Posts tagged Community
Santa Day Overview

This year our Honorary Parade Marshall is Ms. Marg Allen, long time teacher, librarian, historian, and author. Our parade culminates with a great fireworks display and our new Christmas Tree.

Brochures with a map and list of activities are available from local merchants or visit

We will also be collecting food donations for the Food Bank between Lighthouse Restaurant and Cornerstone Furniture, as well the Lions Club is collecting old or used eye glasses which they clean and refurbish for distribution in third world countries.

So something for everyone — tell your friends, neighbours, and relatives to come to Fenelon Falls and enjoy Santa Day this year!


Submitted by Marina Hodson

No Man is an Island
— John Donne

This famous phrase, first written in a religious text in 1624, may never have been more appropriate than it is today. Despite our electronic connectedness, loneliness and isolation are becoming ever more frequent complaints in today’s society.

While we all need some solitude from time to time, a 2013 study published in the Journal Psychological Science actually found that social isolation increased people’s likelihood of death by 26 percent. It is no secret that we are a social species, but the importance interacting with others has on our overall physical and mental health has long been underestimated. In fact, health risks associated with social isolation were compared in magnitude to the dangers of smoking cigarettes in a frequently cited 2001 study by James House.

But it’s not all doom and gloom; unlike many physical ailments, loneliness is much easier to target. Even surrounding ourselves with others, without direct interaction, has been shown to have positive effect and a smile and kind word are free and easy to share. So make an effort to say hello to someone you don’t usually speak with, strike up a conversation in the grocery line or just have a coffee out. It will do your health good.

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT

ABLE: Families Helping Each Other

Submitted by Diane Engelstad

You may not know me but I’m famous in town: I’m Jeremy’s Mom.

Anywhere I go with Jeremy within a surprisingly wide radius of Fenelon Falls, I’m struck by all the people who greet him or ask him how things are going. I think Jeremy has a way of bringing out the best in people, and a knack for facilitating a good moment in their day. But I also know how lucky we are to be residents in a welcoming and inclusive corner of the world. I tell people all the time that our move to Fenelon Falls ten years ago has been great for Jeremy and our family, because of the way Jeremy is respected for who he is, and included in all Fenelon has to offer him.

Which is why it became important, as Jeremy left high school and joined the adult world, to find others in the area who are also grappling with what full citizenship looks like for their family members with intellectual disabilities.

Families tend to bear the lion’s share of support, and with this in mind, a few of us formed a new local group. ABLE, which stands for “Access to Better Living Experiences,” brings families and community allies together to consider what needs to be done to assist each person with intellectual disabilities in our area to live their best life.

Most adults would not be happy with a life organized for them strictly around supervision. As adults, we expect to take care of our needs, follow our interests, hone our abilities, participate in community life, and develop friendships on our own terms. I know that’s what Jeremy would like too, but he will need the right support in order to achieve his own level of independence and satisfaction. There is no cookie-cutter solution or government “program” that can make this happen. Everyone is unique.

It turns out that “Family Support Networks” are springing up elsewhere in the province too for similar reasons, and ABLE was able to access a little funding to help our group get off the ground. (We hope to have a website soon.) ABLE, still a small group, meets once a month in the parish hall of St. James Anglican Church to talk about employment or volunteer opportunities, resources, and strategies around specific, individual needs. It sure is nice to connect with others familiar with the challenges of everyday life.

If you are supporting a family member or friend and would like to join us, we would be delighted! For information about upcoming meetings, please call me at 705-887-7169, or Jim Armstrong at 705-887-9755, or send us an email at

Kawartha Lakes Wants to Hear from Local Youth

Press Release submitted by Kendra Fleming

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES) – A new online survey is asking Kawartha Lakes youth their input on the type of activities that they want to see offered in their community. 

The confidential and anonymous survey is being launched by the Kawartha Lakes Youth Engagement subcommittee and is designed to gather the interests and opinions of youth aged 14 to 21 years living in City of Kawartha Lakes.

