Lifetime Achievement Award and OBA Nominees

On February 25th, the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce honoured Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough (SIDAF) at their Outstanding Business Achievement (OBA) Awards Gala in several ways. SIDAF member Sandy Gray and her husband Steve (recently retired as owners of Weeks Home Hardware in Waterdown) were recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award, two other SIDAF members were nominated for OBA awards (Maria Demkowich of JDJ Trailers and Shirley Eden, President of SIDAF), and SIDAF itself was recognized with a special Community Recognition Award.

Sandy Gray and Steve, along with Sandy’s brother Dave Smith, bought Weeks Home Hardware from their parents George & June Smith in January 1987. According to Arend Kersten, Executive Director of the FCC, “Over the past 24 years, Weeks Home Hardware has helped define the very soul of our incredible ‘community of communities’ with outstanding generosity and community involvement.” When asked why she chose to become a member of Soroptimist International and SIDAF in addition to all of her other interests, Sandy credited her passionate desire to help others through both her business and personal connections, especially women facing barriers to achieving their goals.

This photo was taken at the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Awards (OBA) Gala, from left to right: SIDAF members Nancy Davidson, Shirley McCoy, Janet Barnard, Sandy Gray (winner, Lifetime Achievement Award), Pauline Hardcastle, Shirley Eden (OBA Nominee) and Maria Demkowich (OBA Nominee). Thank you also to the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce for featuring our club in the Bottom Line, March 2012.

Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough is proud of Sandy, Maria and Shirley, and grateful to the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce for their Community Recognition Award.

Ancaster Food Drive

February is a particularly hard time for the food agencies serving our community. There is a strong need in December but that need continues all year long. Over 79,000 pounds and $8,000 of food was collected last year, a record in the 19 years of running the food drive.

For the past 19 years the community has come together with many hands and have packaged over 1 Million pounds of food for those in need. The magnitude of that generosity is astounding but volunteers are needed again this year, especially to donate and collect food. On Saturday February 25th volunteers return door to door to collect donations. The collection will take about 2 – 3 hours with most “routes” producing an overflowing trunk-load of food. At St. John’s Anglican Church, Parish Hall, 37 Halson St in Ancaster there will be two shifts for sorting and packaging the donations: 9 – 12 a.m. and 12 – 3 p.m. VIEW THE MAP »

The agency urgently needs volunteers to load up the trucks on Monday Feb 27, 8 a.m. when the food goes to the local food banks. The need is great and together we can make this a successful effort. For more information, contact: Ancaster Community Services & Information 905-648-6675 or

Our Soroptimist members will be there in their blue and white T-shirts to help sort and pack the generous donations!  As in past years, we will be presenting a club donation (Ladies, please be there for a Photo-Op at 9am).

On Saturday, February 25, 2012, hundreds of volunteers canvassed door to door throughout the community collecting a record total of 80,500 lbs of food and $7000 in cash donations.  Over it’s 20-year history, the Ancaster Food Drive reached an amazing total of 1,120,500 pounds of food going to our food serving agencies. Thank you to the people of Ancaster for their big-heartedness and overwhelming support. – Organizing Committee Ancaster Community Food Drive

Crossing the Starting Line

Members of Soroptimist International of Dundas~Ancaster~Flamborough (SIDAF) participated in the annual “Walk For Memories” , a fundraiser by the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton & Halton, on Sunday January 29th. SIDAF enters a team every year, helping to raise both awareness and funds for the programs and services of the Alzheimer Society.

SIDAF, a women’s volunteer organization that raises money to support programs for women and girls in our local communities, knows that Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias cross all genders, cultures and economic groups, but that women are more often diagnosed, and most often face the challenges of caregiving. SIDAF is proud to support the Alzheimer Society and to “Walk for Memories”, and this year raised $1150 to help out this wonderful organization.

In the photo, SIDAF members Pauline Johnson, Jane Oulton, Sandy Gray, and Janet Barnard are seen crossing the starting line behind Emcee for the day, Connie Smith, youngest SIDAF volunteer Evelyn Hall (granddaughter of Sandy Gray), and Mary Burnett, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton and Halton.

