGC North Simcoe (previously Boys and Girls Club North Simcoe) with its Summer Eat Well project, the Dollars with Sense project proposed by Junior Achievement NEO and Waypoint Centres’ Artful Healing Project.  A complete list of 2024 Smart and Caring grant recipients is available at https://bit.ly/4bD00xI

The Smart and Caring Community Grants program was established by the HCF Board of Directors and community-minded donors so that HCF could provide funding to our local charities and nonprofits.  Funds are awarded to programs and organizations who are registered charities or other qualified donees (as defined by CRA).

Generous citizens and companies are the benefactors who fund the Huronia Community Foundation.  Working with other members of Community Foundations of Canada, HCF then builds financial legacies through endowments, using them to make our local community a better place to live, work and play.

For further information, contact:

Scott Warnock, Executive Director Huronia Community Foundation


Sainte-Marie welcomes more than 1,500 people for National Indigenous Peoples Day – Submitted by Sainte-Marie

July 4/24-MIDLAND, ON – On June 21, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons once again transformed its historic site, museum and grounds into a platform for First Nations and Métis cultural teaching and learning. National Indigenous Peoples Day at this landmark attraction celebrated and showcased the talents of Indigenous drummers, storytellers, singers, artists and experts.

The celebration welcomed more than 1,500 people, including approximately 1,000 students from Ontario schools, providing a unique opportunity for these young learners to engage with Indigenous knowledge keepers and Sainte-Marie’s historical interpreters, enriching their understanding of history and culture.

In addition to watching performances, participants were invited to enjoy hands-on activities: playing lacrosse, building corn husk figures and crafting clay pinch pots. Indigenous ingenuity was on full display, as experts demonstrated birchbark canoe building, survival in the bush skills, as well as basketry techniques. New this year were local Métis storyteller Basile Dorion and Smoke Trail Cultural Group, a large drum group from Alderville First Nation.

“To me, National Indigenous Peoples Day at Sainte-Marie is an occasion to gather and celebrate First Nations and Métis cultures in the spirit of knowledge sharing,” says Will Baird, General Manager of Huronia Historical Parks. “It’s an opportunity for all.”

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