• The Lemonade Stand

  • "We Always Ended Up With A Rainbow" says Verna About Her 50 Years With Stan


  • Roy St. Jacques Continues To Collect Pop Cans In Support Of Special Olympics Bowling League

  • Darlene Bourdeau Makes Perfect Guess In First Annual Great Pumpkin Contest

  • An Outside Perspective On Valley East From A Young Family That Is Part Of The Club

  • Honorable Ken Dryden, Minister of Minister of Social Development Autographs Posters For March of Dimes Auction

  • Stopping Pucks Was Easy Compared To What Gail Leroux Has Been Through In Her Life  

  • Ronald Ross Has Cut A Lot of Hair During The Past 50 Years

  • Angele Mrochek - A Passion For Life That Is Making All The Difference In The World For Her Family And Her Community School

  • Jennifer Higgs Has A Very Special Relationship With Her Younger Brother After Successful Kidney Transplant 

  • Carissa Henry Gets First Hand Experience In Journalism Working At The Vision Paper

  • Local Family Expresses Appreciation To Val Caron Animal Hospital For Going That Extra Step To Give Sasha A Happy Life And A Dignified Ending

  • Roger Chevrier Performs His Finger Style Guitar Style On The First Saturday of Every Month

  • Grandpa’s Girl

  • Shave For Hope Day Held At Pioneer Manor To Raise Funds For Cancer Research


The Lemonade Stand 
“If Everyone Does A Little We Can All Help A Lot  

by Robert Kirwan

As I drove towards the Centennial Arena during Valley East Days, I couldn’t help notice the bright colourful umbrella and tables on the lawn at the corner of Laurier and Centennial Drive . Being curious, and always on the lookout for a good story, so I stopped and investigated. After speaking to Chris Hein, the father of two of the girls operating the stand, I found out that one day recently, Chris was having a normal everyday discussion with his daughters, Jamie, 4, on the far right in the photo, and Brooklyne, 6, in the middle, when the girls told him that they wanted to help people who had cancer.  

   Chris had always told his children that it never hurts to help someone else, so to hear this suggestion come from his young girls touched him deeply as a parent. After some planning, they made all of the arrangements to run a lemonade stand with their friend, Isabelle Chaput, 9 on the far left, and decided to set up on a busy corner during Valley East Days where a lot of people would see them. The girls asked their Grandmother, who lives in the area, for some vegetables to sell as well. They baked cookies and rice crispy squares in the morning with their father and then enjoyed a beautiful Saturday raising money that they would donate to the Terry Fox Run. According to Chris, “Can you think of a better way for a father to spend a Saturday than helping his children in a worthy cause such as this?”
   These three girls from Notre Dame School in Hanmer learned a valuable lesson from their lemonade stand, and their participation in the Terry Fox Run will become an annual event for the Hein’s Family. Yes, Brooklyne, you are absolutely right. “If everyone does a little, we can all help a lot.”
   As I went back to my car with my wrapped up piece of rice crispies square, I wondered how many others who saw these three cute little girls that day recalled a life when lemonade stands and sitting on the grass all afternoon were the norm rather than the exception. The last thing I saw when I pulled away was the bright smile from Jamie who showed sincere appreciation for my support of her lemonade stand. She may never realize that what she handed me was much more than simply a piece of dessert – she gave me a chance to remember a time that I had almost forgotten. Thank you girls.

“We Always Ended Up With A Rainbow” says Verna About Her 50 Years With Stan

Stan and Verna Martin, of Capreol, the couple on the left in the photo, celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary this summer by sharing their happiness with a community celebration. Hundreds of well-wishers joined in a variety of events during the weekend, culminating with the renewal of their wedding vows followed by an afternoon social at Our Lady of Peace Church in Capreol. At one point on Saturday evening, someone told Verna that they had counted 104 people in the Martin’s back yard. Joining other friends and family members were Verna’s aunt and uncle, Tom and Audrey Kirwan, of Lively, shown on the right. The Kirwan’s celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in September.

Stan and Verna grew up in Capreol. Verna was one of the 11 children raised by Phil and Margaret Sawyer, so the Sawyer influence on the community was rather extensive. Stan, for example, served for 13 years on Town Council, for a time as Deputy Mayor, and was involved in numerous community organizations.

Martin’s Variety was started by Stan and Verna, and when Stan was transferred to work in Minnesota in 1979, it was taken over by the oldest daughter, Karen and her husband Tom Lennox. While they have only been back “home” for two years, Stan and Verna feel as welcome as if they never left. The Anniversary Weekend was proof positive that they are still as loved as ever by their family and friends.

