These ‘extraordinary’ people are worthy of an encore



We are truly blessed to have so many extraordinary people living in our community. Introducing these people to our readers is one of our favourite things to do. It is really hard to reduce the many extraordinary profiles we have brought you to a ‘top story list’. Instead, we asked the authors of the stories to choose their favourites. It is a pleasure to share these stories again.

Meet (Madame) Lisa McIlmoyle

“Madame Lisa McIlmoyle, a teacher at  Riverside Public School, has all the right heart to make sure students feel safe and loved. She can make her mark on any student with her positive approach to learning and, of course, her big, beautiful smile and vibrant energy.” ~ Doppler writer Laura MacLean

She has inspired, mentored, and ignited a passion for learning in the hearts and minds of many children over the last 31 years. This year will be her last — Riverside teacher Lisa McIlmoyle is retiring at the end of this school year.

Being a surrogate is the ‘ultimate gift’

When we learned on Instagram of a Huntsville couple who were expecting a child using a surrogate we asked Doppler writer Sydney Allen to cover the story. It is one of her favourites from the past year.

Matthew Phillips and Tammy Mercer turned to Facebook for their search for a surrogate. They never imagined that Stacey Thornton would come into their lives. Although Thornton did not know the couple personally, when she saw their Facebook status searching for a surrogate, she immediately knew she had to contact them.

“I’ve always said I would be a surrogate because of how much I loved being pregnant with my daughter. She was so supportive of my decision and was excited. I always joke and tell people ‘well my uterus was empty so someone may as well use it,’” said Thornton.

(From left) Matthew Phillips, surrogate Stacey Thornton, and Tammy Mercer

(From left) Matthew Phillips, surrogate Stacey Thornton, and Tammy Mercer

Honouring Winston Watson

Dedicated. Encouraging. Inspirational. Enthusiastic. A fine gentleman. These are words often used to describe Winston Watson who died suddenly in 2015. In November of this year Winston was honoured posthumously at an unveiling of the Winston Watson sports memorabilia display at the Canada Summit Centre.

Winston’s wife, Martha, said she was overwhelmed by the love displayed for Winston. “This is overwhelming, look at all the love here.”

Members of the Watson family with councillors at Winston Watson sports memorabilia display

Main photo (from left) Councillor Jonathan Wiebe, Mayor Scott Aitchison, Dan Watson holding Simone Serra, Martha Watson, Rixon Watson, Kaitlyn Watson, Kelly Markle, Chris Watson, Councillor Jason Fitzgerald and Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano at the unveiling of the Winston Watson sports memorabilia display at the Canada Summit Centre. Winston and Martha’s third son, Geoff, a teacher in Toronto, wasn’t able to attend the ceremony.

Meet Dave Coulson

Doppler writer Laura MacLean chose Dave Coulson, the dog whisperer, as another of her favourite stories in 2018. Dave’s unconditional love and kindness toward our four-legged friends (even old, grumpy ones!) has helped hundreds of dogs find forever homes. His remarkable ability to make a bad dog good again is indeed a rare gift and it’s one that comes from within.

Dave Coulson has a big heart for dogs and he’s been saving them for over 20 years.

You’ll find even more extraordinary people here.

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