Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Turkey Drive for North East Avalon Food Bank


A couple of weeks ago I posted a story about how RE/MAX Real Estate Charity House has been helping out our regional food bank and that they intended to donate 100 turkeys for Christmas. This is a great benefit to our communities on the North East Avalon and users of the food bank in particular. Add to that the fact that food bank usage has been increasing all over the province and at our local food bank in particular.

With this in mind I contacted the towns in our region who are serviced by the food bank and asked if they would like to try and help raise awareness in their towns and provide a means for residents to drop off turkeys to be donated to the food bank. The response has been excellent and I believe all the towns in our area will accept a turkey if you want to drop it off and if they cannot please feel free to drop it at the Town of Torbay office.

The target date for delivery to the food bank is next Wednesday, December 7th so it would be greatly appreciated if you intend to try and help out that you drop off your turkey or other meat products like ground beef before then.

The local food bank has been under a lot of pressure this past year and are struggling to meet the needs of those people who unfortunately have to avail of their services. Usage has increased and times are only getting tougher for some. At times like this it is important for those of us who can afford it to step up and try and help those people in our communities who happen to find themselves in need.

I would also like to encourage people who may be finding it hard right now to put your pride aside and reach out for help if you need it. Nobody should be embarrassed to ask their friends and neighbours for help, especially if it means having a healthy meal on the table for your family.

Please if you can take a couple of bucks, toss and extra turkey in your cart that can be provided to a family in need this Christmas.

Thanks

Craig Scott
Councillor Town of torbay

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

More Help From RE/MAX Real Estate Agents Charity House For North East Avalon Regional Food Bank


Back in September I was contacted by Kevin Martin and local Torbay real estate agent Michelle Thorne who are both with RE/MAX. They invited me to join them and other agents as they presented a donation of $2500 to the North East Avalon Food Bank. There was a tremendous need at that time as the shelves at the food bank were pretty bare.

If this wasn't generous enough Kevin contacted me again in early November to advise me they were planning on giving another donation to our food bank and also the possibility that they may be in a position to donate turkeys as well for Christmas.

Last week I was invited to come to the food bank along with ten RE/MAX agents to deliver yet another donation and to help pack up some hampers. They generously donated over $1600 worth of fresh fruits, vegetables and badly needed meat products. I was more than happy to attend along with Mayor Tapper to help out and show our support for these agents and the food bank.

As if all this isn't enough RE/MAX Real Estate Charity House has agreed to donate 100 turkeys to our food bank for Christmas. With this in mind I have decided to put a challenge out to our community of Torbay and all the other towns who are serviced by the regional food bank to try and match those 100 turkeys. When I proposed this idea to Kevin to try and leverage their turkey commitment to ask the community to match he was all for it. 

I am making arrangements to have a drop off location set up at the Torbay Town Hall so that people can bring in their turkey there. If you can't donate a turkey the food bank will gladly accept other items especially meat products like ground beef.

Over the past couple of years there has been an increasing demand placed on our regional food bank and more and more people are coming forward looking for help. I am fortunate that currently I am not in need of the food bank to feed my family but hard times can hit anyone. I think it is important for those of us who have the means to donate should to ensure that those members of our communities who have fallen on hard times have somewhere to turn.

In particular I would like to encourage people to please make an extra effort to donate to the food bank during this turkey drive. Sitting around the dinner table during Christmas with family is something that I certainly cherish and look forward to. No family in our town or region should have to go without that simple pleasure during this holiday season and we have it within our power to make sure that doesn't happen.

I can not stress enough how grateful I am as a resident of Torbay that RE/MAX Real Estate Agents Charity House have chosen to focus their efforts in our community and in particular our regional food bank. There are a lot of worthy charities and causes that they support and we are luck to be one of them.

A special “thank you” to Mary Lester of Lester Farm who provided the fresh veggies and a generous donation too. 

This is the list of Agents who helped out at the food bank last week


Here is some background information on this wonderful organization as presented by Kevin Martin in his own words. 

Three years ago we setup the RE/MAX Real Estate Agents Charity House; a Charity Foundation where all our RE/MAX Realtors in St. John’s and Mount Pearl only donate into. We also do fundraising to raise extra money for our Charity causes. Our yearly budget is about $30,000. RE/MAX Agents also donated about $50,000 and $20,000 yearly to the Janeway and the Breast Cancer society which is separate from this Charity Foundation.
The goal of our RE/MAX Real Estate Agents Charity House, is to reach out into the community and find dire-need charity cases to fund or help out with using our manpower. We reach out to other charity organizations, churches, schools and social groups that can direct us to where help is badly needed. We have a Board of Directors ( 8 RE/MAX Agents) that meet monthly to discuss issues and funding cases. Over the past three year we have funded, The Community Centre Alliance ( An organization that runs the community centers.) where we paid for a summer Lunch Program for kids at three community centres in the city; We also setup a “Food Fund” at the Gower Street United Church of $2500 to be paid out to the poor that come to the church steps looking for food.   