 “There have been many ups and downs and challenges over the years,” claimed Verna. “We had five children in six years, so it wasn’t easy. But no matter how hard things got we always ended up with a rainbow.”

Verna went on to offer some advice to young couples today, “I always tell people, don’t complain or get upset about anything. It’s going to change and things will always get better. Whatever you do, don’t quit. And when your husband asks you to go out for breakfast or to go for a walk, drop everything you are doing and go. The other stuff can wait. The dishes will always be there when you get back, but you can never recover the time you have to spend with each other.”

The Martin’s have thirteen grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 26 and according to Verna, “Each one is special. And when they come over I treasure every minute I am with them.”

Stan and Verna Martin may have been the focus of the weekend, but this turned out to be a celebration of the commitment that two people can have for each other and what their example means to an entire community.

While it is customary to “congratulate” Stan and Verna, it is more appropriate to say “Thank You” for showing us how to get the most out of life.



Memere Rita Chaput loves Christmas. And one look at three of her grandchildren sitting on Santa's lap shows you why. Here the Julien children, Paul (7), Natalie (3) and Mathieu (5) smile brightly while Memere takes a picture of them on Santa's knees in the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre. The children live with their parents in Chelmsford, but always love visiting Memere Chaput. 

Rita explains, "Christmas is always a blast at my house when the 11 grandchildren and 7 children gather. And when Santa arrives during the evening, he is always greeted with 21 stockings to stuff."

When you see three wonderful children like Paul, Natalie and Mathieu, you just have to love this season.


Memere Rita Chaput always has fun when she comes to the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre. Above she demonstrates how to get in the spirit during the Halloween Costume Day held at the mall.

Roy St. Jacques Continues To Collect Pop Cans In Support Of Special Olympics Bowling League
If you live in the community of Val Therese, or if you happen to shop at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre, you have seen a man carrying garbage bags full of empty pop cans and beer bottles. You may not have paid much attention to this man. I know I never gave him much thought until last fall when I found out that his name is Roy St. Jacques, and what he is doing with those garbage bags is truly remarkable and he should be an inspiration to all of us.
   Roy is a Special Olympics 5 Pin Bowler from the Bonaventure Lanes Challenge League in Val Caron. This is a Tuesday Night League that helps developmentally challenged individuals enjoy the sport of bowling. The collection of aluminum pop and beer cans is the major fund-raiser for the league and is put towards the expenses of the members.

   Roy has going door to door collecting over 25 bags of cans for over a year in the area near the shopping center and around Val Therese. He is very appreciative of the support he has received from residents as he walks his route up and down the streets collecting the cans. The mall has also provided him with the loan of a shopping cart to help with the project. 

   All year long the bowlers collect pop cans and refundable bottles. The proceeds are used by the league to help pay for the banquet. Roy, who is know in these circles as the "Pop Can Man" was responsible for collecting the largest number of cans. In all, over 400,000 cans, weighing in at over 7 tons were collected.

   Despite his busy schedule, Roy is never in too much of a hurry to say hello or to stop and talk for a few minutes. He is never too busy to give you a smile or ask you how your day is going. Roy may not be the president of a large multi-national company. He may not drive around in an expensive car or ever run for election. But what he is doing is certainly adding to the character of this fine community and he is definitely making a difference. 

   Every Tuesday the group gathers at Bonaventure Lanes at 6:30 p.m. The bowl one game and then have a fifteen minute break for snacks and refreshments before bowling the second game. Everything is over by about 8:30 p.m.

   This year each of the participants were presented with their own Special Olympics Jacket thanks to the money raised by the pop can collection. Roy is shown on the right proudly wearing his jacket this summer.

   The head coach for the Valley East Ontario Special Olympics Team is Claude Poitras. Anyone interested in registering for the League for the 2006-2007 season can just call Claude for more information at 969-5981. The League starts the first Tuesday after the September long weekend and finishes at the end of April, a total of about 33 weeks.

Darlene Bourdeau Makes Perfect Guess In First Annual Great Pumpkin Contest

Darlene Bourdeau, a 13-year old Grade 8 student from Pinecrest Public School was the only one among thousands of entrants to correctly come up with the correct weight of 368 pounds in the First Annual Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre’s Great Pumpkin Contest held in October and November 2005.. Darlene says she didn’t think much about the guess, simply putting down the first three numbers that came into her head. Darlene appeared in the photo with Val Mazzuca, owner of the HVSC and Anthony Van Alphen, the man who grew the giant pumpkin for the contest. Anthony, who is a retired INCO worker, has been growing one pumpkin each year for about 15 years now. He plants carefully selected seeds and then pollinates one pumpkin in late July or early August. By trimming away all of the rest of the pumpkins, the plant is allowed to focus all of the nourishment into one pumpkin…and presto – you have a giant pumpkin. This is the largest Anthony has ever grown. The previous record was 332 pounds. Next year he is going to try to have the pumpkin pollinated in July to see if he can hit 400 or more pounds. Make sure you look for it in the mall next October. For Darlene, it was quite a month. She just received a $600 scholarship from a Toronto-based modeling company and now wins the $50 top prize in the Great Pumpkin Contest. The Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre thanks all shoppers who took part in the contest.

