MPP Christ­mas event ben­e­fits food banks,

MPP Steve Clark’s Christ­mas event helps out area food banks

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - FRONT PAGE - TIM RUHNKE

This was the year Steve Clark be­came a min­is­ter, but his Christ­mas event here Sun­day was all about fam­ily, friends and help­ing peo­ple in need.

The an­nual Christ­mas re­cep­tion hosted by Leeds- Grenville– Thou­sand Is­lands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark took place on Sun­day af­ter­noon. Clark and his wife Deanna wel­comed a steady stream of con­stituents at the pub­lic event.

When asked for what he is thank­ful for, the MPP’s re­sponse was im­me­di­ate.

“I’m most thank­ful for fam­ily,” stated Clark, who noted he now has three won­der­ful grand­kids.

In com­ment­ing that it’s been a re­ally good year, he in­di­cated that the Christ­mas sea­son pro­vides a great op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to get to­gether.

The event in­cluded com­pli­men­tary food and a visit by Santa Claus, as well as mu­sic per­formed by the Sandy Wil­son Duo.

Guests at the MPP’s re­cep­tion were asked to bring canned goods for food banks in Brockville, Gananoque, Athens, and South Grenville. It was es­ti­mated that a few thou­sand non-per­ish­able items were col­lected.

Clark has main­tained the Christ­mas re­cep­tion tra­di­tion es­tab­lished by his pre­de­ces­sor, Bob Runci­man. The long­time Leeds-Grenville MPP who left Queen’s Park to serve in the Se­nate, un­til his re­tire­ment in Au­gust 2017, was on hand Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Clark, who was first elected to the On­tario leg­is­la­ture in a 2010 by­elec­tion and was re-elected in 2011, 2014 and in June of this year, now serves as mu­nic­i­pal af­fairs and hous­ing min­is­ter in the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment.

There were many cur­rent and former lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil mem­bers in at­ten­dance at the event. Among them was in­com­ing Brockville coun­cil­lor Cameron Wales.

The young rookie coun­cil­lor said he was look­ing for­ward to an “in­ter­est­ing ride” as he pre­pared to be­gin his four-year term of of­fice.

Also on hand at the MPP’s re­cep­tion was re­tired busi­ness­man and former Prescott coun­cil­lor Jim French, who quipped that he is thank­ful for still be­ing alive.

“This is a beau­ti­ful area right on the St. Lawrence River,” ob­served French, who es­pe­cially likes sum­mers in the re­gion. How about the win­ters? “Well, that’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent,” he re­sponded.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Leeds-Grenville-Thou­sand Is­lands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark's an­nual Christ­mas re­cep­tion on Sun­day was a chance for the com­mu­nity again to show its gen­eros­ity for those in need over the hol­i­day sea­son through do­na­tions of non-per­ish­able items col­lected by vol­un­teers from the Athens, Brockville, Gananoque and South Grenville food banks. Pic­tured with MPP Clark are, from left, JoAnne Sytsma and Theresa Sos­nowski from the Brockville and Area Food Bank, Bon­nie Pid­geon Cougler of the South Grenville Food Bank, Barb Jenk­ins from the Gananoque Food Bank, and Ber­nice McLean and Char­lotte Hoy of the Athens and Area Food Bank.

TIM RUHNKE/SPE­CIAL TO THE RECORDER AND TIMES

From left, Jean and Jim French are wel­comed by Deanna and Steve Clark at the lo­cal MPP’s Christ­mas re­cep­tion at the Brockville Con­ven­tion Cen­tre on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

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