2nd Annual Ruby Slipper Walk

Soroptimists and their Soroptimisters took part in the 2nd annual Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre fundraiser  at Waterdown District High School on Sunday September 25. Walking as Evelyn’s Angels, they wore red shoes, slippers and shirts to raise funds and awareness in the hope of ending violence against women.

As a program of Interval House of Hamilton, the Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre provides support services for all women in the Flamborough community. Women living in rural areas of Hamilton (Flamborough, Dundas, Ancaster, Glanbrook) have less access to immediate supports (police, transportation, shelter, etc). Their broad range of services need our support. Join us next year and let’s increase our pledges.

Photos are coming soon!

Seminar Resources

A group of our Soroptimists held a resource-based seminar on May 26. Topics covered a wide breadth, based on our personal careers and experiences. We have assembled some tips & links that you may find helpful:

Preparing a Resume

The most important things about writing a resume  and cover letter are the small details (like spelling and grammar) and aligning the information you share with the job posting requirements. The Government of Canada has a great site to explain how you can tell about your experiences, skills and interest areas on your resume, even if you don’t have a lot of work experience.

Junior Legal Assistant

There are many other schools that have either a law clerk program or legal administration program, but these are some in the local area:

Fitness and Instruction: (How to get certified in fitness at home) (How to get certified by the largest fitness training company) (How to get fitness leadership training locally)

Nutrition & Recipes

Health Field (OTA/PTA course, Mohawk) (PSW Course, Mohawk) (PSW Course, St. Charles)

Early Childhood Education (Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario

Book keeping & Admin (Canadian Book keepers Association); (Certified Management Accountant); (Certified General Accountant) (budgeting) (various Microsoft office training)

General References (Swiss Chalet, Kelsey’s, Milestone’s, Montana’s, Harvey’s) (courses at Mohawk College or apply direct to insurance companies as they will ocassionally employ new staff and pay for their training) 1047 Main St E, Hamilton (train to become a chef or cook)

FWRC Update: May 2010

Dear Sisters of Soroptimists

The following is a quick update on the Flamborough Women’s Centre activities/new programs. We want to update the Soroptimists every quarter on the success of our programs and the wonderful work done by our counsellors to support women in the Flamborough community. We very much appreciate your support and donation made as we opened our doors in Waterdown.

Highlights: New Programs
* Women’s Resource Books needed – if anyone has new, used, or gently used books to donate please call Amanda at the FWRC 289-895-8580. Any self journey, self help, new mom, inspirational, achievement type of books are appreciated.

* Since April 26th, Legal Advocacy and Duty Counsel are now available through the Waterdown FWRC in Waterdown on Friday’s. Our legal advocate provides court support by attending hearings with women, research/legal assistance with paperwork, guidance through the legal system – since April 26, three (3) Flamborough women have been assisted and accompanied to court.

* Waterdown Highschool Students Fashion Show in April raised $1,500 dollars donated to the FWRC for an Art Therapy program for domestic and sexual assault victims. We were fortunate that a trained art therapist who lives in Freelton contacted us and will donate part of her time to ensure this program can continue after the first 8 week session.

* Journey to Self weekly program, run at the Waterdown offices, is assisting 8 women as they recover from psychological abuse.

* Go Girl program for grade 8 girls is currently in it’s 3rd week. This is a pilot project run by FWRC counsellors at the Flamborough Centre School, requested by the Principal. 18 girls are registered for this in-school one hour session which will run for 8 weeks – more are expected to join. This highly successful program will be offered in 5 Waterdown schools starting in September to grade 6, 7 & 8 girls. Activities include knowing who you are, societies image of the perfect woman, negative imaging of women, who determines beauty media/movie influence – tearing down barriers to self expression. All hugely successful.

* May 12 Credit Counselling session offered free by a local Waterdown business. FWRC will offer one specific for teen girls age 14-18 in June or September.

* June 16th FWRC is holding a sexual support peer to peer training program for women of all ages including teens.

* FWRC is working closely with Waterdown police services, high & elementary schools, medical clinics and dentists. There are increasing requests for support and new programs. We are also receiving many women from north Burlington and Halton Women’s Shelter who have had to move out of Flamborough due to lack of affordable housing and local shelter.

