We are working our way through the fabulous local artwork donated to OSCA’s Save Our Firehall campaign. Over $1300 has been raised so far! Visit us @saveourfirehall on Facebook. Bidding on the latest artwork posted ends Sunday, July 25, 2021.
A chance to beautify your home while donating to a great cause
The Save Our Firehall Online Art Auction was inspired by several amazing individuals and families in OOS who’ve come up with unique, inventive, and creative ways to raise money for the Save Our Firehall campaign: neighbours like Shelley and Sean Kennedy, who built birdhouses, or Candace Newman and family who baked ‘Fire cookies.’
When I saw those posts on the Old Ottawa South Facebook Group, I wondered how I might contribute. Perhaps by selling or auctioning a painting? But it wasn’t until Bess Fraser contacted the Firehall with an idea to auction off one of her paintings, that the idea took hold. OSCA staff members Darcy Middaugh and Luke Sears contacted Winnie Pietrykowski and me and we started brainstorming about how we could expand this idea.
When gyms and recreation facilities closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic, many OOS residents returned to or increased our most fundamental form of exercise—walking. In the process, we re-discovered our local neighbourhoods, got to know our neighbours better and found ourselves developing a greater sense of community. Often, we were not alone in our efforts, walking our dogs or alongside a grandchild or friend with whom we shared experiences, frustrations, and sometimes sorrows.
Glebe Collegiate Institute will be holding its ‘Kids 4 Kids’ CHEO drive virtually this year, the fundraiser will run from May 1st to June 22nd 2021. Glebe’s CHEO drive is an annual event run by students and staff at Glebe Collegiate Institute to help raise funds for the CHEO Foundation. Every year, Glebe students organize amazing events and canvas door to door to raise funds for CHEO. Unfortunately, these in person events can’t happen this year, but we will still have plenty of opportunities for you to donate virtually.
Last month we shared a story called “Birdhouses Galore” describing Shelley and Sean Kennedy’s stockpile of homemade birdhouses. It began as a hobby to while away the pandemic hours, but soon enough there were more birdhouses than any one backyard could possibly use. And so the Kennedys decided to fundraise for the Firehall, selling the birdhouses for $10/each on the Old Ottawa South Group Facebook page.
As of mid-April, 41 birdhouses have gone out the door to provide new homes for our feathered friends in OOS. Shelley and Sean continue to be impressed by the generosity of their neighbours. Donations from the “birdhouse lark” now total $825 – proof positive that no donation is too small and that every dollar counts.
The following article was printed in the March 2021 of the OSCAR. We have adapted the article for online reading, abbreviated where we could, and reorganized some of the information in response to some very helpful suggestions.
Save Our Firehall
In Response to Your Questions
Since launching OSCA’s fundraising campaign to Save Our Firehall, we have received a variety of messages by email and phone encouraging us, lending both moral and financial support. We thank you for this kindness and generosity.
“It started as a bit of a lark – birdhouses everywhere in our basement and a throw away comment of ‘hey, maybe people would want them for a donation to the Firehall?’ explained Shelley Kennedy.
“And now we have requests for 58 birdhouses! My husband Sean is astonished at the attention this has received.” The birdhouses are made from used skids or pallets collected from local businesses, a recycling hobby that Sean started to while away pandemic hours. The skids are not “treated” and are safe for our local birds. Aside from cross-country skiing, work and family the recycled birdhouses are filling in some of Sean’s creative play when “staying at home” is the best way to beat COVID-19.
The connection between a 139-year-old tennis club on Cameron Avenue and the community in Old Ottawa South has always been strong. Now, with new municipal recognition and a substantial federal grant to support restoration of a century-old clubhouse, the connection is getting stronger.
“It’s been a family affair” says Candace Newman, “imagined at the dinner table and realized by the talents at hand.”
It’s hard to say where the inspiration came from; it’s as if several ideas came together at once. Initially, Candace was inspired by Kim Elmslie’s sale of her homemade Ottawa puzzles with proceeds re-directed to Save our Firehall, OSCA’s Fundraising Campaign for programming. “What can I do?” thought Candace, “what can I offer?”