An Outside Perspective On Valley East From A Young Family That Is Part Of The Club

Vito Signorile is shown with his 3-year old son, Anthony, who has just caught a “prize” at the Childrens’ Fish Pond which was part of a display set up at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre by the Trailsmen Rod & Gun Club.

Vito and his wife, Roxanne, are typical of young families who are moving in to the City of Greater Sudbury from larger centers to the south. In fact, their youngest child, Nicholas, who is only a year old, was born after they moved.

Born and raised in Toronto , Vito and his wife, who was originally from Longlac, lived in King City , generally considered to be a relatively good place for a young family.

“It is just so congested and busy in Southern Ontario ,” explained Vito when asked why they decided to come north. “Even in King City , we found that it wasn’t a place where we wanted to raise a family. Both my wife and I had to work to keep up the mortgage and other expenses, and we simply decided that it was more important for us to have a  much higher quality of life as a family.”

When they decided to sell their home and move to the Greater Sudbury Area, there was no question where they wanted to settle. “ Valley East is the ideal community for us. It has that “small town” feeling where everyone is so friendly to each other and you can say hello to perfect strangers. There is a great community spirit compared to what we were able to find in the south. It is a place where you can get involved in just about anything and people are just so open and accepting.”

With family life being so important, Vito and Roxanne found that they could even meet their financial obligations with only one income. “We decided that our kids were our top priority, and in Valley East we can afford to live on one income. Having Roxanne as a stay-at-home mom is such a benefit to living in this area. It is something that we couldn’t do if we were still in King City . Now, we don’t have to worry about bring our children to a day care at 7 in the morning, or leaving work early when we get a phone call during the day that our kids are sick. These are very important things to us and in Valley East we are allowed to live the life we want without suffering at all.”

The Signorile’s are the kind of new members that the Trailsmen Rod and Gun Club are trying to attract. “My wife and I love the outdoors and we wanted to get involved with a group where we would meet a lot of people with similar interests. So when we moved here two years ago we joined the Trailsmen Rod & Gun Club. It is something that I would recommend to anyone with children.”

It is always nice to get a fresh perspective on the community spirit that exists in Valley East . At times, people who have lived in the area for a long time lose site of how much we have to be thankful for in this town. Perhaps Vito put it all into proper perspective when he said, “I can even leave my car unlocked here.”

Honorable Ken Dryden, Minister of Minister of Social Development Autographs Posters For March of Dimes Auction

    The Honorable Ken Dryden, Minister of Minister of Social Development, is shown at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre signing his autograph on a poster that will be auctioned off at a March of Dimes Cupid’s Night Valentines Dance which will be held on February 4, 2006 at the Centennial Arena. In the photo with Mr. Dryden is Ray Bonin, Liberal MP for the Nickel Belt Riding on the far right. Sitting at the table on the far left is Gail Leroux, the person responsible for organizing the fund-raising dance. Immediately behind her is Gerty Burnett, who at the spry age of 84 will be recognized as the organ player at some of the masses at Our Lady of Peace Parish. Standing in the background, directly behind Gerty with the brown-sleeved jacket and baseball cap is Al Leroux, Gail’s husband.

   Ken Dryden will be remembered for his skills as a professional goaltender with the Montreal Canadians and more importantly as the goaltender for Team Canada in the famous 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union . He was at the opposite end of the rink when Paul Henderson scored the winning goal that shook the world back on September 28, 1972 giving Canada a 6-5 win that clinched the series.

   Dryden played in just eight seasons but won six Stanley Cups, was named to the NHL Hall of Fame in 1983 and is recognized as the 4th best goalie of all time behind Terry Sawchuck, Jacques Plante and Glen Hall.

   Dryden’s toughest match of all may be coming up on January 23, 2006 when Canadians go to the polls to elect a new Federal Government.

   Ken Dryden and Ray Bonin stopped to visit constituents at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre on Monday, January 16, 2006 as part of a tour of the riding. It was an opportunity for local residents to see the famous goaltender and discuss major issues of the day. Dozens of fans of all ages and both sexes kept Dryden busy signing autographs and posing for photos.

