Have something good to say?
Send us your good news—a birth, a milestone birthday or anniversary, an accomplishment—and the good deeds you witness in the Huntsville community that you think everyone should know about and we’ll share them on our It’s All Good page.
Send the details to us at [email protected] Include a photo if you’d like.
Thanks to the kind person who sanded Etwell Road
Would like to say Thank You to the Good Samaritan yesterday (Feb, 22) who sanded the Etwell Road between 12:30 and 1:00pm. They used their own sander truck and we wouldn’t have made it home without their kindness.
Finding beauty in ordinary views
I know I am far from being alone in my appreciation of the natural beauty of our earth. Nevertheless, I often wonder how many people find beauty in usual normal scenes in their own backyard. It is easy to appreciate scenes that are too wonderful to ignore….like the photo taken here.
I had an experience with a city friend of mine. As we were walking on a trail she replied, “Not much to see here today!” Did she want a bear to jump out? Hey my friend, LOOK and See!
The pathway was covered in soft pine needles. On the side of the trail was an abundance of wild flowers, moss, mushrooms and a great variety of trees. The afternoon sun was low and set a beautiful glow on this spectacular scene.
She did not see! It is essential to find beauty in the ordinary settings where we live. Appreciation can be part of everyone and can be awakened in each person…no matter how humble the surroundings. We can learn that any landscape has something to offer, even on a cloudy day or the dreariest month of year. When you decide to hunt the ordinary places and see the beauty, you will find a slice of sunshine on a shady field, an old fence grown over with wild vines or a moss covered tree.
Countless simple scenes can become jewels to enrich your mind and soul. In your heart …by looking…you can create a masterpiece. Enjoy!
To see the summer sky is Poetry; Though never in a book it lie-True poems flee. ~Emily Dickinson.
~ Doris Villemaire
Resident plows walking path on Pen Lake for enjoyment of others
A wonderful resident of Pen Lake has, once again this winter, pulled his old tractor out of its garage and plowed a huge walking path around the lake. The path starts at the end of Tally Ho Bay and town dock area and runs for about 1km or more around the shore. He is out there in this really cold period of the year, after every snow fall, keeping the path clear. Thanks to John Neges, a local builder, for giving all his time and effort to make this path for the use of local residents.
~ Peter Wood
Dwight woman crochets 10,400 scrubbies—and counting—to raise funds for local library branch
A seemingly small thing can have great impact.
“Everybody can do something,” Gwen Sykes can often be heard saying.
Since 2008, Sykes has been quietly crocheting scrubbies for a cause. She now makes hundreds in a month and gives them by the bagful to the Friends of the Dwight Library to raise funds for library materials and programs.
Sykes has produced more than 10,400 of the scrubbies to date, raising upwards of $10,000 for the library in the process—they once sold for a dollar apiece and are now $1.50.
She has also provided them to other organizations to use as fundraisers, including the Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary.
Read the story here.
Winter has its beauty
These photos tell us that winter is beautiful! The sparkle, the shadows, and the clean-line photos all add to the winter beauty in any photograph. Sometimes we look, but we don’t see. Get your camera out and you will notice things that you didn’t see with the naked eye. Enjoy the season. Here are a few of some outstanding winter scenes.
~ Doris Villemaire
School nutrition programs get a boost thanks to local service clubs
Six local service clubs, the Baysville Lions, Dorset Lions, Stephenson Lions, and Dwight Lions, along with the Rotary Club of Huntsville and Kiwanis Club of Huntsville Muskoka, recently pledged to support nutrition programs in local schools. With the support of Bullock’s Independent Grocers, FreshCo, and Metro, they will be distributing $11,000 to eight local schools.
Below, Kiwanians and Bullock’s Independent staff present $1,500 in gift cards to Kim MacDonald of Saint Mary’s Catholic School.
