On September 30, National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the winning ticket was drawn by Clifford Mavis for the “Healing Garden Shed”. Attending the draw was the Kemptville District Hospital Foundation’s Executive Director, Joanne Mavis and Craig McCormick, Project Organizer. Congratulations to the winner, Kelly Johnson, a resident of Manotick, who said she was “surprised and extremely happy to have won the shed”. She intends to donate the shed to Saunders Country Critter Zoo and Sanctuary in Oxford Station where she volunteers her time to care for the animals, a place, she said, “that brings her much happiness”.
McCormick thanked everyone who purchased tickets for this fundraising project. Ticket sales realized $4,400 which will be split to support the Wellness Access for Youth program (WAY) at Kemptville District Hospital and Minwaashin Lodge, an Indigenous Women’s Support Centre in Ottawa.
The Healing Garden Shed was constructed and generously donated by community-minded Brian and Christine Dillon, owners of Timely Touchups, “More Than Just Sheds”, located in Oxford Station. Christine said, “Brian and I like to help the community any way we can, and when we can. It makes us happy. We are a small town and the Kemptville community helps each other. Every bit helps.”
The colourful, striking murals inside the Healing Garden Shed were painted by Aurora Jade, a Plains Cree visual artist and musician who lives in Ottawa.
In a heartwarming conversation with the winner, Johnson said she “just loves Saunders Country Critter Zoo and Sanctuary! It means an enormous amount to me. Lots of people don’t know about it. It is a place where animals find a safe place to live out their lives after they have had an accident, such as being hit by a car and they are deemed unable to be released again to the wild. At the Sanctuary, they receive nutritional and medical care. I couldn’t be happier to help out by giving them the Shed! I know they will make good use of it.”
McCormick, a retired OPP Officer, has been involved with many community projects in the past which support youth mental health, including WAY. WAY is supported by the Kemptville District Hospital Foundation. It offers one easy phone number for youth in North Grenville to call for help with their mental health: 1-866-741-1929.