Water tower illuminated in purple to mark Big Brothers Big Sisters month
On Monday evening, Smiths Falls’ town council welcomed Sandra Burelli, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County. Mayor Pankow proclaimed September 2020 Big Brothers Big Sisters Month, and celebrated the contribution of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), noting that “changing young lives changes the future.” Burelli thanked the town for its promotion of BBBS by lighting our iconic water tower in the colour purple – the official colour of BBBS – and for welcoming her to speak at the town council meeting. She highlighted the need for volunteer mentors, noting that “kids need mentors now more than ever.” During Covid-19 restrictions, BBBS mentoring has continued online, and Burelli noted that some mentors have even included their little brothers / little sisters in their extended family bubble. Burelli explained that traditional volunteers commit to spending 4 hours per week, and “in school mentors” (who are now mentors via Zoom) commit to spending 1 hour per week with mentees. Burelli highlighted the Lanark BBBS fundraiser, Bigger Together, an online 50/50 raffle which currently has a pot of $12 500. “Every donation made in Lanark county stays in Lanark county,” she added. The online raffle can be accessed from the group’s Facebook page or website, lanark.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.
Boon for local businesses
Councilor Alford announced a boon for local businesses: last year’s Digital Main Street is being offered again this year to businesses that have not yet taken advantage of their program. The Downtown Business Association (DBA) is encouraging businesses to call and find out more, as Digital Main Street helps to create or improve local businesses’ online presence.
Councilor Alford also wanted to remind downtown restaurants that the DBA will pay the setup fee for any restaurant that wishes to enroll with Valley Eats, a local meal delivery service. Mayor Pankow noted that Valley Eats is a great option for enjoying local restaurants while practicing social distancing at home.
Announcements and Congratulations
Councilor Allen congratulated Hometown News and Pickled Pig by the Basin on a successful first year in hosting Music at the Basin, and offered congratulations to the Russell St. Saturday Marketplace; both of these events were helped with the town’s On the Roll fund.
The Smiths Falls Friends of the Library book sale raised $700 on Saturday. Councilor Allen noted that the Library continues to be open as usual during regular operating hours, and online programming is ongoing; however, in-person library programming is not currently running.