* Private counselling sessions are held weekly on Wednesday at the FWRC. Currently assisting 20 women dealing with family crisis, stalking issues and self esteem/bullying with teens.

Yours in community, with kind regards,

Judi Partridge ~ Advisory Committee
Flamborough Women’s Resource Centre

Ancaster Food Drive

Thanks to all of the Soroptimists that participated in the Ancaster Food Drive [yesterday].  With our eye catching T-Shirts, we were the most visible group there!  I would like to extend a special thanks to Erica and Paige for getting up early this morning and volunteering with their Mom’s ( Alice & Shirley E).  It was wonderful to see so many from the community helping for this much needed service.  I have attached a few pictures of the highlights. Again, thank you for all of your help.  We are one awesome club!

Update: The spirit of generosity and sense of community was once again clearly evident for the annual Ancaster Community Food Drive.  On Saturday, February 20, 2010, hundreds of volunteers canvassed door to door throughout the community collecting a record total of 75,000 lbs of food and $7000 in cash donations.

Thank you to the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce, Bottom Line, for their article (page 9) »

February is Teen Dating Month

According to Soroptimist International, fifty-seven percent of teens know someone who has been verbally, physically, or sexually abusive in a dating relationship; females ages 16 to 24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group. Educate yourself on how you can impact the life of a teenager (male or female). Download your copy of the Soroptimist White Paper »

Soroptimist International of the Americas, working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world, examines the issue of teen dating violence. Dating and intimate relationships are a normal part of growing up for many adolescents. Yet teenagers frequently form their first romantic relationship without a clear understanding of what constitutes a healthy versus an unhealthy relationship. As a result, they are particularly vulnerable to becoming targets of dating abuse. Fifty-seven percent of teens know someone who has been verbally, physically, or sexually abusive in a dating relationship.

Although the patterns and signs of teen dating violence tend to mirror those exhibited in adult abusive relationships, there are some unique issues that teens face. This white paper examines those unique issues as they relate to the factors that influence teen dating violence, as well as the consequences thereof.  The paper also addresses the unique obstacles teens face when seeking help and/or deciding to end an abusive relationship.

If you want to get involved, there is a Model Program Kit that you can implement through your club. You can also order Soroptimist Teen Dating Violence bookmarks to distribute. The 2 x 7 inch glossy bookmarks promote healthy dating relationships among teenagers.

Christmas Store in Dundas

It was wonderful to see so many excited happy children that were able to select a special gift for their parents or caregiver from the vast assortment of items that had been donated to the Christmas Store in Dundas.  This is an outreach program of the churches of Dundas and they rely on the community for support.  Our club purchased $600 worth of gifts, each valued at approx. $25-$35, primarily for women.

For Kid Only strives to brighten the hearts of children aged 5 to 12, whose families participate in the Salvation Army Christmas hamper program.  At the Christmas store, the children exchange a nominal fee for the unique opportunity to shop for gifts for their parents and caregivers.  The joy of giving and an air of hope envelop the children, their guardians and those who volunteer at the store.  I worked in the kitchen, making tea, coffee, and punch, and restocking goodie trays for the children and their parents to feast on.  Each child had their own special elf to help them make their selections, as well as wrap them and make a card.  We had a live jazz band, and the little ones danced, made crafts, and got their faces painted, as well.  All this time, the parents enjoyed the music, the company of one another, and the wonderful assortment of sweets.  It was truly a wonderful experience and I know our funds went a long way to make a difference for women and children.
– Respectfully submitted by Nancy Davidson

Donated items give new life to women in need

Rescued and Restored, Drummond House’s new fundraising initiative, has secured 3,000 square feet of warehouse space on Hwy. 6 thanks to Soroptimist member, Maria Demkowich, owner of J.D.J. Trailer Manufacturers.

The fundraising venture is set to operate as a used furniture, clothing and accessory shop. Funds generated from the sale of items will go towards the shop’s operational costs. Additional funds will support Drummond House’s operational costs.

Organizers and project volunteers, wishing to see a good turnover, are constantly collecting new items. To donate, interested individuals can call project manager Nick Marusich to arrange a pickup: 905-876-8281

Rescued and Restored, located at 1056 Hwy. 6 in Flamborough, is open for business and the public is invited to shop every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Read full story in the Flamborough Review »