Ken Dryden

Career Highlights

·  Ken was drafted by Boston in the sixties but he decided to pursue his law degree at Cornell.

·  Dryden make his NHL debut against the Pens on Mar 17, 1971 .

·  Played in just six games during the 1971 season but he was the starter in the playoffs vs Boston .

·  The Bruins had set a NHL record for scoring 399 goals during the regular season.

·  Dryden lost the first game and was down 5-1 in the second game when the comeback started.

·  Montreal with brilliant goaltending from Dryden won the second game 7-5.

·  Montreal went on to knock out the favored Bruins and to eventually beat Chicago for the Cup.

·  Dryden won the Conn Symthe trophy for the MVP of the 1971 playoffs.

·  Ken won the 1972 Calder Trophy for outstanding rookie.

·  Sat out the 1973-74 season and worked with an Law firm in an effort to obtain a fair contract from the Habs.

·  Ken was one of the tallest goalies of his time at 6' 4".

·  Won or shared the Vezina Trophy 5 times as a Canadien.

·  Dryden was named to the NHL all-star team 5 times in his career.

·  Played just 8 seasons in the NHL.

·  Dryden retires following the 1979 Stanley Cup finals against the Rangers.

·  Finished his career with 258 wins vs 57 losses and 74 ties and a GAA of 2.24.

·  Ken never lost more than 10 games in a regular season during his career.

·  Won 6 Stanley Cups in his 8 NHL Seasons.

·  Named to the NHL Hall of Fame in June 1983.

·  Has practiced as a lawyer since leaving The Game and has written two books on the subject.

·  Ranked 25th best player of All-Time by the Hockey News (4th best goalie, behind only Sawchuk, Plante & Hall)


Val Mazzuca, owner of the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre, with Ken Dryden and Ray Bonin.
Stopping Pucks Was Easy Compared To What Gail Leroux Has Been Through In Her Life

   It was an absolute thrill for Gail Leroux, shown in the photo on the far left, when Ken Dryden signed his autograph on the poster she had made to promote the Cupid’s Night Valentine’s Dance she is organizing to raise money for the March of Dimes. Also in the picture are 84 year old, Gerty Burnett, and Gail’s husband, Al, standing. The dance will be held at the Centennial Arena on Saturday, February 4, 2006 from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. Gail will be at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre every afternoon until January 28, 2006 selling tickets at $20 per person or $40 per couple. Half of the money will pay for expenses and the other half will be donated to the March of Dimes. Gail is hoping to sell 200 tickets for the dance which will feature music by Fran’s Dance Mix.
   Gail Leroux’s life changed forever when, at the age of 16, she was involved in a serious car accident which claimed the lives of two other teenagers and resulted in the eventual suicide of one of the others who ended up with brain damage. Even though Gail suffered broken bones in 108 places in her body, spend a whole year in hospital recovering, went through over 50 operations, and has endured over 40 years of intense pain, she claims that, “I wouldn’t want to change a thing about my life. I’m happy and I’ve got my faith.”
   She gives much of the credit for helping her get through all of the challenges she has faced in her life to her husband of 39 years, Al, who she met while in a wheelchair following the accident. He has stayed by her giving her support and love ever since. “My husband always says that as long as we can put our feet on the floor in the morning, we know we’re ok! I listen for his feet to touch the floor in the morning and I am happy. He does the same with me. What more could we ask from life?”
   Gail was born in
Saskatchewan , but moved to Sudbury when she was very young. She has lived in Capreol for the past ten years, and has been pretty much wheelchair bound ever since moving to Capreol.
   “The March of Dimes has been so good to me,” explained Gail when asked why she was organizing this special fund-raising dance. “They helped me make my house and vehicle more wheel chair accessible. They have been absolutely wonderful to me, and I just wanted to give something back to them.
   Gail’s goal is to some day take her wheelchair and ride to
Saskatchewan and back to raise money for Cancer and Heart research.
   People who purchase tickets can qualify for an Early Bird Draw if they buy before January 28. The winner of the first Early Bird Draw was Sandra and Bob Neville. They will be treated to a Limousine and Dinner for Two donated by the Ambassador Hotel and a dozen roses donated by Lougheed Flowers. Another winner will be drawn on
January 28, 2006 .
   If anyone wishes to purchase tickets to help out with this wonderful cause, you can see Gail at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre every afternoon until January 28 or purchase tickets at the door on February 4 at the Centennial Arena.

