Lake Simcoe Repeater Association










MEDIA RELEASE November 29, 2013

For Immediate Release


$66,800 in OTF Grants in Orillia

Orillia – On Friday, Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop met with representatives from three area groups who recently learned that they’re Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant recipients. The combined total for the three organizations that have received funds is $66,800. John Pugsley, one of OTF’s local Program Managers, joined MPP Dunlop at the Orillia Public Library to offer congratulations on behalf of the Foundation and to present each with a plaque to mark their upcoming initiatives.

The recipients are: Lake Simcoe Repeater Association ($31,800); Orillia Wind Ensemble ($30,000); and the Sharing Place Orillia (collaborative initiative along with Orillia Youth Centre, Camp Couchiching: the Couchiching Community Initiative; and Information Orillia) ($5,000). A leading grant-maker in Canada, the OTF strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. For more information – www.otf.ca

“I’m pleased to see that these organizations have received grants that will help make their projects and programs possible,” said Dunlop. “Ontario Trillium Foundation funding is very important in helping these groups reach their goals to enhance the communities they serve.”

The Lake Simcoe Repeater Association is using its one-year, $31,800 grant to upgrade aging communications equipment and expand its emergency support services across Simcoe and Muskoka. Since 1978, the group has provided support for a variety of local events ranging from marathons, to fundraising walks and boating events. Its members play a key role in providing emergency response support in Simcoe County and weather spotting for CANWARN, a volunteer organization of ham radio operators reporting severe weather occurrences to Environment Canada.

“Our communications technology has aged over the years and is no longer reliable to meet the varied demands that we may be asked to provide,” said Bob Simpson, Lake Simcoe Repeater Association. “These OTF funds will be used to modernize our core components and provide integration with Voice over IP technology, permitting provincial, national and global-wide communications.  Funds will also be used to dynamically reconfigure our technologies as needed and to offer mobile Internet access.” Simpson added.

When the Orillia Wind Ensemble learned it was receiving $30,000 from OTF to buy new percussion instruments, it was music to their ears. Funds will be used to buy new equipment like timpani, drums, chimes, a xylophone, cymbals, bongos, bells, a vibraphone and accompanying equipment.

“The Orillia Wind Ensemble, formally known as the Orillia Concert Band, has for 30 years been the recipient of the generous support of Park Street Secondary School music department,” said Roy Menagh, Musical Director.  “With the closure of Park Street, we no longer had access to percussion instruments. This OTF grant is a ‘Dream Come True’ for us and along with the generous donation of storage from Orillia Storage, we will be able to have new instruments that will benefit the ensemble and that will be available to other groups in the Orillia Performing Arts sector.  It’s a win-win for all of us and we couldn’t be happier!”

The $5,000 grant the Sharing Place Orillia and its collaborative partners received is being used to help pilot the Gardens2Groceries initiative by installing six tower gardens in the community. The groups involved expect that up to 1,000 pounds of food will be grown and it offers people of all ages some great volunteer opportunities.

“Food security and nutrition are important issues at The Sharing Place food bank,” said Christine Hager, Executive Director of the Sharing Place. “Thinking outside the box of traditional emergency food assistance creates opportunities to ease hunger and poor nutrition.  We are grateful to OTF for the financial support and belief in our collaborative: Gardens2Groceries. Thank you to our supporting partners.  In addition to fresh produce year round, there will be unique tasks for all ages of volunteers.”

To learn more about these groups, please visit their websites at: www.orilliawindensemble.com / www.sharingplaceorillia.org / www.ve3lsr.ca


• For more information, please contact the office of: Garfield Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North










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