Groovy Retro Fun: Look At These 1970s Pictures From The Peterborough Zoo

The Seventies were groovy in so many ways—and that included all the fun times at the Riverview Park & Zoo in Peterborough where their playground and exhibits—from monkey bars to monkeys—have been a hit for decades. Thanks to the zoo for digging into their archives to provide us with these...

The original totem pole was erected in 1973 (its replacement went up in 2016)...

Love these wheels in the parking lot...

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14-Year-Old Lakefield Girl Has Made Over 2,500 Cuddle Blankets For People In Need Around World

When she was only 9 years old, Faith Dickinson created Cuddles for Cancer, which makes signature fleece tie blankets for cancer patients going through treatments— hoping they provide some comfort, warmth and love.

Faith had the idea to make the blankets after she made one for her Aunt Lyndi in Alberta who had breast cancer, and now also makes them for soldiers and veterans to provide them comfort.

Over the past four and a half years, the 14-year-old Grade 9 student at TASSS in Peterborough has made over 2,500 Cuddle blankets for adults and children around the world.

Those blankets have been sent all across Canada, the United States, England, France, Australia, Africa, Germany, Poland, the Ukraine, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and Brazil.

This year, her 4th Annual Kids at Christmas Campaign has started where you can sponsor a Child for $50 and they receive a Cuddle blanket. Faith asks families, schools, churches, businesses and other organizations to sponsor a child for $50.

This ensures that every child admitted to the PRHC (Peterborough Regional Health Centre) over Christmas receives a Cuddle blanket. The name of the sponsor is included on the letter that accompanies the Cuddle blanket. Blankets are delivered on December 23rd every year.

Faith delivering cuddle blanket to patient

Faith delivering cuddle blanket to patient

Following the delivery at PRHC, Faith visits Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto each year and delivers Cuddle blankets to children on the Oncology Unit there. Last year, enough donations were raised to also donate Cuddle blankets to children on the Bone Marrow Unit at Sick Kids.

Since starting Cuddle for Cancer, Faith has emerged as a youth leader in Canada. She won the Me to We Youth in Action award in 2015 and more recently was chosen as one of 100 visionary leaders by a publication.

"Faith is a very compassionate soul," her mom Cassie tells PTBOCanada. "She's very thoughtful and empathetic to what others are going through. She very much wants to make a difference in the world and encourage other youth to get involved locally and globally."

Faith pictured with her proud parents Cassie & Mike

Faith pictured with her proud parents Cassie & Mike

Faith's goal this year is to make 300 Cuddle blankets for the Kids at Christmas Campaign. Help her reach her goal:

Donations can be made three ways:

-> email transfer to cuddlesforcancer@hotmail.com (please include the password)

-> donations can be made at Peterborough FabricLand on Chemong Street

-> send a donation to Cuddles for Cancer, PO Box 1317, Lakefield, ON. K0L 2H0 (cheques can be made out to "Cuddles for Cancer")

Please give what you can and spread the word on your social media channels.

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A 69 Year Old Auditions For His First Play Ever & Lands Role In Arbor Theatre's The Three Muskrateers

A 69 Year Old Auditions For His First Play Ever & Lands Role In Arbor Theatre's The Three Muskrateers

Bob Forsey to play hilarious villain in the play

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New Canadians Centre Youth Group To Judge Holiday Window Contest In Downtown Peterborough

Downtown is getting decorated for the holidays with the annual Holiday Window Contest. Judging will take place on Saturday, December 3rd, from noon to 2 pm.
 
This year, the Downtown Business Improvement Area is hosting the New Canadians Centre Youth Group to judge the Holiday Window Contest. The New Canadians Centre Youth Group is one of the many outreach opportunities designed to support newcomer youth for not only academic success, but to encourage social connections at school and within our community. The NCC Youth Group has grown this year from a small handful to almost 50 students!