Ken Dryden autographs poster which will be auctioned off during the dance being organized by Gail Leroux, shown in the background watching the famous hockey Hall of Famer.
Ronald Ross Has Cut A Lot Of Hair During The Past 50 Years

   Ronald Ross may be almost 70 years old, but he has no plans on retiring from his 50-year career as a barber.  When Ron and his wife Gertrude married in June of 1960 and moved into their current home in Hanmer, little did they expect that 45 years later they would still be serving their loyal customers out of the very same room in their original home. Even more amazing is the fact that Ron is severely hearing impaired. Ron lost his hearing when he was around 5 years of age and has a mere 16% of a normal hearing level. Yet, despite this impairment, it hasn’t deterred him from a career he loves – a career which includes a great deal of conversation with customers.

   At the age of 14, Ron went to College of the Deaf in Montreal for 5 years, graduated and went off to the Moreau Barber School in Montreal . When he finished the Barber school, at the age of nineteen, he started his business out of his dad's home on December 20, 1955 and remained there for five years. After marrying Gertrude, they moved into their home on Hwy 69 N. in Hanmer and Ronald’s Barber Shop has continued to this day.

   Three children were raised in the Ross household. Dan, Francine and Suzanne were all able to walk up the street to Ecole Notre Dame and then eventually to Ecole Secondaire Hanmer. Their father, Ronald, was always able to be at home for them while he operated his business. According to Dan, “It was great! My dad would do a lot of the cooking and household duties during the day while my mother worked and whenever customers came into the shop they would press a button that caused the lights to go off briefly. When that happened, dad would go to the shop and give a haircut. It was a great way to grow up.”

   Claude Chenier, owner of Valley Plaza Barber Shop in the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre, recalls his early days as a barber working for his Uncle Ron. “I came out of college and spent the first year and a half working for him at Ron’s Barber Shop. Then I came over here and have been here ever since. I’m now beginning my 24th year in this career and I expect to have a story for you to print 26 years from now too.”

   Many residents will recall that Joe Ross, Ron’s father, was Mayor of Hanmer for a couple of years prior to Ray Plourde.

   We congratulate Ronald and Gertrude on a lifetime of contributions to this community.  The Ross’ are definitely people to whom we can turn for inspiration and motivation as we continue to make Valley East a place to grow. As for Ronald, he plans on continuing to practice his profession as a barber for as long as his health holds out.

Angele Mrochek - A Passion For Life That Is Making All The Difference In The World For Her Family And Her Community School
When you first meet her, Angele Mrochek strikes you as an attractive, healthy 30-year old mother with a warm smile. In the photo to the right, she is standing underneath the engagement photo she took with her husband, J.P. The two met when she was only 16 and have been married for ten years (as of the date of this article in January 2006). 

Angele and J.P. have three boys who attend Ecole Notre Dame School in Hanmer. Mathieu is in Grade 5; Martin is in Grade 3; and Miguel is in S.K. Ironically, both Angele and J.P. also attended that very same Ecole Notre Dame School when they were in elementary school. Many people will remember her from her maiden name, Angele Lapointe.

Angele obtained her diploma in Sign Language Communication from Collage Boreal and appeared headed for a very promising career in this field. It was then that Angele and J.P. made a very important decision. Instead of pursuing a career in sign language, Angele decided to pursue a much more challenging, and far more important career - that of being a full-time homemaker and mother. She and J.P. meant that it would mean sacrificing some of the "material" things that a second job could provide, but they felt fortunate enough to be in a position where they could "make it" on one salary and decided that it was more important for their children to have a mom at home. 

Angele then took it one step further and decided to become totally involved with her childrens' school. While they were at St. Michel School, Angele chaired the annual "Family Day" celebrations which were always the big event of the year. When St. Michel closed to make room for the St. Anne School students who are there now, she organized the "Closing Day Celebrations". Now that her children attend Ecole Notre Dame, she is in her 2nd year as President of the Parent Teacher Association and is at the school "just about every day" taking part in some form of function or activity. 

She organized the Annual Christmas Food Drive which was held at Neil's Your Independent Grocers on December 17, 2005, and is taking care of the Winter Carnival which is scheduled for February 10, 2006.

When asked why she is so involved, she didn't hesitate with the answer, "I love doing this! It is so great to be able to go to the school every day and be active. J.P. and I knew that we were giving up a lot when I chose this kind of life over employment outside the home, but we've also gained so much more from the decision. It means so much to my children for me to be available when they go to school; when they come home; when they are sick; and when they are doing special things at school. Some days I wonder what it would be like to be able to afford more material things, but there is nothing I could buy that would give me the same satisfaction I have doing what I am doing with my life right now."