Halloween tradition has continued for more than 30 years
This group of enthusiastic Halloween characters met at Meadow Park in Huntsville on Oct. 31. The tradition of gathering on Halloween day, walking around the circle, and enjoying hot chocolate — which began more than 30 years ago — lives on. Many of the children from the 1990 picture (below) now have children in the 2021 picture. Thanks to Charity and Jocelyn for organizing the event. (2021 photo by Jenny Kirkpatrick, 1990 photo courtesy of Donna Nairn)
~ Mary Spring
Trinity United thanks construction crew with free “diggers’ lunch”
For months, the Dufferin Construction crew has been hard at work making improvements to Main Street while replacing aging infrastructure below ground.
Four women — Zelda Dwyer, Karen Parr, Nancy Waxl, Shirley Woodrad — recently formed ‘The Hospitality Team’ at the church and wanted to make this their first initiative to give back.
“My gosh, they have been out there working so hard no matter rain or shine,” said Nancy Waxl. “We really just wanted to help them out and make sure they know we appreciate them.”
Read more here.
98-year-old golfer an inspiration to all
On Tuesday, October 5 we had the pleasure of golfing with Ken Raven and his wife Sandy at the beautiful Huntsville Downs. What made it so special, besides enjoying the wonderful fall colours, was the fact that Ken will be 98, November 5!
We played the back nine with Ken who showed us his terrific chipping and putting skills, as well as walking sprightly to and from the golf cart. Ken was very pleased at how well he felt and that he could still ‘play’!
This fall Ken has had several rounds of golf at a variety of local courses that include Deerhurst Highlands, Grandview, Diamond in the Ruff, and Huntsville Downs. Ken was so enthusiastic about how he can still play a decent game that he wants to get a new driver for next season!
We are not sure what 98-year-old people are supposed to be doing, but Ken is an inspiration to all to keep active, have fun, and to be positive!
By the way, Ken’s one concern while golfing was that he did not want to hurt his shoulder because he will be skiing at Hidden Valley once again this year! (p.s. While skiing he will be joined by his granddaughter and Olympic gold-medal winner, Dara Howell!)
~Inspiration for everyone from Ron and Wendy Hill
Double rainbow delights early risers
A sunrise shower produced a stunning double rainbow the morning of Sept. 11, 2021, much to the delight of those out early enough to view it. (Photo: Dawn Huddlestone)
Lost purse and phone returned intact
Yesterday, August 29th, I lost my purse with my wallet and cell phone and other personal items in it close to the Portage Inn at the top of Wolf Bay Road. I didn’t realize I’d lost it until I got home but I knew approximately where it might be so I returned to look for it. I didn’t find it but someone else did. A lady named Joanna was driving her son to work, saw it lying on the road, picked it up, found my phone number in my purse and called me. Not only that, but she was on her way to make the 30-minute drive to my house when I got her message. We realized we were close to each other at that time so we met and Joanna handed me my purse.
Joanna, thank you again. You are a lovely person and I am very grateful.
~Leslie van der Meer
Anonymous Good Samaritan brings lost license to owner
On Wednesday morning (Aug. 18) a friend and I took a hike along Hunters Bay trail and then off to Soul Sistas for a coffee. I realized when I got home my driver’s licence was missing. I called Soul Sistas however no license. I checked my car again. I contacted our local radio stations right away and then decided to physically backtrack my route. On my second trip to my car I found a white sealed envelope on the seat of my car. Miracles do happen. It was my licence.
Thanks and thanks again to the good Samaritan who took the time to deliver it, albeit anonymously. You saved me not only the inconvenience of replacing it but also the cost of $40.00 and reinforced my belief that there are good people in this community and in this world will be paying it forward when the opportunity presents itself.
Happy 65th anniversary
Congratulations to Reverend Mal and Ruth (Sinclair) Binks as they celebrate their 65th anniversary on August 18. They were married at All Saints Church. Ruth tells us about organizing a wedding around the swinging of the Main Street bridge. They continue to live on the Sinclair farm. May they enjoy many more years together.