We have also funded many many individual cases. We recently bought eyes glasses for a little girl, so she could read in school; we paid for the daycare of a young girl so her mom could continue her degree at MUN and make a better life for them both; We recently paid the oil bill and electrical bill for two different seniors, so that they can help heat this winter.  And yesterday we approved funding for to buy bunkbeds for two little girls, and a Sobeys card for a young couple without income to feed is young family.
Our Charity Foundation is new. We are committed to helping out where we can and when we can.  RE/MAX Agents are more than Real Estate. We believe in giving back to our community and Partnering with our community to make life better for everyone. We are three years young but excited and ready to make a major impact on improving the lives of the needy.    
Over a month ago we came to realize that the Torbay Food Bank was in dire need, and this is why we have focused here. The recent Fundraiser was fun to organize and humbling to all our Agents who took part in it.  Our Foundation fundraised over $1600 in food for the Food Bank. We looking forward to the Christmas Turkey Drive now. 

Pictures from the food bank last week.



















Friday, September 9, 2016

North East Avalon and Mt Pearl Food Banks Get Big Boost from RE/MAX


It was a tremendous pleasure to be on hand as RE/MAX agents presented our North East Avalon Food Bank with a substantial donation on September 8, 2016. Over the past few months it has been well documented that our regional food bank has been struggling to keep the shelves stocked which impedes their ability to help those in need.

Torbay resident and RE/MAX agent Michelle Thorne sent along an invite and news that her company would be making a donation of $2500 each to the North East Avalon and the Mount Pearl food bank. Councillor Mary Thorne-Gosse and I were delighted to be part of this initiative along with Madonna and Leo Galway the operators of the food bank.

This donation is an excellent example of how business can have a profound impact on our community and these people I met yesterday were genuinely delighted to be able to help. I asked for some additional information about how and why RE/MAX is able to do this type of community initiative and I am pleased to be able to share that information with you.

The donations originated from the Real Estate Agents Charity House (R.E.A.C.H). This is a foundation which was formed by local RE/MAX agents from RE/MAX Realty Specialist Ltd. RE/MAX United and RE/MAX Plus.

All of the agents make a donation from each sales transaction towards this fund in addition to various other fundraising events. The $5000 that was donated to the North East Avalon and Mount Pearl food banks was raised at their annual golf tournament and split between the two.

It is through these types of cash donations that the food bank is able to purchase much needed items that are not normally part of typical non-perishable items that people generously donate.

I would just like to personally thank RE/MAX and all the agents who contributed to this donation and as well Leo and Madonna who donate their time to try and help those in need in our region.

Those in attendance on behalf of RE/MAX agents were:

Michelle Thorne
Catherine Murphy
Edwina Baldwin
Kevin Martin
Chris Hodder

Here are a few additional pictures








Thursday, July 7, 2016

Torbay Community Blood Drive #ConnectTorbay


There is a Torbay Community Blood Drive coming up on Tuesday July 12, 2016 at St. Nicholas Anglican Parish Hall. Last October when the call for more donors was made we did really well and reached the goal of 50. There was another blood donor clinic since then on May 3 and they only received 36 donations which is good but not the best that we can do.

Can we again try and step up as a community and reach the goal of 50 donations and support this vital cause. Committing to making a donation and spending a 1/2 hour out of your day to potentially save the life of someone in need of blood is one of the greatest gifts you can give and it coast absolutely nothing.

So, please call ahead today and make an appointment and lets try and fill the full slate of appointments. Just to put things into perspective 40 units of blood is about enough for ONE accident victim or FIVE weeks of treatment for a single cancer patient.

You can visit https://www.blood.ca/en to get more information and to book an appointment.

Thanks
Craig



Monday, November 9, 2015

My Update from MNL 2015 AGM

I just got back from the 2015 Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador 2015 AGM held from November 5-7 in Gander. We had some great discussions and debate over issues facing municipalities in the province and I figured I would give an update. I won't bore you with all the details of every meeting I attended but I will give an overview of some of them.

