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BEECHEY: Thank you local heroes

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Thank you to all my Tillsonburg heroes!

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During the Monarch Ultra Butterfly run, Joan Gamey-Langrell came to meet the runners and offered to sell her book, For The Love Of The Monarch Butterfly, giving a portion to the group. Alas, due to unforeseen circumstance, she was unable to do so.

Joan, who was a teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School in Tillsonburg, authored an interactive book to teach children about butterflies and how to help them. Your family, clubs or schools could all use this book! Winter is a great time to plan projects for the spring. Please check the price ($12.50) and direct questions to Joan at 519-688-3756. Thank you Joan.

Tillsonburg’s Trash Angels, who have been keeping our town very clean, are slowly finding each other, sharing information and helping each other with larger clean-ups. But they can’t get the grocery carts and tires out of the creeks. Town staff are super, but I don’t think they have the boat to pull all the garbage out! Worse, even if garbage cans are available some trashy people can’t be bothered walking over to it. Parks and parking lots are the worst. Are we going to have to pay through our taxes to put up no littering signs? Really?

One of the hardest things for the Angels to pick up are your toxic cigarette butts. If you smoke, carry a container that you can put your butts in, take them home and dispose of them properly. Don’t ask me where, it is your responsibility to learn.

Gum chewers please do the same thing! Better still, start chewing natural, biodegradable gum! What you leave on sidewalks smells good but is toxic to all animals; you’re chewing synthetic plastics! Read about it.

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The Trash Angels would like to make Tillsonburg ‘The Cleanest Town in Canada.’ Let’s help these heroes by doing what is right.

Norfolk County recently celebrated their newest community forest with speeches and a hike through the trails. Paul DeCloet donated a 121-acre forest through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s ecological gift program. It is open to the public to enjoy while the plants, trees and animals can remain safe in this environmentally sensitive property. Thank you Paul for your extremely generous gift to all of us. You are my hero! The DeCloet Forest is located at 340 6th Conc. ENR, Clear Creek.

Why have a Citizen of the Year? These are usually people who spend years of their lives volunteering to make their community a better place. They are caring people who help others any way needed. They are passionate about how they help, reliable, generous in time. They give whatever they can to make sure the project, group or person gets what they need to succeed and usually receive nothing in return but the joy of giving.

It’s humbling to receive an award, but people need to realize a super community is due to volunteers and they should be emulated. Occasionally, those glued to electronic devices need to recognize that others are making their family’s lives better by giving back. Being a movie star or sports person making millions is not as important as the local volunteer hockey coach, hospital porter, Big Brother/Sister, church volunteers, food bank or even one person helping a neighbour. They are the heroes.

Why do so many people move to Tillsonburg? It’s citizens giving back, helping humans or animals or plants and trees, in any way imaginable.

I thank Joan Weston, this year’s Citizen of the Year, for all she has given, but especially the Lake Lisgar Revitalization team. Our beautiful lake gives so many of us calming beauty and wildlife during COVID.

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