From left: Natalie U, Alison Yu, Carol Lawless, Jess Devlin, Terry Guiel, Malaka Asfari, Aisha Mohamad, Riem Al Mohammad

From left: Natalie U, Alison Yu, Carol Lawless, Jess Devlin, Terry Guiel, Malaka Asfari, Aisha Mohamad, Riem Al Mohammad

“The Holiday Window Contest is always a lot of fun,” says DBIA Executive Director Terry Guiel. “Our businesses do an excellent job with some really creative displays and the kids enjoy being a part of it and getting a few treats from some downtown shops.”
 
The New Canadians Centre strives to empower immigrants and refugees to become full and equal members of Canadian society and to provide community leadership to ensure cultural integration in a welcoming community.
 
“We have a very diverse group of kids from all of the local high schools who are very interested in trying new things and experiencing as much as they can," says Jess Devlin, Settlement Workers in School Coordinator with the NCC. "The high school experience is not just about succeeding academically. It's about connecting with others, being involved and becoming engaged in what's happening in the community."

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104 Rabbits Were Saved By Peterborough Humane Society & Animal Welfare Partners

More than 100 rabbits have a new lease on life thanks to the Peterborough Humane Society and various Animal Welfare partners who came together to rescue and rehome the rabbits, which were found living in deplorable conditions earlier this summer.

On July 11th, Ontario SPCA investigators and a veterinarian visited a Peterborough residence to assess the care being provided to rabbits on the property. They found 104 rabbits—ranging from newborns to adults—living in a shed in conditions that were both unsafe and unhealthy. The rabbits were examined and transported to the Peterborough Humane Society for further veterinary care and evaluation.

Some of the rescued rabbits

Some of the rescued rabbits

Once in the care of the Peterborough Humane Society, preparations began to secure suitable foster homes and, ultimately, forever homes for this big bundle of bunnies. A team of dedicated partners stepped up to assist the Peterborough Humane Society with the care of these rabbits, including Rabbit Rescue Inc., PetSmart Charities of CanadaTM, the Renfrew SPCA, the Oakville & Milton Humane Society, the Upper Credit Humane Society, the Orangeville SPCA, the Kawartha Lakes Humane Society and PetSmart Peterborough.

“It was truly an inspiration to see so many organizations coming together to give these animals a chance at a new life and the Peterborough Humane Society could not have done it without their support,” says Andrew Fraser, Executive Director, Peterborough Humane Society. “There were quite a few heroes in this animal welfare story, as so often is the case.”

These are the last two rabbits still available for adoption...

In addition to the challenge of trying to find homes for this many rabbits—there are only two left for adoption now—the Peterborough Humane Society was also faced with the cost of spaying and neutering the rabbits.

They applied for an emergency relief grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada and were provided over $13,000 in funding—enough to cover the cost of spaying and neutering the entire group of rabbits. Locally, the PetSmart store in Peterborough has been instrumental in changing the lives of animals in need. For many years, the Peterborough Humane Society has featured adoptable pets in-store through dedicated space within PetSmart Charities of Canada’s Adoption Centre.

This is an awesome Hollywood ending with these organizations working together and collaborating to save these rabbits who are now finding forever homes.

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Awesome Photo Of Grey Cup Champion Brad Sinopoli To Appear In Peterborough Sports Hall Of Fame

Ellen Bond

Ellen Bond

Peterborough-bred Brad Sinopoli was chosen Most Valuable Canadian after the Ottawa Redblacks dramatic 39-33 overtime victory in the Grey Cup game against the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday (November 27th).

An awesome photo (see below) of the Crestwood grad taken by Ottawa-based editorial and portrait photographer Ellen Bond—who hails from Peterborough—during the 2015 season will soon be housed at the Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame for the next four months.

Photo of Brad Sinopoli to be displayed at Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame (photo by Ellen Bond)

Photo of Brad Sinopoli to be displayed at Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame (photo by Ellen Bond)

Bond got the chance to shoot for the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) during the past couple seasons, and was on the field for every Ottawa Redblack game.

"Being from Peterborough, playing so many sports there—my dad Ernie and brother Eric also being deeply involved in athletics in Peterborough—and knowing all the photos out there of Brad Sinopoli....for them to want to display my photo is an honour," Bond tells PTBOCanada. "Maybe they did their research and knew Brad's dad, Sam, was one of my high school (Crestwood) hockey coaches....LOL. I am proud of that photo and happy more people in Peterborough will get to see it."

