Lisa Gervais: On loss and giving
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | March 30, 2017
It’s been a time of loss and giving in the County of Haliburton.
The first editor of The Highlander, Stephen Patrick, passed away March 13.
He was an instrumental part of the County Voice, too, when it came on the scene and helped shape a competitive news industry in our area. When The Voice closed in 2011 and Stephen joined the newly-created Highlander, his strength as an editor led many to believe the two publications were related (they’re not).
We had a story and a column on Stephen in last week’s edition describing Stephen’s impact on this community. Not only was he a newspaperman, he was also a keen patron of the arts in Haliburton County, serving on the board of the Rails End Gallery & Arts Centre.
Another loss is Betty Moffatt, who also died on March 13.
We have a story on Betty’s life in today’s Highlander. She was another remarkable local citizen and represents a certain generation of county residents. These are people who were introduced to the Highlands at a young age, cottaging here in summer, but who returned to the city to live and work. As did many of her contemporaries, Moffatt then retired here. She brought a wealth of world and business experience and applied it in volunteer work: for the Haliburton Highlands Health Services board, the board of Canoe FM and the board of Stanhope Museum. Like so many people here, she quietly went about her business, never seeking attention.
Both Betty and Stephen represent the type of people that the Highlands attracts: passionate and genuine, with a desire to give back.
And that brings us to giving.
In the past few weeks, we have seen major donations to the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation’s Making Moments Matter campaign. The campaign is funding the new palliative centre at the hospital, which should be completed in June. It will be a place for people at end of life to peacefully live out their final days.
The Royal Canadian Legion Haliburton branch has donated $20,000 to the campaign and the Minden branch another $10,000. The Minden Legion also recently donated $2,500 to the Haliburton Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, and the Haliburton Legion gave the YWCA Peterbourgh/Haliburton $2,000.
We caught up with Jen Cureton, director of philanthropy and communications for the YWCA Peterborough/Haliburton. She told us their fundraising campaign was up to $40,590 with another two days to go to reach their target. Susan and Keith Hay’s donation of $10,000 in matching funds, along with another $9,000 from a combination of anonymous donors, have really given this initiative a boost. Added to $25,000 pledged from the county over two years, it means the YWCA has money to operate for those two years while it works on a long-term plan.
Our losses are painful and felt deeply, especially for those who knew and loved those who are no longer here. But each of us is part of a much bigger picture, a community that lives on and unfailingly continues the work of people like Betty Moffatt and Stephen Patrick: making the Highlands just a little bit better every day, and helping those in need.
Lisa Gervais is the editor for The Highlander.