We are writing in response to an article (“NDAC’s ‘all-stars’ show Friday at Winchester’s Old Town Hall”, Wed., Nov. 29) that appeared in both the online and paper editions of the Winchester Press.
On Mon., Nov. 20, Township of North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan emailed the North Dundas Arts Council (NDAC) to say other plans had come up, and he would not be able to emcee this year’s fifth annual Mayor’s All Stars Christmas Benefit Show (the event’s full and correct name).
Duncan did not provide the name of a replacement emcee to the organizers, and he did not suggest interim Winchester station fire chief and Councillor Tony Fraser as his replacement. So Fraser was not “passed over” for another emcee as was implied in the Press’ article.
When performing artist Stefan Kohut learned we had no emcee so close to show time, he volunteered to do the honours. As the sole producers of this show, we gratefully accepted. With his running joke about becoming mayor of “somewhere someday” Kohut’s comedic routine fit in perfectly – and in good taste – with the show’s legacy name and program. He did a great job as emcee, too.
At last year’s Mayor’s All Stars Christmas Benefit Show, which mayor Duncan also cancelled emceeing due to travel plans, Fraser and his men stepped up to help NDAC in a big way – this, despite their busy work and family schedules. The ad hoc Winchester Fire Station Choir gave it their all to ensure we had a great evening and they stole the show!
We love our firefighters, we appreciate them, and we are proud to give back to these brave men and women who give so much to our community all year long. And this year, some of our community’s finest – including Santa himself – pulled together in a spirit of kindness, generosity and goodwill to raise funds for the North Dundas Fire Service. We wish to thank them publicly, here: Charis Boland; Cholly Boland; John Cinnamon; Community Living North Dundas; GIAG Dundas Youth Programs; Ken Julien; Stefan Kohut; Anne Lyon; North Gower Honey (Karen McCulloch); Sandy Design (Tara Mahmud and Assan Omar); Santa’s Elves (Amelia Jorgensen and Faith Jorgensen); The Barbeauian Design; The Planted Arrow Flowers and Gifts (Kelly Windle); Bob Theriault; Daniel Trolly; Michael Trolly; Rick Ventrella; Gordon Wall; and our dear Sponsor of Winchester Open Mic Night.
Together we created a beautiful and memorable evening that raised $235 for our firefighters. The money was delivered to the home of a member of the Winchester Fire Station Choir, to bring to Fraser.
While we were saddened by the actions, private emails, and comments Duncan shared with local media in this matter, we extend a hand of peace to him in the spirit of this cherished and blessed holiday season.
Gail Storring and Ann Brady
Co-chairs, North Dundas Arts Council