Kristen Saunders

Local woman captures “Community Champion” award



By Ron Giofu


A local woman has been recognized for her efforts in trying to keep the town healthy and active.

Kristen Saunders, recreation planning co-ordinator at the Libro Centre, was honoured recently as a Southwestern Ontario Communities in Motion “Community Champion” at a reception at the Libro Centre. Cristy McNorton, another recreation staff member, was honoured as an “All-Star” from the organization.

“Actually, I was kind of shocked,” said Saunders. “I didn’t have any idea I was getting the award.”

The “Community Champion” award goes to members of the community that promote and educate people on healthy eating and staying active.

“My position with the town allows me to do that,” she explained.

Kristen Saunders, the recreation planning co-ordinator at the Libro Centre, was honoured recently as a Southwestern Ontario Communities in Motion “Community Champion.”

Among the programs Saunders has brought in include “Turf Tots,” a program where toddlers and infants and enjoy sport balls, tunnels and more inside the Libro Centre’s turf field. Other things Saunders was recognized for were art classes, mentoring psychology and social work students, tai chi programs, and enhancing other programs such as the Healthy Kids Community Challenge.

“Some of the programs we’re already offering and we’re trying to boost them or change them around,” she said.

There are also walking challenges and summer camps among the list of programs Saunders is involved with. The latter is open to other municipalities as well.

It was “Communities in Motion” Week recently12 and that also included the 12 O’Clock Walk where people could take the “Couch Potato Pledge” to try and stay active.

McNorton was also credited for her efforts in trying to get people to stay active and for her efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. Saunders said McNorton is “a go-getter” who is always active and upbeat.


Draw winners announced for “Walk Across Essex County” Community Challenge

The first draw winners from the town recreation department’s “Walk Across Essex County” Community Challenge have been announced

The March 13 Prize Draw winner was Aimee Bellefleur (no photo). Aimee won a PowerockRed Portable Charge Pack.
The April 3 Prize Draw Winner was Grace Ruhland (pictured). Grace won a $50 Canadian Tire Gift Card.

Grace Ruhland

Grace Ruhland

The “Walk Across Essex County” challenge is now open to residents and non-residents alike with draws running through July 4 if certain targets are hit by walkers. Kristen Saunders, recreation program co-ordinator, said it is a “virtual walk” where people are invited to keep track of their daily steps, record them, and if they walk enough steps they can be eligible for prizes.

People can register for free at the Libro Centre or do so online at People can e-mail their progress from their fitness tracker (i.e. a “Fit Bit” or app on their smart phone) or they can sign out a pedometer for use at the Libro Centre.