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?”
On Tuesday, November 24th, an email was sent out to residents of Old Ottawa South, marking the official launch of the fundraising campaign to Save Our Firehall. We are very excited about how many people have already responded to our plea to Ring the Bell and Save Our Firehall and we hope we can keep the momentum going!
We’ve come a long way since March of last year! There is certainly a familiar (and at times frustrating) rhythm to COVID-19 restrictions but we continue to adapt, offering community programming when safe and possible under official health guidelines.
Our in-person After-4 program has been running since September 2020 and continues to grow as we become more confident and more knowledgeable about how to manage groups safely. We are adapting to changing COVID-19 scenarios, developing in-person activities (especially for children) to explore and learn in an active, safe and fun setting, outside and inside.
Thank you for your support and generosity. Whether it’s registering for a program or pledging your financial support on a monthly basis, every contribution counts. Monthly pledges add up over time and with many families pledging their support we can make sure that our community centre remains open in 2021.
Over the past few months we have kept you informed about the overall impact of the pandemic on OSCA's operations and finances. While we have tried our best to remain positive and optimistic, you will have noticed that over time the messaging has shifted from "we'll get through this" to "we are going to need help if we want to keep the Firehall open." Over the past months, Staff, the Board, the Executive, and countless volunteers have continued to work incredibly hard to come up with alternate ways to generate revenue. We have successfully transitioned to a full suite of virtual programming, secured a significant grant through Red Cross Canada, and managed to open up in-person After-4 in a safe and secure environment. But none of that will be enough to keep the Firehall open in the long term, and we are "ringing the bell" and calling on all residents to help Save Our Firehall!
Below is the article that was published in the November OSCAR, introducing the notion and benefits of a local community fundraising effort.
As I write this, it’s one day after the Ottawa Athletic Club (OAC) announced that it is closing its doors after 44 years.
OSCA was officially incorporated on October 17th, 1979. The loss of the OAC hit too close to home. I was struck by the number of friends sharing their memories of the OAC and recalled my own visits during high school. We’ve seen other institutions and businesses close in the last few months, while others have held on. But what resonates the most is how unexpected it feels. In many ways we overlook the very real possibility that a deep-rooted and well-established organization can close. But it can.
Many in Old Ottawa South will remember the “Walk for the Centre” which runs every fall to promote awareness of food insecurity for many in our city, and to raise funds for the Centretown Emergency Food Centre. The Centre serves a large central catchment area including OOS, and has students, seniors, recent immigrants, and rooming house occupants amongst its clients. In addition, the Food Centre’s 90-plus volunteers include a number of OOS residents. Several neighbourhood churches are members of the Centre’s parent organization and sponsor of the walkathon, the Centretown Churches Social Action Committee (CCSAC).
I am auctioning off a child’s wagon to raise money for the Ottawa Food Bank! Let me tell you all about it.
Glebe Collegiate Institute presents this year's Kids 4 Kids CHEO Drive.