A busy June; local volunteers and our caring community making a difference

There are a lot of great things happening in our community and I want to recognize the efforts of the people behind the scenes working hard to make these things happen.

In the past few days alone events taking place locally have included: the Queen Street Cruise, Relay for Life, a World Refugee Day celebration, National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Anishinaabe Day celebrations, the ARCH Summer Solstice Garden Party and the Bellevue Park Splash Pad groundbreaking. It takes a lot of hard work from dedicated volunteers to put on these events, events that offer fun activities and raise support for important local causes.

Hard working volunteers have quickly turned the Queen Street Cruise into a popular event. The two-day celebration drew hundreds of people to the downtown area once again for live music, classic cars and food; and the event raised funds for ARCH.

Every year Relay for Life brings in thousands of dollars from our community for the Canadian Cancer Society. It would not be possible if it were not for volunteers who organize the event and participants who raise money for research and support services.

The World Refugee Day celebration brought together members of our community to share culture and celebrate diversity, thanks to the efforts of Refugee 705, Global Friends, the Sault Community Career Centre and the Downtown Association.

National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations took place throughout our community, including at Sault College, and National Anishinaabe Day celebrations were held Whitefish Island. Thanks to Sault College and Batchewana First Nation, people across our community had the chance to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and achievements of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

The team at ARCH Hospice hosted a Summer Solstice Garden Party in celebration of a recent expansion. Thanks to fantastic support from our community, ARCH has expanded to include a Paediatric Room, Children’s Playroom, Garden Room and Family Vigil Space. I understand that ARCH raised just over $3 million to support the expansion, including an incredible $2 million from community donations, fundraisers, and the Why it Matters campaign.

The groundbreaking for the Bellevue Park Splash Pad would not have happened if it were not for the support of our dedicated committee members, and contributions from sponsors who supported the project: the Kiwanis Club of Lakeshore and Kiwanis Club of Lakeshore Foundation, the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, local citizen’s Albert Williams annual charity hockey tournament and the Jones Family. Thanks to their civic-minded generosity, people of all ages will get to enjoy a fun, summer experience at no cost to the users.

A common theme throughout all of these events is our caring community. It takes a caring community to organize these events, and it takes a caring community to support them.

As Mayor, I see this first-hand, and I am in the position to offer recognition. To all of our local volunteers: your actions speak to our best qualities and you are having a positive impact on your community. Thank you for all that you do for Sault Ste. Marie.