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          July 2021 

MeaningfulLife features stories of accomplishments people have achieved and the Personal Outcome Measures related to these achievements.  Personal Outcome Measures are the foundation of everything Empower Simcoe does to support people.
Welcome to Lakeshore Ridge

On June 14th, Empower Simcoe broke ground on a new state of the art supported living home located in Oro-Medonte.  The 6,000 square foot home, called Lakeshore Ridge, will provide support and services for up to six individuals who have complex needs. 
The Empower Simcoe Foundation Board of Trustees, who have contributed funds to this new home, also officially launched a capital campaign to support the construction of Lakeshore Ridge.  “It’s absolutely breathtaking and beautiful to see fundraising in action when it becomes part of our community and adds to the inclusivity of who we are and who we support,” says Empower Simcoe Foundation President Victoria Ptasiuk.
In partnership with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, and MacKenzie Health, Lakeshore Ridge will support Empower Simcoe’s mission of empowering people to lead a meaningful and inclusive life.  According to Empower Simcoe Board President Deborah Wall-Armstrong, “This is a positive step towards the future for both the community, the people we support and for Empower Simcoe itself.” 
Lakeshore Ridge is slated to open in the spring of 2022. 

Read more about Empower Simcoe's Lakeshore Ridge project here.

(pictured above l-r: Empower Simcoe Foundation President Victoria Ptasiuk, Township of Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes, Empower Simcoe Board President Deborah Wall-Armstrong, and Empower Simcoe CEO Claudine Cousins.)

25th Annual Empower Simcoe Golf Tournament
The results are in, and we're excited to announce that Empower Simcoe Foundation's 25th Annual Golf Tournament and Silent Auction on June 24th at Braestone Club raised over $35,000 for programs and services for the people and families supported at Empower Simcoe.

Thank you to all of our golfers, sponsors, silent auction bidders and donors, and our volunteers who made this event a huge success, in spite of the challenges from COVID-19.  It was a safe and fun day, exactly as intended. Congratulations to the team from Rick Speare Construction who took first place honours with a score of 8 under!  

Please join us in thanking these generous sponsors who made the event such a huge success:
Presenting sponsor - RBC Wealth Management

Gold sponsors - Murray Mechanical Systems, and Equitable Life

Silver Sponsors - Cowan Insurance, Huronia Alarm & Fire Security, J Plumbing, Just Junk, Kathy Malinowski of KM Properties (Forest Hill Real Estate), Lake Country Office Solutions, Water Depot Essa, Remax Orillia Realty, NEXIM Healthcare Consultants Inc., CL & F Consulting, and Jessica MacDonald Architect Inc. 
To everyone who contributed in any way, our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Your support continues to empower people of all abilities to live a meaningful and inclusive life. 

We look forward to seeing you next year for the 26th Annual Empower Simcoe Foundation Golf Tournament.
Helping People to Be, Belong, and Thrive

By Michael Clausen, CQL Quality Enhancement Specialist.

For Empower Simcoe, the quality of their services is measured by the effect they have on the lives of the people who receive those services. The impact is clear. There are numerous stories about how Empower Simcoe supports people to “Be, Belong, and Thrive” – three words that drive the organization’s work.  Empower Simcoe has really embedded person-centered philosophies and practices throughout their organization so that those three words can be realized for children, teens, adults, as well as their families in Barrie, Orillia, Bradford and surrounding townships around Simcoe County in Ontario, Canada.

Read more here.

Gift of the Heart Award Nominations Now Open
Do you know someone, a group, or an organization that deserves recognition for their contributions towards improving the lives of people and families supported by Empower Simcoe?  Why not recognize their efforts by nominating them for an Empower Simcoe Gift of the Heart Award!
Presented at this year’s Empower Simcoe Annual General Meeting on September 22nd, the Gift of the Heart Awards recognize individuals and organizations who give selflessly of their time and energy to improve the quality of life for people of all abilities in our community, as well as Empower Simcoe and its many varied programs of supports and services. 
Nominations are now being accepted in Employee, Volunteer, Self-Advocate, Family, and Community Partner categories. 

