Community Living celebrates support with open house barbecue

MINDEMOYA—May was Community Living Month and Community Living Manitoulin celebrated by holding an open house barbecue on Thursday, May 26 at their Mindemoya residential centre, inviting family, friends and the community to drop by for some great food and mingling.

“This was our second annual community barbecue for family, friends, staff, board members and the community,” said Tammie Molenaar during a break in the festivities. “Isn’t this wonderful,” she said of the turnout. “This is kind of an appreciation, so it’s for everybody.”

“It was awesome, this is a great community turnout,” agreed Warren Hutchings, community program manager with the North Bay office of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, who along with Karen Derochie, program supervisor with the ministry’s Sault Ste. Marie office. “It’s a great opportunity to bring people together.”

“It is a wonderful opportunity to come here and see the different stuff going on and the amazing support of the Manitoulin community,” said Ms. Derochie.

“Thank you Karen Derochie and Warren Hutchings from MCSS for believing CLM deserved to celebrate and joining us,” said CLM board chair Melissa Peters in her Facebook acknowledgement. “They were thrilled with our t-shirts, envying us and were glad to each receive one for themselves.”

Ms. Peters recognized the contribution of Karlene Scott “for investigating the t-shirt concept and eventually getting them, they turned out beautifully. Thanks to our board members for sharing this vision.”

Ms. Peters went on to note that “the vision came from the QAM (Quality Assurance Measures) committee, always keep planning and dreaming because we will accomplish amazing things,” she said. “Thank you to Wendy Friesen and Myles Clayton for coming forth with this idea.”

Ms. Peters thanked Leanne Hayward for running the barbecue (where Ms. Peters spent the afternoon, tongs in hand, dishing out salad) “and all of the staff at the residence who pitched in!”

Ms. Peters noted that “everyone was laughing and smiling throughout the evening; it was contagious, thanks Tammie Molenaar, Bonnie Closs, and Megan Wickett for the mingling and the tidying up. Creating memories for a fantastic future together.”

CLM member Keith Noble was certainly all smiles during the day’s events. Mr. Noble’s mother, Renee Noble, was instrumental in the formation of the Hope Farm as Community Living Manitoulin’s residential program is generally known locally.

“It is wonderful how the Mindemoya community has embraced Community Living Manitoulin over the years,” said Ms. Derochie. “It is a beautiful thing to experience.”

There are 60 people served by CLM, with 24 residents at the Hope Farm residential facility, with the rest living in apartments in the community.

The food served at the barbecue proved delightful and the company, as always, was cheerful and engaging.