She also took this great photo below of Brad Sinopoli with his Dad Sam during the 2015 season...

Photo by Ellen Bond

Photo by Ellen Bond

You can check out Ellen's website here and her portfolio here.

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Peterborough's Luke Heard Is 27 Years Old, He Was Just Diagnosed With Lung Cancer

Luke Heard

Luke Heard

UPDATE (November 30th):

A benefit has been planned for Luke Heard at Trentwinds International Centre on Friday, January 6th, starting at 8 pm. Details on this Facebook event page.

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ORIGINAL POST

Luke Heard is well known in Peterborough for constantly giving back to community—from raising money for special needs hockey to helping families in need with his Halloween Haunted Houses. In October 2013, he was a hero, pulling a woman from a burning van in Peterborough.

Luke has a tremendous spirit for community and helping others. And now, the Peterborough community is rallying behind him as he deals with the heartbreaking news that at age 27, he has lung cancer.

He wrote the following in a heartfelt Facebook post on Monday (November 28th)...

Luke Heard skating with Electric City Maroon & White special needs team

Luke Heard skating with Electric City Maroon & White special needs team

"My friends are the people who hold me up when I can't go any further and my family is the key to helping me stay positive," Heard tells PTBOCanada. "If I didn't have any of them, I would be alone and left to fight this struggle by myself."

Heard tells PTBOCanada he smoked for eight years, but quit two weeks ago, and the doctors aren't sure if it's smoke related. "I go for surgery this week to determine everything and see how bad it is," he tells PTBOCanada.

Luke has lost a dramatic amount of weight in the past month and a half (picture via his Facebook page)

Luke has lost a dramatic amount of weight in the past month and a half (picture via his Facebook page)

Luke wrote this in an earlier Facebook post about his health, accompanying the above "before and after" photos:

Luke tells PTBOCanada his favourite quote of all time:

"Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back."

Luke Heard embodies that quote. Our prayers are with him through this battle.

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Syrian Refugee Family To Open New Restaurant In Downtown Peterborough

Syrian Refugee Family To Open New Restaurant In Downtown Peterborough

Oasis Mediterranean Grill opening December 5th

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Help Safe Haven For Refugees Reunite 13 New Syrian Refugees With Family Living In Peterborough

Safe Haven for Refugees Peterborough has announced plans to sponsor 13 new Syrian refugees in order to reunite them with family members already living in Peterborough.
 
This year has been an even more dangerous time in Syria and the Middle East than ever. Described by the United Nations as a “refugee crisis like we have never seen before,” hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed and millions of families have fled into adjoining countries, waiting in limbo and fear until they are welcomed into a new homeland.

“On December 24, 2015, the Safe Haven for Refugees Peterborough was honoured to learn we would have that opportunity to welcome one of these families, the Alftihs, to our community,” says Chantilly McKinnon, committee member.

“The Alftih family—Mohamed, Randa, Karim, Omar, Ghaith, and Sham—have experienced much love and kindness since arriving in Peterborough. We are also thrilled to see Casa Maria welcome Mohamed’s sister, her son and grandchildren to our community. Yet, Randa’s family—including her mother, sisters and their children, whose home in Aleppo was completely destroyed by bombing this year—had to separate and flee to Lebanon.”


Safe Haven for Refugees Peterborough has partnered with Grace United Church in raising funds for this additional sponsorship to put the safety of these families as a collective goal.

“We cannot think of a better way to truly honour our own families than by helping this family in reunification," adds McKinnon. "As a partnership, our organizations have committed to bringing to the Peterborough area 13 members of Randa’s family. We have already raised over $100,000 towards the sponsorship, but need to raise an additional $30,000 in air flight and settlement costs for all family members. If we can raise this funding, we may be able to celebrate this success in 2017!”


Donate to the Safe Haven for Refugees fund at Grace United Church or to Grace United Church (Safe Haven fund) through CanadaHelps.ca. Visit safehaven4refugees.com for more information.

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