Rebecca Vander Vaart

The House planning reunion for members, staff from the 1970’s

 

 

By Danica Skakavac

The House has become a place of bonding and making memories over the long years it’s been around.

To celebrate, this year The House will host a reunion Sept. 23 for those who were a part of it in the 1970’s. This event will include a barbecue and picnic, as well as attractions that will remind the visitors of life back in the 70’s. These attractions consist of music that was popular during the time and old photos, which co-op students working at The House are digitizing so they can be properly displayed.

The House has been around since 1971, so the reunion is the first of many to come, even though smaller groups themselves had held their own reunions over the years. Should this very first reunion work out, more reunions will be held annually for the next five years and in 2021, it will have it’s 50th anniversary reunion. The point of it all is to focus on memories made during that time and recreating new ones.

70's Reunion

“Everyone is very excited and we have a lot of people interested and planning on attending,” said Rebecca Vandervaart, who is currently in charge of The House.

There has been a lot of involvement and positive responses since the announcement of the reunion.

“We’ve already gotten 40-50 RSVP’s,” said Vandervaart. “Lots of people who have moved far away since then are very interested.” Anyone who had any kind of involvement, such as volunteering or staff work and had connections are welcome to come.

The program itself hasn’t changed much since then, as it is still incredibly similar. Even the name, now changed to just ‘The House’, reflects its atmosphere, being a heart-warming, open place to everyone and now ready to welcome back those who first stepped through it’s doors.

The House is located at 247 Brock St. and their phone number is 519-736-6811. For more information, visit http://houseofshalom.ca/events/.

The House, Sobeys teaming up on “The Great Grocery Giveaway”

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The House is teaming with Sobeys on a fundraiser to help the local youth centre.

“The Great Grocery Giveaway” gets underway this weekend (Sept. 24-25) with customers at the Amherstburg Sobeys location eligible to purchase tickets for the draw, which sees the winner receive free groceries for an entire year.

The value of the prize is $5,200 worth of groceries.

Wes Thrasher, a board member at the House, said they approached franchise owner Rennie Rota and assistant store manager Chris Boufford about doing a shopping spree.

“Rennie brought forth the idea he used with the Miracle League where they raffled off a year’s worth of groceries,” said Thrasher.

The House youth centre and Sobeys are presenting "The Great Grocery Giveaway." The winner will be announced Nov. 19 at the municipal tree lighting ceremony. From left: House board member Wes Thrasher, Sobeys assistant store manager Chris Boufford, House activities co-ordinator Rebecca Vander Vaart.

The House youth centre and Sobeys are presenting “The Great Grocery Giveaway.” From left: House board member Wes Thrasher, Sobeys assistant store manager Chris Boufford, House activities co-ordinator Rebecca Vander Vaart.

People can purchase one ticket for $5 or three tickets for $10. A portion of the proceeds will help offset costs of running and maintaining the historic building the youth centre operates out of.

“We operate on a very thin budget,” said Thrasher. “It’s a very historic building.”

“We’re looking at expanding our programming,” added activities co-ordinator Rebecca Vander Vaart.

Vander Vaart said The House is looking at doing more programs where parents and teens are involved.

“All of those have costs associated with them as well,” said Vander Vaart.

The fundraising target is $15,000.

“We have 4,000 tickets and we want to sell all 4,000,” said Vander Vaart.

Ticket sales opened last weekend and will continue through Nov. 11.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to give back to the community. It goes along with what Sobeys stands for,” said Boufford. “We want to be involved with community projects as much as possible.”

Tickets will be sold Saturdays and Sundays at Sobeys from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The House becomes official community partner of Canadian Tire Jumpstart

 

 

The House Youth Centre is excited and grateful to announce that we have recently becoming an official community partner of Canadian Tire Jumpstart!

Last month, Jumpstart was able to help The House by donating over $1,500 of sports and recreational equipment to the centre. As a non-profit organization, The House focuses the majority of our funding into our peer-support programs, or the beautiful, but very old building they’re housed in, leaving little money left for new things, such as sports equipment.