Find out more information and how to make your nomination here.  
2020 Gift of the Heart recipients above: Jen Paterson, Christian Puchalski from Pepsico Orillia, Barrie Police Constable Shawn Bovair, volunteer Jim McNamara, Senior Support Worker Mallory Gutterson, O’Brien House On-Site Coordinator Kerrie Christie, and Rockin’ It With Ruby and the Cordua family.
Subscribe to MeaningfulLife and stay up to date with everything that's happening at Empower Simcoe.  Inspirational stories of accomplishment, what we're working on as an agency and upcoming events are just a click away.  
All Aboard the Empower Simcoe Hippie Van 

This year's Streets Alive Orillia theme honours the 60 year legacy of the Mariposa Folk Festival.  For Empower Simcoe Community Support Worker Heather Hauck, Shawn Ladouceur and Lisa Marshall (pictured above)  and all our Community Support Services, Orillia artists, Empower Simcoe's Streets Alive Hippie Van sculpture is the grooviest yet!  Find our Empower Simcoe Hippie Van at the corner of Albert Street and Mississauga Street in downtown Orillia.  All twenty-eight Streets Alive sculptures can be viewed in downtown Orillia until Thanksgiving.  As usual, members of the public will be able to vote for their favourite pieces, however Heather, Shawn and Lisa hope you'll vote for entry #8 from Empower Simcoe!

Find out more about this year's Empower Simcoe Hippie Van from Heather and Shawn here, and thank you to all our Empower Simcoe Community Support Services artists including: Alex Snow, Jennifer Strang, Travis Readman, Caleb Ribalkin, Jamie Hoover, Josh Morris, Bonnie Slessor, and Selina Garneau.

Outcome - People participate in the life of the community; People realize personal goals
Engagement on the Disability
Inclusion Action Plan
Have your say on the federal government's consultation on the development of a new Disability Inclusion Action Plan.  Let's get engaged and help shape this with our collective input. Lets create a Canada where everyone belongs.  Please provide your feedback here.
Chris Bellchambers LEGO Memorial in the Works

A memorial wall constructed out of LEGO is in the works to honour Chris Bellchambers.  Chris, who was supported by Empower Simcoe's Supported Independent Living Program, passed away in Orillia on June 20th.  LEGO was one of Chris' favourite hobbies.  

The memorial is being planned by Orillia resident Jess Shier, who didn’t even know Bellchambers personally.

“I came up with the idea, along with Kevin Gangloff from the Orillia Youth Centre, that we could collect a bunch of LEGOs that the community had signed to make a wall or some type of memorial. That way, the community has a place to come together and grieve right now,” Shier said.

“It’s such a big loss for everybody, and nobody knows how to deal with how they are feeling. So, I thought the LEGO wall would be a nice tribute to Chris."

While Shier might have been a complete stranger to Bellchambers, he was well known to her, her friends and her family.

Read more here.  

Building Hope

Empower Simcoe Regional Housing Supervisor Kelly Erb and Housing Access Worker Lynn Duncan recently visited Lighthouse Community Services in Orillia. It won't be long until this space is open and assisting people who are experiencing homelessness in the Orillia area. Empower Simcoe is excited to have permanent offices in this space soon, and to be a part of this meaningful initiative that will help alleviate chronic homelessness, addiction and poverty in the community.

Learn more here

Outcome - People experience continuity and security
Open Again Soon

Empower Simcoe EarlyON Child and Family Center programs are excited to reopen in person programming, starting July 13th!  Programs are OUTDOOR only and you must pre-register.  Programs will be offered in Barrie, Bradford and Innisfil.  Visit our EarlyON Child and Family Centre webpage for information and registration!  Spaces are limited.

Have a comment, question or story idea? Contact: call (705) 726-9082 ext. 5280, or email
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