Love makes the journey strong.
Goodness is everywhere
The good news is all around us.
Just take a walk or simply look out your window. The stunning beauty of central Ontario.
Muskoka’s landscapes, flora, and fauna are all something to be grateful for, says Doris Villemaire. (Photos: Doris Villemaire)
A couple of weeks ago, while checking out lawn sales, we came across a sweet little armoire at the end of a driveway in town. It was mellow yellow, had two doors and four drawers at the bottom. The homeowners came out to greet us and I asked how much they wanted for it. It was FREE!!! Omg!!! I popped the trunk of the car and with hopeful hearts and a bungee cord, we tried..and we tried to make it fit. Eventually, we had to admit that it wasn’t going to come home with us and we stood it back on the end of the driveway. I told the homeowners that it simply wasn’t meant to be mine and the person who was meant to have it would be so happy when they found it. We said our goodbyes and got into the car. No sooner had the front door of the house closed when it swung open again and we were waved back. They wanted to DELIVER the FREE mellow yellow armoire for us, with their truck!!! Of course I told them that I wouldn’t hear of it and thanked them for their kindness but they INSISTED! I was speechless as it was loaded into their truck and they followed us home. I tried to give them money but they wouldn’t take it…and anyone who knows me, knows how hard I tried to give them that money. I was told that they were just glad to be able to make someone’s day. They absolutely made my day. I have this sweet little, mellow yellow armoire now that brightens my day when I look at it..because it’s freakin’ adorable and it holds so many treasured belongings but the best treasure of all is the kindness and selflessness that I happened across that day and I’ll think of it every time I look at my sweet little, mellow yellow armoire.
p.s. I purchased the ‘AMORE’ sign for $1.00 at a yard sale just before we happened across the armoire. It’s all about the amore!
~Elizabeth Allman McMahon
Couple thanks Huntsville’s Good Samaritans
We were visiting from Keswick, Ontario when our car died on us. We were on Highway 11, just coming up to the 60 turn off and our car shut down completely. We coasted to Howland Drive and got to the shoulder and stopped. We had friends meeting us from Sturgeon Falls, it’s our halfway point in the beautiful town of Huntsville! As we were sitting in our chairs, in front of our car, waiting for the tow truck, many people stopped to offer help! To the lovely lady who bought us Frosties from Wendy’s, to the many, many people who stopped or pulled over to see if we needed help, to the lady who walked over from the grocery store with a huge bottle of water for us, and to Hyundai and Enterprise for being kind and understanding, thank you so very much! We have been considering a move north and after today we are convinced it’s where we want to be.
~ Audrey and Tom Hamilton
Skyhills community raises $201 for The Table
During our first annual Skyhills Community Canada Day BBQ, $201 was raised for The Table food bank. Skyhills Farm donated cheeseburgers and hotdogs raised on the farm last season. World-famous homemade lemonade was supplied by Lucy and her sister Leni. If you missed it this year we hope to see you next year. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a success and all the neighbours and their generosity.
~ Mike Boyle
Happy 50th anniversary to Dave and Gwen Sykes (July 10, 2021)
Wishing Dave and Gwen Sykes a very happy 50th wedding anniversary on July 10, 2021. They have truly demonstrated their love for one another over the last 50 years and we wish them many more.
~From their children, grandchildren, friends and family.
Kudos to Shoppers Drug Mart staff
I would like to echo what Brad & Lisa Mcilmoyle said regarding the staff at Shopper’s Drug. Dana and her team have been run off their feet during this pandemic, and I really feel for them. But they are always friendly and helpful, and I appreciate all the extra work they’ve done to set up pandemic testing and vaccination clinics in a space not particularly designed for it. Thank you!
Thanks to the community from Trinity United Church
Trinity United Church thanks community members for supporting its Souper Sandwich Take-out Lunches since September 11, 2020. The lunches will return in September 2021.