Angele encourages more parents and grandparents to get involved with their schools. Volunteers can add so much to the atmosphere of the community school and can really provide an excellent example for all of the children at the school.

We congratulate Angele, and J.P. for supporting her in her decision to provide an invaluable contribution, not only to her children; not only to the children of Ecole Notre Dame; but also to the entire community of Valley East.

Jennifer Higgs Has A Very Special Relationship With Her Younger Brother After Successful Kidney Transplant 


   At first glance, Tyler Higgs, 13, and his sister, Jennifer, appear just like any normal brother and sister. However, on January 12, 2006 , at the Ottawa General Hospital , Tyler and Jennifer took the relationship to a much higher level when one of Jennifer’s kidneys was transplanted into Tyler ’s body.

   Tyler was born with kidney failure, but the problem wasn’t discovered until he was six years of age. At that time his kidneys were functioning at only 32% capacity. It was then that doctors concluded a transplant would be needed within several years. He was placed on medication in an attempt to control the deterioration and it appeared to maintain his condition at a constant level.

   When Tyler was eight years old, Jennifer was tested to determine if she could qualify as a donor for her brother. Not only did Jennifer qualify, but she was told that the only times the medical staff had ever seen such a perfect match before was in the case of identical twins. What is even more remarkable is that Tyler was born 17 years after Jennifer; on the same day; 18 minutes apart in time; at the exact same weight and exactly the same length at birth. Perhaps coincidence? Perhaps destiny?

   Since being diagnosed with renal failure, Tyler has been traveling to Ottawa for testing and monitoring every one to three months. When his kidney functioning dropped to below 20% in December 2005, it was decided to go ahead and set a date for the transplant. That date was January 12. According to Tyler , “I was happy when they decided to do the operation. It was a relief to know that we were finally going to do it.”

   Jennifer shared the feeling, “It was like we were both going to get our life back. For five years I was on pins and needles waiting for the day the operation would take place. I knew that it could happen at any time, so I really had to put my life on hold.”

   There was never any hesitation on the part of Jennifer, herself a mother with two children aged 12 and 4. When she found out that she was a match, she simply decided that this was something she wanted to do. 

   As a result of the operation, Tyler ’s kidneys are now functioning at 67% of normal and that number is steadily increasing. He feels much healthier and finds it easier to concentrate at school. The operation has allowed him to focus on graduating from Pinecrest Public School in June and entering Confederation Secondary School in the Fall.  

   Besides allowing Tyler to get on with his life, it has also given Jennifer an opportunity to move forward as a self-employed Customer Relations Specialist, working out of the Valley East Today office at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre.
   Both Tyler and Jennifer went into the operation with the same faith and confidence with which they have always approached life. As they were being prepared for the operation, the medical team couldn’t believe how calm and relaxed they were. But Jennifer commented, “We had lived with the knowledge that this moment was coming for the past five years. Our decision was made and now it was in God’s hands. There was nothing for us to worry about.”  

   Tyler and Jennifer will live the rest of their lives in the same way as any normal brother and sister. But there is absolutely nothing normal about their relationship.

Carissa Henry Gets First Hand Experience In Journalism Working At The Vision Paper by Robert Kirwan


   Don’t hang up! That pleasant female voice you hear when you call The Vision Paper during the afternoons between now and the end of June will be that of Carissa Henry, 17, a Grade 12 student from Bishop Alexander Carter Secondary School . Carissa is participating in the Cooperative Education Program during the second semester. She will be doing her placement at The Vision Paper, handling a wide range of responsibilities designed to give her a taste of what it is like to work in a community newspaper environment.

   Carissa is planning on enrolling in the Journalism Program at Cambrian College once she graduates, so the placement will give her a chance to see what this kind of career is all about. “I like to read magazines and I always dreamed about having my own column or writing articles that would be published in those magazines.”

   I first met Carissa when she was in one of my Grade 7 English classes at St. Anne School . She was one of those students who stick out in your memory as a teacher. This was a young girl who was polite and attentive in class. Even back then she seemed to genuinely enjoy writing weekly essays, short stories, and working on projects, so her love of writing has obviously been a passion of hers for a long time. While I cannot remember specific details about her writing, I do recall that she had a special gift that made her work stand out from the others.

   Carissa is a member of the Yearbook Committee and is also Secretary of the Student Council. Besides that, she enjoys playing school sports such as soccer, volleyball and hockey. This has, therefore, been a very busy year.