The first session I attended was the Urban Municipalities Committee (UMC). This committee is made up the larger towns and cities of which Torbay is a part of. This was a round table to discuss issues each town is facing and to toss around ideas as to how to deal with them. Some of the issues discussed were Municipal Assessments and what other potential revenue sources should be available to municipalities. We also discussed municipal ticketing and the challenges of trying to enforce the clean up of derelict properties. When we get together with other municipalities that are included in the UMC it really shows that we are not alone in trying to deal with the issues faced by larger towns.

Just a funny note on that, when I went to my first AGM in 2013 after getting elected to council I was looking at my agenda and saw the Small Towns Caucus meeting and just assumed that was where I was supposed to go. I saw many of my friends and colleagues from Flatrock, LMO, Pouch Cove and Bauline all filing into the room. So I went in and sat down, the session was almost ready to start but I couldn't find anyone from Torbay in the room. I just figured they were at another meeting because one person couldn't get to all of them, so I never thought anything of it. So, the meeting starts and I am listening to the issues being brought forward and found that I could relate to what they were saying. Then someone got up and said something along the lines of "the purpose of the Small Towns Caucus is to represented towns of less that 4000 people" I thought to myself, shit, I am in the wrong meeting, took out my agenda to see what else was going on and realized I was supposed to be at the UMC. So I jumped up, left the room to go find the other meeting and low and behold the other councillors from Torbay who were at the convention were all there. I told them I was at the wrong meeting and they had a laugh. That being said, many of the issues being discussed at the UMC were exactly the ones I had just heard about at the Small Towns Caucus, go figure. Since our current council has been elected we have made an extra effort to build relationships with our neighboring municipalities and it has been great. The six Mayors from our area and both MHA's Kevin Parsons and David Brazil meet on a regular basis to discuss issues and to bring concerns to government. This is a great example of the regional cooperation and relationships we are trying to create.

Another interesting session was called Regional Government - Trying it on for size. This was about trying to get towns in particular areas of the province to come together to look at how they can work together on a regional basis in a formalized manner. One of the main concerns raised at every conference or regional meeting I attend is LSD's. No, not LSD the drug but Local Service Districts which seem to get municipalities that live near them just as loopy though I suppose. You see LSD's and unincorporated towns don't have to pay property taxes however they still need to be supported by the Provincial Government with regards to some services like roads and snow clearing. They also try and make deals with neighboring municipalities for services provided in towns like garbage collection and fire services. We have seen some stories this year where some LSD's, unincorporated towns or cabin areas have refused to pay for things like fire services and then complain that the neighboring municipality won't provide the service. Anyway, this is always contentious and thankfully in our immediate area we have no situations like this to worry about.


A pilot project is being considered and I am excited that the six towns in our area have submitted an application to participate. We are already trying to find ways we can work together regionally so it only made sense to be part of this project.

The next session I attended was the Future of Fire Services, this was something I was especially interested in because I am council's liaison to the Torbay Volunteer Fire Department. To hear some of the struggles that many towns have with regards to finding enough volunteers, lack of equipment, lack of training it really makes me feel grateful that we have such a professional and competent fire department in Torbay. It is very expensive to operate fire services and many towns just can't afford it, we are fortunate that as a town we have the capacity to offer fire services to the Town of Torbay and Flatrock. The future of fire services is largely dependent on the ability to recruit volunteers and train them to be able to offer the tremendous service we get. Just a quick fact on the Torbay Volunteer Fire Department, did you know that our fire department responded to 255 calls last year, that makes us the busiest volunteer fire department in the province. I am proud to say that I believe we are also one of the best equipped and trained in the province as well and all that is a testament to the members of the fire department and leadership of Chief Mike McGrath.


Finally the last thing I want to give an update on in the fact that we elected some new members to the MNL board of directors. We elected a new Vice President, Mayor Tony Keats from Dover and a new President, the Mayor of Labrador City Karen Oldford. I am especially happy for Karen as she is originally from Torbay and it is great to have a woman as the new president. Out going President Mayor Churence Rogers of Centreville-Wareham-Trinity who did a great job on our behalf for the last four years and I wish him well, Karen certainly has some large shoes to fill.

We have a new UMC director Mayor Dean Ball of Deer Lake, new Avalon Director Mayor Wayne Power of Placentia. Mayor Roger Barrett of Reidville was elected Western Director and Councillor Art Puddister is the new City of St. John's Director. Last but not least is the newly elected Small Towns Director Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald of Roddickton-Bide Arm. I had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with Mayor Fitzgerald and she is bound to bring a lot of fire and enthusiasm to that position. Her speech was one of the memorable moments from the convention.

Anyway that is all I have for now, maybe I will give a few more updates in the days to come.

Craig