For the past few years, I can tell you that most of our “Sports and Rec” supplies have are either 20 years old and in rough shape, or purchased at the dollar store. However, as the activities co-ordinator at The House, I could see that we needed more. At The House, our program for the past 40+ years exists to focus on the mental and emotional development of our youth; so doesn’t it make sense that we also focus on their physical development? Jumpstart is a perfect fit for us. Jumpstart exists to make sports and physically  active recreation accessible to families in local communities, often to children and youth that would not otherwise be able to participate in such programs.

The House Youth Centre, formerly known as the House of Shalom Youth Centre, is celebrating becoming an official community partner of Canadian Tire Jumpstart. Jumpstart donated over $1,500 of sports and recreational equipment to the youth centre last month. (Submitted photo)

The House Youth Centre, formerly known as the House of Shalom Youth Centre, is celebrating becoming an official community partner of Canadian Tire Jumpstart. Jumpstart donated over $1,500 of sports and recreational equipment to the youth centre last month.
(Submitted photo)

I can remember reading some old newspaper articles about Father John Ware when he founded The House in 1971; he said that he started The House because he saw that our teenagers were falling into a gap; a gap between the childish activities offered for little ones, and the responsibilities and opportunities of adults. Forty-five years later, that gap still exists, along with another one – youth that are not involved in competitive sports are suddenly not involved in any physical activity.

The House, together with Canadian Tire Jumpstart, are looking to change that in our community. Our youth are our future, and we need to invest in their lives in any way we can to help them become healthy (mentally and physically)  leaders in their community.

Thank you so much to Jumpstart for this amazing opportunity, and stay tuned to find out about new funded programs rolling out later in the year.

 

—Submitted by Rebecca Vander Vaart, Activities co-ordinator

The House Youth Centre

House of Shalom gets $10,000 from Libro’s “Prosperity Fund” for window replacement

 

By Ron Giofu and Aaron Wharram

 

Libro Credit Union donated over $500,000 through its “Prosperity Fund” last Wednesday with the House of Shalom Youth Centre getting $10,000 of it.

The fund is shared through 31 organizations in all of the communities that Libro operates in with the House using its $10,000 for upgrades to the building.

Program director Holly Kirk McLean said the House is looking to expand its programming and the age of the building is preventing them from doing that. Old windows on the second floor means that level either experiences temperature extremes depending on season.

“The heat can be too hot on the second floor during the summer, and too frigid during the winter,” said McLean.

Libro Credit Union gave a $10,000 to the House youth centre Oct. 21 as part of its "Prosperity Fund" donations. From left: Libro committee chair Kelly Mayzik, House activities director Rebecca Vander Vaart, Libro branch manager Cathy Thomas, House program director Holly Kirk McLean, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Libro's Cathy Menard and Wassim Sarweh.

Libro Credit Union gave a $10,000 to the House youth centre Oct. 21 as part of its “Prosperity Fund” donations. From left: Libro committee chair Kelly Mayzik, House activities director Rebecca Vander Vaart, Libro branch manager Cathy Thomas, House program director Holly Kirk McLean, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Libro’s Cathy Menard and Wassim Sarweh.

Replacement of the windows won’t take place likely until April or May next year but once it is completed, McLean stressed that it will allow them to be able to use the building fully.

Activities director Rebecca Vander Vaart said the condition of the second floor windows also prevents the House from working with outside agencies to the capacity they can.

“The upstairs features our game room and computer lab,” said Vander Vaart. “Those are pretty big assets we can’t use in our winter months.”

Both McLean and Vander Vaart were thankful that Libro for the grant and for the fact there was another outlet for funding.

“We are very grateful to Libro for doing this,” said McLean.

Libro Credit Union president and CEO Steve Bolton said they are aiming to increase prosperity in the area.

“Libro exists to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by transforming banking, and the Prosperity Fund is just one of the ways we support that,” Bolton said in a press release. “We are very excited by the diverse number of projects who received grants this year. Growing prosperity is a collective effort, and we can accomplish so much more through collaboration and partnership.”

The Prosperity Fund invested in community groups and organziatons whose initiatives support entrepreneurship, financial knowledge and career skill development for young people.

“Local decision making is very important to Libro and our unique governance structure allows for that, reflecting the priorities of each community we passionately serve,” Bolton said. “Each branch has a council made up of owner representatives who are closely involved in the grant evaluation process and have a voice in the award selection.”