Ups and Downs

We at the Chamber had a week of ups and downs, shared by our community at large. We lost our administrator, Kate FitzPatrick, to a tragic accident, and we will forever feel the void. It is the Chamber’s hope that by creating a Kate FitzPatrick Memorial Award, presented annually to a graduating student from Grey Highlands Secondary School that is charismatic, caring, selfless, and of good cheer, just like our Kate, we will continue to see Kate’s goodness everywhere we look.

We also hope to raise sufficient funds from our community to create an annual bursary that would be funded by an endowment that would be managed by the Community Foundation Grey Bruce. The award and annual bursary are being considered diligently. These initiatives were announced by Chamber president Stewart Halliday at the Municipality’s tree lighting ceremony in Markdale last Friday night, which saw a crowd amass for the festivities and for a moment of silence in Kate’s name.

People dispersed to mill around the stores for Moonlight Madness, delighted by the efforts of the store owners and staff, and the Municipality, to make this a special night, and carollers brought those of us in the Chamber Office to tears with their beautiful voices. We know Kate wouldn’t have been happier for her community. She worked hard for this night and for Markdale’s Santa Claus Parade, which took place the very next day.

The Chamber puts on the Parade each year and Kate made it run like clockwork as usual. She left very little for us to do, and we hope we did her proud. The floats were fabulous, a joyous spirit was in the air, and volunteers and the Municipality staff stepped forward to exceed their responsibilities and ensure we didn’t miss anything critical. We can’t thank you enough for lightening our load on that day.

A special thank you must be given to the parade’s sponsors as well, without whom the parade would not be possible. Watch The Advance ads next week for our thank you to sponsors, and “Chamber Chatter” for lists of sponsors and the winning floats.

Going forward, the Chamber Office will be staffed by volunteers intermittently, and phone and email messages will be monitored regularly, as we determine our next steps. We are looking forward to hosting the West Grey Chamber for a mixer on December 10 starting at 6pm at the Office in Markdale. Mayor McQueen and Councillor Allwood will be joining us after their Committee of Adjustment Meeting. We hope you’ll stop by.