Carleton Place volunteers launch community support initiative

Hometown Hearts currently has about 14 volunteer board members. The group's mission is to provide support and resources to members of the community when they are in need of instant relief due to unusual circumstances - like fires, fluke accidents or medical needs. Photo by Jane Hobson.
Posted on: April 12, 2017

Matthew Behrens and Jane Hobson

A group of Carleton Place residents have come together under the banner of “Hometown Hearts” to promote and refresh the community and culture of Carleton Place, with a number of summer events on tap designed to attract visitors and locals alike.  

“Our mission is to be there as an emergency relief group to support people in times of need, to help bring some positive energy and fun to the town, and basically work to bring a whole new vibe to Carleton Place and surrounding area,” explained Hometown Hearts member Lisa Occomore in front of the town’s policy review committee on April 11. The group wants to “show members of our community what our town has to offer and how there is no need to go to the city.”

Hometown Hearts formed after Occomore posted on her personal Facebook account, asking if anyone was interested in helping her organize some local fundraising events. “I have always wanted to create a non-profit foundation that’s able to support our community members in emergencies like fire, accidents or medical hardships,” she said. “In my own experiences there are few options in town for instant support.”

The group’s ambitious agenda includes a series of “Night on the Town” events on the second Thursday of each month from May to September, employing a variety of themes to transform the town into a “spot to be,” with vendors, live music, classic cars, and entertaining activities.

The inaugural May 11 evening features a “throwback to the oldies” brand that will transform Bridge Street into the feel of Ottawa’s Byward Market.

On June 14, the group will host a charity barbecue at Beckwith Butcher from noon until 7 p.m. to raise funds and awareness about those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Looking ahead, Hometown Hearts plans to organize a 2018 Carleton Place People’s Choice Awards to recognize those who daily make contributions to the community.

“Our motto is ‘without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community’,” Occomore said, asking Carleton Place residents and town officials to collaborate with the group as it spreads its mutual support message.
“For me, giving back and supporting my town and the people in it is a no brainer,” she said, previous to the meeting.

There are currently 14 volunteers on the board of the organization with many other volunteers sitting on subcommittees. Those wishing to get involved can email or find the group on Facebook.

3 thoughts on “Carleton Place volunteers launch community support initiative

  1. victor Clark

    i think what your doing is great i hope all goes well sometimes people just need a hand up not a hand out hope at some point you guys can do an open mic somewhere there is usually big reponse to that sort of thing

  2. Dr Peter Pommerville

    My family have been long term residents of Carleton Place. Even though I no longer live in this fantastic community I still have very strong feelings and ties to the community.
    The article on community support activities caught my eye. For many years I was a member of the Carleton Place Canoe Club. My association with the club taught me valuable life lessons of hard work, perseverance and time management. I believe that experience prepared me for life and gave me the tools to achieve my professional goals.
    The CPCC is the oldest competitive canoe/kayak club in Canada. It has propelled many young local men and women to successful careers.
    I would hope that this volunteer group would seize upon the opportunity this summer to show case and celebrate the success of the club and encourage boys and girls to get involved in this tremendous athletic activity.
    Dr Peter Pommerville
    Clinical Professor Urology
    University of British Columbia

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