A shout-out to the Legion
We should thank the Royal Canadian Legion Br.232 for the monthly free lunches for veterans during the time of isolation. Thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard to make this happen. Shows how valuable a Legion branch is to our community. ~ Lawrence Main
Cogeco recognizes local heroes in long-term care homes
Cogeco has launched a community based initiative that aims to recognize the important work of staff at Long Term Care Homes (LTCH) while also supporting some small business operators.
To do this, Cogeco purchases lunches from local restaurants and delivers them to employees at over 40 long-term care homes across Ontario. Nurses, personal support workers, housekeeping and administration staff all receive an individually packaged lunch delivered to their front door by Cogeco’s team.
The program’s two goals are to recognize the heroic efforts of everyone working in long-term care and to help small
restaurant owners survive the pandemic.
Cogeco’s employees are delivering these lunches in person while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing and wearing masks. Lunches are provided in large boxes and are exchanged outside the facilities to ensure the safety of everyone who works or lives in each location.
Thanks to Shoppers staff for their vaccine support
We would like to express our gratitude to all the staff and volunteers at our local Shoppers Drug Mart Huntsville for the great job they are doing in getting our community vaccinated! The team there was efficient, friendly, organized, welcoming, encouraging, reassuring, relaxed, compassionate, thorough, and competent! We are grateful to science and to everyone out there for bringing the science to the people in our community and to EVERY community! We went home after receiving our vaccines with clear expectations, practical advice, and reassuring words should we feel anxious in any way post-vaccination. It’s been challenging for communities all over the world throughout this pandemic and we just wanted to thank all the helpers. As Mister Rogers used to say: “Look for the Helpers”; we did, we found them, and they were wonderful!
Thank you Shoppers Drug Mart!
Brad & Lisa Mcilmoyle
Siblings sold toys to support hospital foundation as thanks for helping their mom
After watching their mom go in and out of Huntsville Hospital for medical treatments, Fleming siblings Paisley, 7, and Oliver, 4, wanted to help make a difference by selling their toys at a yard sale and giving the funds to the hospital.
“I wanted to help all the people working there,” said Oliver.
“The hospital has helped my mom so much, and that’s why we wanted to give them the money we raised to say thank you,” said Paisley. “And for taking care of her and everyone else, too.”
In May 2020 they held the yard sale at their house and sold ride-on toys, puzzles, chairs, bikes, movies, and baby items, making a total of $50 to donate.
They delivered their donation to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation last week.
Read the full story on Huntsville Doppler here.
Kudos to vaccination clinic staff and volunteers
Many thanks to all those working and volunteering at the Huntsville/Muskoka COVID Vaccination Centre. They work long hours processing clients, preparing every dose and ensuring all are accounted for, giving the vaccinations, and not to mention having to deal with some unhappy people who thought they had an appointment but did not.
A loud shout out to all of you who are working and volunteering at the clinics. Thank you for your patience, your professionalism, and your never-ending caring for the public.
Please be kind and stay safe
Walking with a positive message
Retired teacher Doug Oliver was out spreading positivity and good cheer along the streets of downtown Huntsville on March 12, 2021, holding high a sign that reads “Take Care Everyone” on one side and “Together Strong” on the other.
Doug began sharing his meaningful message in March 2020, often walking along Aspin Road. He has kept it up throughout the pandemic.
“My brother was in Sunnybrook [last March] and…I couldn’t visit him. Everyone has the same stories, they can’t see certain people and it’s torture,” he told Doppler when we caught up with him on Chaffey Street. “I’m trying to bring some positivity to people as they drive by—who knows what their story is. It also helps me in these times perk myself up when I get a response.” Drivers often honk or roll their windows down to shout messages back to him.
He and his neighbours have been lifting spirits along Caesars Lane, too. “We’re also doing chalk on the road and signs on the trees,” he notes. “It’s just anything about being positive and trying to perk things up in absolutely crummy times for people.”
