Volunteers and staff helped serve up cake, treats and local strawberries to all who attended the Dundas Manor 40th anniversary. Sawyer Helmer photos
Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
WINCHESTER – Dundas Manor celebrated their 40th anniversary and annual strawberry social on Sun., June 24. Luckily the rain held off until after the festivities had concluded and the hundreds in attendance were able to enjoy some sunshine and local strawberries.
Jennifer Hill, activity director, kicked things off as emcee and welcomed Wesley Gowan, a resident at the Manor to speak to the crowd. “I am proud to call Dundas Manor my home. We have good friends, good company, and as you can see here today, good staff, good food, lots of love and happiness,” Gowan said.
Dundas Manor was originally owned by the Alguire family for 34 years but now the home is run by the not-for-profit, Rural Healthcare Innovations (RHI). Susan Poirier, administrator, welcomed Ross and Ian Alguire to the festivities and thanked them for their commitment to building the strong foundation they provided to the home. “I have felt very privileged to work here and I am extremely proud to be the administrator, leading the team in its 40th year. Our vision is to be the trusted home of choice by exceeding expectations and pursuing excellence and that is not a goal we take lightly,” said Poirier. “As you can see here the team is second to none.”
The event takes months to prepare and Poirier said the whole team worked together to make it happen, especially Hill. “Jennifer has been instrumental in planning these events,” said Poirier. “We have a great team, everyone contributes.”
MP Guy Lauzon and MPP Jim McDonell both offered their congratulations while CEO Cholly Boland thanked the many guests for their attendance. Boland quickly wrapped up his comments in order to bring onstage the Dundas Manor Choir to sing an original song set to the tune of YMCA.
North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan, deputy mayor Gerry Boyce and councillor Tony Fraser took to the stage before the event was handed over to Johnny Vegas to entertain the crowd. Duncan recounted an event he said, “solidified how wonderful the staff and team here are.” A fire at the Manor on the Friday of a long weekend. Duncan said, “I was amazed that by the time I got over here [from just across town], all the staff were here within 20 minutes helping the residents, and helping the families.”
Before presenting Hill with a congratulatory plaque for the Manor, Duncan said, “we appreciate your contribution to making North Dundas a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
As the only long-term care home in Dundas County, Poirier said the building is in desperate need of redevelopment. Currently the organization is looking to get their approvals to move ahead with the project which is slated to occupy the property west of the current building next to the Community Care centre. Both MP Lauzon and MPP McDonell expressed the full support for their project and getting the development underway.
The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying some live entertainment, friends, family and of course, local strawberries.