This year’s walk took place on May 29. Our UWCNY team had 12 participants and raised over $10,600 – that’s double our goal. We were the 2nd highest team in term of fundraising! This is the most money our club has ever raised for the Walk a Mile campaign. Thank you to our team and all our supporters.
The speaker at our annual dinner, Jim Hayhurst, kept the audience spellbound with his story of how he climbed Mount Everest in 1988, although he had never before mountaineered. At 47 Jim was the oldest member of his team, which included his son.
His harrowing climb up the mountain included a near miss with an avalanche, his son in danger of going over a cliff, and Jim’s suffering from the ill effects of high altitude. Because of the latter he had to stop short of Everest’s peak. Nonetheless he had proved he could do “the extreme.”
The life lessons he learned led him to found a disadvantaged youth-help organization – Trails Youth Initiatives–which has improved the lives of hundreds. He also wrote a book, The Right Mountain, about his experience.
Our April speaker was Metis artist Diane Montreuil, who is a many talented woman. As well as painting, she also does leather, drums and spiritual dolls; in addition to that, she is a French Indigenous Docent at the ROM museum and runs a home improvement company.
It wasn’t until she was an adult that she learned about Metis heritage and traditions. She explained the importance of grandmothers in her culture and the value of having “gratitude for the gift of life.” That gratitude is why she uses vivid colours in her paintings, which are exhibited in 225 locations across Canada and the U.S.
Our March speaker was author and historian, Barbara Dickson, who related the fascinating, but little-known story, of the World War II munitions plant located in Scarborough.
There were 21,000 employees of whom 17,000 were women. The Bomb Girls’ job was to fill fuses with ammunition; they completed 258 million and were so careful that there was not one explosion at the plant. Before starting their shift the women had to undergo extensive safety precautions such as wearing only cotton items and removing anything made of metal.
After the war, most evidence of the plant’s existence was obliterated; the underground tunnels still remain.
If you’d like to find out more, read Barbara’s book, “Bomb Girls-Trading Aprons for Ammo.”
Our popular used book sale, to benefit our Scholarship Fund, will be held at
the March General Meeting. We want to sell current books, award winners, coffee table books, books for which our members will happily spend $5. Please bring your book donations by 6:45 pm if possible.
Books usually sell quickly so if you want to pick up a book or two for quiet evening reading, or for your next vacation, come early. Thank you in advance for your donations and your purchases.
According to Dr. Janet Rossant some day the human body will be able to fix and even prevent disease thanks to the wonders of stem cell and gene/DNA regenerative therapies. The ultimate goal, she explained, is to correct disease “by removing diseased cells, editing them into healthy ones, then re-inserting them.” This was the exciting message our February speaker gave us.