   For the next few months, Carissa will pack up her books every day at noon , trading in her classroom desk for the desk in the main reception area of the Vision Paper, where she will remain on duty from 12 noon until 4:30 p.m. From time to time, Carissa’s articles and columns will also appear in The Vision Paper.

   As I look at her sitting at the computer, I wonder if Carissa ever imagined she would one day be writing stories WITH her former Grade 7 English Teacher instead of FOR HIM? This time, I promise, she won’t have to worry about being marked on her work.

   All of the staff of The Vision Paper, including myself, the Publisher, Pierre Charette, and the General Manager, Jean-Guy Charette, are very pleased to welcome Carissa to the “team” and sincerely hope we can be of some assistance in helping her achieve her dream of one day becoming a professional journalist.

Local Family Expresses Appreciation To Val Caron Animal Hospital For Going That Extra Step To Give Sasha A Happy Life And A Dignified Ending

The following is a letter which was written by Tom Lacroix, a resident of Val Therese who enjoyed taking long walks with his pet German Shepherd, Sasha. A Dog's life span is very short compared to that of humans, and yet the attachment of all family members to these wonderful pets is something that only a pet owner can understand. Sasha is no longer with us, having succumbed to that which will one day affect all of us, if we are so lucky - old age and running out of time on this earth. Tom's letter is an expression of appreciation to the staff of the Val Caron Animal Hospital, but it is also written on behalf of all pet owners who perhaps just couldn't find the right words to show their appreciation to a staff that undoubtedly goes that extra mile to improve the quality of life of our four-legged friends.

To Larry and his staff:

            I would like to take this opportunity to commend you on the work and services that you provide to pet owners in the Valley. Over the period of time that we have came to you for your professional services we were very pleased as a family with the quality, consideration, and friendliness you have shown.

            The card that we received from you and your staff upon the death of Sasha was greatly appreciated and it showed our family that not only do you provide a service but also you do care about the lives of our family. The card we received was politically correct, but you know that in this instance it was incorrect. Sasha was more than a pet she was a member of the family.

            The paw print was awesome to receive. Our family members were touched that you did this for us. It is being framed and will be with her picture on our wall.

            I will try to recall the instances for you in which you made Sasha’s life go from that of a beloved pet to a family member.

            Upon our first visit for one of her annual check ups, while waiting for Larry to come into the examining room, I asked his staff “if they were going to muzzle Sasha the way she was muzzled at the other vet’s office”. The staff replied that “if Larry deemed it necessary to muzzle her he would”. For all of her visits not once did the staff or Larry ever mention the word muzzle. As the owner of a female german shepherd I was very pleased, and it showed me that Larry and his staff had the experience and knowledge to give Sasha any medical assistance to have a full and rewarding life.

            Three or four times during her time here we have had situations where it was imperative that we had to see Larry. Melissa made sure that any time we had a medical or an injury that we deemed important that Sasha see Larry, it was done without any long delays so that she did not suffer and we as a family did not have to worry about her.

            Larry as our vet knew the condition that Sasha was in. Near the end when we would watch her at home and see her struggle to do the things that she had done for years and not be able to do them.  We were heartbroken and we knew what we had to do. When I walked into the office that morning and told Debbie it was time, she saw the hurt in my eyes as much as I seen the hurt in hers. Arrangements were made. I never spoke to Larry until that afternoon when the procedure was to begin. From the deepest regions of my heart I want to thank you and your staff for not once questioning me. I thought that Sasha would have to be examined before Larry would do this procedure. But as I stated she was under his care for years and he knew her.

            Debbie what can I say, I know you are a german shepherd owner and I know you have had to do the same thing. Thank you for being beside me as the procedure took place. Your comforting smile and soothing voice telling Sasha how good she was reaffirmed what I already knew. When I glanced over and saw a tear in the corner of your eye, I knew our decision was the proper one and I was very happy to have you there not only comforting Sasha but also me.       

            The poem that was included in our card He Set Me Free is a keepsake. Along with that, and just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge , makes our loss easier to understand and cope with.

            Thank you, Dr. Larry Hoscheit, Melissa, Ellen, Kate and Debbie.

From the LaCroix family and Sasha

Roger Chevrier Performs His Finger Style Guitar Style On The First Saturday of Every Month

Roger Chevrier is shown in the Centre Court Lounge at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre where he launched his monthly Finger Style Guitar Demonstration on March 4, 2006.  

  Roger performed a wide variety of songs on his guitar from 1:00 p.m. until about 3 p.m. He will be in the mall on the first Saturday of every month at the same time and is inviting other guitar enthusiasts to join him for an afternoon of “picking”.

Dozens upon dozens of shoppers stopped by to listen to Roger Chevrier playing his finger-style guitar music on March 4.

