Staff and Volunteers Recognized at Annual General Meeting

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Community Living Kirkland Lake Executive Director, Heather Topliss addresses the Board of Directors at Community Living Kirkland Lake’s Annual General Meeting. The event also marked Topliss’ 25th anniversary as Executive Director of the agency.

Community Living Kirkland Lake held its 66th Annual General Meeting on June 20, 2013.  The event was a wine and cheese where the board of directors for the upcoming term was introduced, staff were recognized for years of service milestones and volunteers were given a token of appreciation for the many hours spent volunteering for the agency.


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Community Living Kirkland Lake’s Board of Directors receive a gift of appreciation for volunteering their time to sit on the agency’s board. From left, Marlene Bukovec, Ron Arbuckle, Susan Enouy, Danielle Genier, Tony Antonaizzi, Annice Tilley,
Laura Turner and Brian Culhane. Absent, Michelle Fillion and Sid Hamden.

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Volunteers at Community Living Kirkland Lake accept a gift of appreciation for their efforts over the past year. in total, 39 staff and community volunteers spent between 10 and over 100 hours volunteering for the individuals supported by the agency.

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Kirkland Lake EMS Holds Car Wash for New Van


Members of Kirkland Lake EMS present a cheque for $745 to Community Living Kirkland Lake.

Recently, Kirkland Lake EMS held a car wash at Pettenuzzo’s, Your Independent Grocer in support of Community Living Kirkland Lake’s van fundraising efforts.  Thanks to their hard work and the generous contributions from those who took advantage of the car wash,  $745 was raised.  Community Living Kirkland Lake wishes to thank Kirkland Lake EMS for their support.

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Kirkland Lake OPP Steps up for Special Olympics

Opening Jump resizeOnce again, members of the Kirkland Lake OPP have lent a helping hand to Community Living Kirkland Lake and Special Olympics.

On Friday May 24, the Annual Kirkland Lake Special Olympics Basketball game vs. the O.P.P took place at St. Jerome School.  As always, this event continued to be a success.  Both teams worked hard, had lots of fun and displayed admirable sportsmanship.  The Special Olympics team had contributions from everyone and was able to squeak out a victory in a five person shoot out at the end.  With the pressure on, Nathan Hutchison was able to knock down a clutch foul shot to put the Special Olympics team ahead and help them secure the win.  In addition to the game, a number of non-perishable food items were donated to the Kirkland Lake Food Bank.

torch runThe following Friday, The OPP took to the Streets of Kirkland Lake for the Annual Torch Run in support of Special Olympics.  They were joined by Community Living staff and supported individuals.  As they made their way through town, it was very encouraging to see the support from the community through cheers of support and on the spot donations.  The run started at Northern College and made its way to Pettenuzzo’s Your Independent Grocer where a fundraising barbecue was held with great support from the community.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that took the time to help make these events possible. Thanks to the KL O.P.P for being a huge supporter of Community Living Kirkland Lake and participating in the game and the torch run.   As well, thanks to J.R. Daoust for volunteering his time to take pictures at the game.  To see more of these pictures please click here.  Dennis Perrault did an excellent job refereeing the game and adding entertainment. Thanks also to all the fans who came out to support the event and gave generously to the Kirkland Lake Food Bank.  Thanks to St. Jerome School for providing their gym for us to use. To Pettenuzzo’s for offering their location and securing donations for the fundraising barbecue and thanks also to all the staff and volunteers at Community Living who volunteered their time to participate and organize the game.   Last but not least, thank you to all the players on the Special Olympics basketball team.  Everyone gave their best effort, displayed excellent sportsmanship and played as a team.

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Potluck Cooking Gives Individuals the Opportunity to Improve Their Skills

Since 2010, an evening Potluck Cooking class takes place three nights a week at Community Living Skills.  The class is mainly for individuals supported in Community Living Kirkland Lake’s Supported Independent Living Program and it gives them an opportunity to improve their basic cooking skills, lets them try new foods and provides them with a way to sit down and enjoy a meal with a group.


CLS Instructor, Sherry Fraser assists Rick Bassett with this week’s meal, tortelinni primavera.

Sherry Fraser teaches the Monday class and her group has relatively unchanged since it started.   She says that their skills have improved greatly and they take initiative to complete their tasks and are very motivated and efficient. “These classes are about more than just learning to cook.  We plan our menus, make shopping lists, cover safe food handling and cleaning responsibilities.”  Social interaction and manners are also strong components of the class.


Sherry Shelp, Floyd Hack and Bobby Drury work together in the CLS Potluck Cooking class.

Bobby Drury says he looks forward to cooking every Monday because he likes the way Sherry teaches them and they all have known each other for a long time and this gives them a chance to get together once a week.  He also says it helps when we have to cook for ourselves at home.

While the food is cooking, the group sits down and plans their meal for the next week.  The participants bring their own meal suggestions and recipes and then discuss what would go well with the main dish they select.  They then use cook books and the internet to research new recipes.


The group plans the menu for next week.

Once the menu for next week’s class is decided, a shopping list is made.  Items are divided up and each person gets their own personal list of groceries to bring to next week’s class.

“We always plan to make enough food so each person gets to take leftovers home to eat the next day,” says Fraser.  “We also like to try new things.  Some of the meals we prepare here are a little more difficult to make so the skills they learn will benefit them when cooking at home.”

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Van Fundraising Gets a Boost From Local Business

Community Living Kirkland Lake would like to thank the following local businesses and organizations for their generous donations toward our van fundraising efforts.  Your contributions will enhance the services we provide to the individuals we support!