If you see Doug, give him a honk and a wave!
Spreading love through art
My daughter is nearly 14 years-old, grade 8 at Pine Glen Public School. She is doing online class, she started missing her friends after she talk to her friends. She started making paintings and she want to give those paintings to her friends when she will meet them. Encourage kids to do what they love to do, it is important to keep their thoughts alive all the time. SPREAD LOVE.
“Orange is the happiest of colours”
It starts with a phone call: “Hi I am a volunteer with Muskoka Seniors and I have a little package to drop off, will you be home today?” Then the anticipation: “What will be in the package?”
Later there is a knock, a package by the door, and a masked volunteer standing back in the driveway waving and smiling. The little package is bright and contains an activity, some treats and an explanation about the wonderful colour orange. Perhaps Frank Sinatra was right when he said, “Orange is the happiest of colours”.
It is not about what is in the package, but the thought behind it. The fact that someone in the community cared enough to make a package and have it delivered simply to brighten your day.
These are some of the beautiful things going on behind the foggy window of COVID-19. The little things that show a senior who is isolated that they are important, seen and cared about.
Turning 80 during the pandemic!
My father Brian Haywood is turning 80 on March 11th!
He had a rough end to 2020—he was in the hospital from September to December, but he made it home for Christmas.
As a family we have yet to have a full get-together. His brother and sister wanted to be with him for this day, but again the pandemic struck. Us kids and grandkids also wanted to be with him on this special day.
When my parents moved here 10 years ago it was to retire. Well that didn’t work out the way they had hoped! If you know my Dad, you’ll know he can’t sit still for very long (unless he has a book in his hands). Needless to say he has been very involved in the community with the Knights of Columbus through St. Mary’s of the Assumption and often helping out with events put on by the Chamber of Commerce as well.
We are posting signs and putting balloons up in front of the house—please drive by and honk, which is what we can do to spread the Birthday Cheer!!!
“I’m Impressed!” says nonagenarian of his COVID-19 vaccine
“I happen to be one of those ’90+ year olds’ who was fortunate enough to get in on this round of COVID-19 vaccinations,” writes Russ Nicholls. “I’m proud to report on the truly professional manner with which this process was carried out.
“The nurses and administrative staff were positioned at various locations around the auditorium. I took a seat, removed my sweater, and reluctantly bared my shoulder for the needle. To my great surprise, it was over before I knew she started! I didn’t feel a thing!
“The Simcoe-Muskoka Health Unit is to be commended for carrying out such a proficient and professional operation.
“For those of you ‘fearing the needle’—don’t! Three days later and I’d never know I had a shot! These people are true professionals.”
Couple thanks Town for plowing the Lions Lookout track
Bill and Diane Charlton appreciate that the Town of Huntsville is plowing the track at Lions Lookout as a walking area. “[They] are both in their eighties and are used to going to Florida for the winter,” writes their daughter-in-law, Monique Charlton. “Due to pandemic, this year is the first year in many that they haven’t been away. They have always been very active and enjoy spending as much time as they can outside, but mobility can be an issue—particularly with ice and snow. Although they did have concerns about the cold and how they would manage, they have found that going to the track a few times a week (armed with walking poles and handwarmers and more layers than an onion) has really made a huge difference for their physical and mental health.
“So kudos to the Town of Huntsville for making this area available for walkers. Our entire family thanks you!”
‘Angels’ aren’t always in female form…
I’m a Senior living alone observing the ‘Stay at Home’ order. Today, a mystery bouquet was left at my door!! Brightened my day immensely! Found out they were left by my 2 Grandsons, Drew & Jesse & my caring Son-in-Law Alex. “Angels aren’t always in female form.”
~A blessed ‘Nana’
Ev Brown turns 90!
Local resident Ev Brown turns 90 years young on Monday, Feb. 15, 2020. Happy Birthday, Ev!