Chevrier is a life-long resident of Valley East who has a passion for music. He has two radio shows every week on the Laurentian University station, CKLU which can be found by tuning in to 96.7 FM. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. until 12 noon he hosts a show called “Sitting Back Picking”. Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. he hosts a show called “Finger Style Guitar”. Both shows offer listeners some excellent guitar music to relax to.

He was also the Musical Director for the Valley Community Theatre, and coordinated the music for the ‘Leader of the Pack’; ‘Grease’; and ‘Suds’.

The retired INCO worker is hoping that these monthly sessions at the mall will generate more interest in this kind of music. Roger knows that there are a lot of people who enjoy guitar music, and he is looking forward to some exciting afternoons at the mall. 


Grandpa’s Girl by Robert Kirwan

It was a hot Saturday afternoon when I stopped at the Valley East Cemetery to update pictures for my web site at valleyeasttoday.ca. After taking a few photos, I noticed three young girls sitting in front of a headstone. My curiosity got the best of me so I went over and asked them what they were doing. Little did I know that I was about to experience one of the most touching ten minutes of my life.

Emly (spelled without an i) McKibbon, the young 12 year old girl on the far left in the photo, was the first to speak. “We’re visiting my Grandpa,” she said as she pointed to the monument on which was engraved, John McKibbon 1936 – 1993. Fifty-seven years old, I thought to myself. “Me and my step-sisters come here often to fix the flowers and talk to him.”

Sonni, the oldest of the three at 13, sitting in the middle, added, “Sometimes we just come here and sit. It is pretty quiet and there are not usually too many people around so it is peaceful.”

Rebecca, 12, sitting on the right, said, “Sometimes we walk around and pick up papers and pop cans that people leave around too. It is sad that some people leave the place in a mess, but we don’t mind cleaning it up”

“I didn’t know my Grandpa,” said Emly in a quiet voice. “He died when I was seven months old. But my mom said that he always wanted to be around me and went wherever my mom took me.” I spoke to her mother, Colleen, and she confirmed that Emly was indeed, Grandpa’s Girl. “He was a wonderful father,” she commented, “and he sure loved his granddaughter.”

During the conversation with the girls I kept having visions of my own granddaughter who just turned 12 months old on July 3. I thought about Grandpa John, a man who was only two years older than myself. I know how I feel about my little Hailee. I know how I feel when she stretches out her arms for me to hold her and how I feel when people say that she is Grandpa’s girl. I looked at Emly and told her, “Your Grandpa knew you, Emly. For those seven months he knew you and he knew you loved him and that’s what is important.” It was about thirty degrees outside that day, but there were shivers going up and down my body as we spoke. I could sense that there was someone else out there with us that afternoon.

I found out during our conversation that one day last year these three young girls brought large bundles of hand-picked flowers and put a flower on each headstone in the cemetery. They looked so much at ease sitting on the grass, visiting Grandpa John. Even though Sonni and Rebecca came into the family long after John’s death, they still spoke about him as if they knew him.

As I pulled out of the cemetery and headed along Gravel Drive , I noted that my allergies must have been bothering me, because my eyes were a bit watery and my nose was running. It was hard to drive for a couple of minutes. I knew that the next time I held Hailee in my arms I was going to squeeze her a bit more tightly and hold her for a little longer than usual.

I don’t think I ever met John, but I feel I know him. He would be extremely proud of his granddaughter. And I know he’s resting in peace knowing that Emly is still Grandpa’s Girl.

Shave For Hope Day Held At Pioneer Manor To Raise Funds For Cancer Research

George Fraser, Monique Grenon, Sadie Mantysaari, Therese Teahen, Chris Dupret & Louise, Pioneer's Hairdresser all pose for a photo after they had their heads shaved to raise funds for cancer research.

The event was called, "Shave For Hope" and it was held on April 8, 2006.

Monique Grenon, a resident of Hanmer, was going to be the only one to take part in the event, but she challenged some co-workers and they, being good sports, joined in.

Monique is shown in a before and after pose below:



Monique explained her motivation, "This was for a good cause and hair will grow back. I did this in memory of my mother Leonne Raymond who passed away in 1984  and for my grandfather Elzear Proulx who passed away in 1980 they both died of cancer. Everyone else had their own reasons for doing this."

Congratulations to Monique and all of the people involved in this event for helping raise awareness about the need for cancer research.


Published by
Robert Kirwan, President & C.E.O.
4456 Noel Crescent, Val Therese ON P3P 1S8
Phone: (705) 969-7215    
EMAIL   rkirwan@infocomcanada.com