“We need to learn what is important to local youth, so we can offer activities and opportunities they will find interesting and engaging,” says Jennifer Robertson, a member of the Kawartha Lakes Youth Engagement sub-committee and a Public Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. 

The Kawartha Lakes Youth Engagement subcommittee is part of the Community Planning Table, which includes representatives from local agencies, services, programs, school boards and organizations that provide direct service to children and youth in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County. The Community Planning Table’s vision is creating ‘a community of happy, healthy children, youth and families.’

The deadline to participate in the survey is Wednesday, December 5. The link to the survey is:

The short survey consists of 10 questions that ask about the types of activities in which youth currently participate, the barriers or challenges that prevent them from participating, the types of new activities youth would like to see offered, and how they would like to learn more about future activities.

Our Home Away From Home

Submitted by Stacey Leger

We have owned cottages in the Kawarthas for the last 6 years but the property we own on Cameron Lake is our “Home away from Home”. We love it there... our kids love it there... in fact we’ve never had a guest come who hasn’t fallen in love with the lake, the town, the people — all of it. 

Fenelon Falls is the only place we have ever been where the town goes above and beyond our every expectation. The tourism in the town is impeccable, and the local people are by far the kindest and most humbling I’ve met. 

This picture was took sitting at the waters edge is summer after a family BBQ and enjoying all the peace and tranquillity the lake has to offer. I have thousands of pictures take at the lake and cottage but this one always stands out as a favourite.

Congratulations to Tracey Evans, Shopping Spree Winner!

The Sunsational Sidewalk Sale last weekend was a great success, with shoppers crawling all over Fenelon for the hot deals.

To mark the event, the Events Committee very generously collected a package of gift certificates from participating stores and raffled off the grand prize of a $250 Shopping Spree.

Left to right: Anna Radey, special events committee chair, shopping spree winner, Tracey Evans, and her daughter, Olivia.

Left to right: Anna Radey, special events committee chair, shopping spree winner, Tracey Evans, and her daughter, Olivia.

The winner, Bobcaygeon resident Tracey Evans, was delighted with the prize. Tracey says that she is "so grateful for the shopping spree in Fenelon Falls! It was a lovely afternoon with my daughter Olivia. We shopped throughout the local stores and appreciated breathing in the fresh air from the shores of your local lakes; Cameron and Sturgeon. We enjoyed the Splash Pad and sipped mint milkshakes and cherry yogurts throughout the afternoon. I have been battling cancer recently, and the afternoon out on the town was a perfect way for Olivia and I to spend the day together. Thank you Fenelon Falls, and thank you to the Chamber of Commerce Events Committee for organizing the sale."

We are so glad to have such a warm and welcoming community that allows people to relax and reconnect. We look forward to seeing Tracey and Olivia again when they come back for their shopping spree, and wish Tracey all the best.

Kawartha Works Community Co-operative

Written by Tyson Shennett

Around town, it is hard not to notice the good work being done by a number of different groups, from the Snowshoe Race to Simcoe Day, Fenelon Forward to Friends of Lock 34. All these groups are run by wonderful, hardworking volunteers who do a great job of adding something special to Fenelon. 

What’s harder to notice is the good work being done in the background. Back in 2014, I first heard of the idea of a community co-op from Jim Armstrong. He had been involved in a variety of small non-profit groups and had noticed that an issue these groups had was around the basic administration of the organization - that when it came to applying for grants, it was difficult to have the structure required to satisfy the granting agencies. 

In other areas, he had seen a community co-operative formed which can provide a separate corporate structure and administration support, while allowing the various non-profit groups to still operate independently on their own projects. 

In 2015, the Kawartha Works Community Co-operative was born, with the founding members Friends of Lock 34 and Impact 32. Since then, others have joined for the benefits of sharing overhead costs like insurance, sharing dedicated administration and finance support, and the ability to share information and successful strategies between groups. 

Jim’s dedication to selling this project to new groups and making sure that Kawartha Works runs smoothly is behind the scenes, but the impact his efforts have made have surely been felt by all. Thanks Jim and the Kawartha Works Community Co-Operative!