  • Depres-Pacey Insurance
  • Goldbelt Tire & Supply
  • Goldland Billiards & Variety
  • Heath & Sherwood (1964) Limited
  • Kemp, Elliot & Blair LLP
  • Kirkland Lake Gold
  • Kirkland Lake Hard Rock n’ Rollers
  • Kirkland Lake Home Based Business Expo
  • KL Volunteer Fire Brigade
  • Kohut Electric Limited
  • MGI Collision & Auto Repair Centre
  • Northern Lights Computing
  • Patrick O’Connor
  • Pinewood Park Motors
  • Julie Richard-Gorman
  • Rick’s Magic Touch Catering
  • The Rotary Club of Kirkland Lake
  • St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd

Thank You So Much!


Jamie Cowie, left, presents a cheque for $1120 to Lauri Lambert, Director of Community Development for Community Living Kirkland Lake. The cheque is for money raised at the 2nd Annual Home Based Business Expo held at Hockey Heritage North in April.

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Kirkland Lake Council Declares May Community Living Month

FlagIn a presentation to Kirkland Lake Town Council, Community Living Kirkland Lake requested that the month of May be declared Community Living Month.

Sherry Shelp, on behalf of Community Living Kirkland Lake addressed Council at their meeting on May 7, requesting the declaration and asking if council would agree to fly the Community Living flag at Town Hall for the month.  She also thanked the town’s Works department for flying flags throughout the downtown core for the month.

“One of the key messages that Community Living organizations throughout Canada advocates for is that of citizenship.

Citizenship is about experiencing human rights, responsibilities, and opportunities.” Shelp said in her address.

She went on to say, “Community Living supports individuals as they develop their capacity to live, learn, work and participate in all aspects of community life. We also help the community develop its capacity to welcome and support people who have not always had the same opportunities as the rest of us.”

Kirkland Lake Mayor Bill Enouy thanked Shelp for her presentation and said they were pleased to make the declaration.  Other members of council commended Community Living Kirkland Lake on the important role they play for the individuals they support.

May is Community Living Month every year throughout Canada.  It raises awareness of the progress that has been made in Canada to provide meaningful supports and services and to promote social inclusion for individuals with an intellectual disability.

Community Living Kirkland Lake has a number of events planned for the month.  Each year, a book is donated to the Teck Centennial Library.  The book usually carries the theme of intellectual disabilities or social inclusion.  This year’s book will be “Carly’s Voice”, the story of a Toronto girl diagnosed with severe autism who has learned to communicate through the use of assistive technology.

An annual basketball game between Special Olympians and the Kirkland Lake OPP is slated for May 24 at 7pm.  This takes place at St Jerome School and nonperishable food donations would be appreciated for the Kirkland Lake Food Bank.

On May 25, a Special Olympics “Have-A-Go” event will be held in the KLDCS gym.  It takes place from 1-4pm and will give younger Special Olympians the chance to try out some Special Olympics sports.  The gym will be divided into 4 stations and with the help of Kirkland Lake Ineract, participants will “Have-A-Go” at basketball, indoor bocce, bowling and Rocks & Rings curling.

Community Living Kirkland Lake has also recently launched a new web page, Facebook page and twitter account.  All of these can be accessed through the website at  Throughout the month of May, trivia questions will be posted to the Facebook page.  Answers to these questions can be found on the website.  The first person to post the correct answer to these questions will win the prize for that day.  Prizes include golf umbrellas, travel mugs, a $25 grocery card and a $25 gas card. All winners will be entered in a draw for the grand prize, a Kobo Vox eReader that will be given away May 31. To be eligible, a person must ‘Like’ us on Facebook and they are only able to win once.

For more information on any of these events, feel free to contact Jim Fox, Community Support Supervisor, 705-567-9331, ext.222.

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January Cash Draw Kick Starts Van Fundraising Efforts

Community Living Kirkland Lake kicked off a fundraising campaign by making a few people a little richer.  The agency’s January cash draw handed out prizes each weekday in January resulting in 21 people winning a cash prize ranging from $25 to $500.  Mary Rozich of Kirkland Lake was the big winner, having her name drawn on the final day for $500.

Kim Harvey, Residential Supervisor at Community Living Kirkland Lake presents Helen Rozich with a cheque for $500.  Mrs. Rozich was the big winner in the draw that awarded $2000 in prizes to 22 lucky winners in January.

Kim Harvey, Residential Supervisor at Community Living Kirkland Lake presents Helen Rozich with a cheque for $500. Mrs. Rozich was the big winner in the draw that awarded $2000 in prizes to 22 lucky winners in January.

The fundraising campaign will allow the agency to purchase a new van to meet the needs of the individuals supported by the agency.

“We currently have four wheelchair accessible vans that operate out of our group homes.  These purpose built vehicles are very expensive to maintain and are not very fuel efficient,” says Ron Arbuckle, Community Living Kirkland Lake board member. “We are now looking to purchase a 12 passenger van that can be used when a wheelchair van isn’t required.”

The agency would use the new vehicle to provide transportation to activities at its day program, Community Living Skills, as well as to transport individuals to medical appointments out of town.

 The agency’s funding comes from Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services.  Transportation, however, is not funded by the Ministry.

Community Living Kirkland Lake Executive Director Heather Topliss says it’s unfortunate but the agency is trying hard to purchase a vehicle that will meet our needs and preserve the vehicles they currently own.

 “A full size wheelchair van costs approximately $90 000,” says Topliss. “Right now we are using them for all our outings, which puts an excessive amount of wear and tear on these vehicles.  We believe that by purchasing a 12 passenger van, at about half the cost, we will ultimately extend the life of the four vehicles we currently own.”

The January cash draw and other fundraising currently place the agency’s efforts at $12,000.  The goal is to raise $40 000. Community Living Kirkland Lake is a registered charity and all donations are tax deductible.

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