Optimist Toy Run triples riders

OptToyRunThe second annual Aylmer Optimist Club Toy Run that started at the Bargain Shop parking lot at noon on Sunday, Sept. 17 more than tripled the number of riders and motorcycles from its inaugural year. This year there were 166 participants riding well over 100 motorcycles. Those participating in the event were asked to either pay $10 or bring a toy as their entry fee. After the run, the riders were invited to the Optimist Clubhouse for a chili lunch. The event kicked off the Aylmer Optimist’s annual Christmas Toy Drive. Organizer Dave Green said the Toy Run would for this year forward be also known as the Ken Schlimme Memorial, named for his close friend from Woodstock who died in a crash while riding his custom Harley Davidson in the early evening of Friday, Aug. 18. Mr. Schlimme’s bike collided with a van near Woodstock’s downtown core and the 63-year-old man driving the van was charged with careless driving.

Senior Eagles crush Oakridge

SrfootballEast Elgin Secondary School running back Leo Centeno, front, powered by two London Oakridge players for a first down during a preseason game in Aylmer under the lights on Friday night, Sept. 15. The East Elgin Eagles won 24-0 in a sloppy affair. EESS’s Robert Redecop scored a kickoff return touchdown and Centeno scored a rushing TD. Tevin Johnston scored a fumble recovery touchdown and Oakridge gave up two safeties with Centeno scoring single points, one with his foot, an extra point, and on a kickoff. All of the scoring came in the second half. The Senior Eagles begin their regular season at Western University’s TD Stadium in London versus the Banting Broncos, a United Way game, on Friday, Sept. 22 starting at 11:30 a.m. EESS’s first home game is Thursday, Sept. 28 versus St. Thomas Parkside, kickoff at 8 p.m. The Senior Eagles host London Lucas for the Turkey Bowl on Friday, Oct. 6, another 8 p.m. start.

Junior Eagles edge Oakridge

JrfootballEast Elgin Secondary School Junior football player Aidan Haldenby, right, managed to elude a London Oakridge defender to gain enough yardage for a first down and more during a preseason game in Aylmer on Friday evening, Sept. 15. The East Elgin Eagles held on for a 13-12 win. East Elgin’s touchdowns were scored by Adam Dekraker and Colby Underhill. EESS Junior coach Gary Haldenby said his team started the game strong with key running from Dekraker, Haldenby, Underhill and Matthew Peters. The Eagles built a 13-0 lead into the fourth quarter until Oakridge made the game tight with two late scores before EESS denied a last second two point attempt to secure the victory. The Junior Eagles begin their regular season on Thursday, Sept. 21 at London Banting with kickoff at 3 p.m. Their next two games will be at home, Thursday, Sept. 28 versus St. Thomas Parkside and then the homecoming Turkey Bowl game versus London Lucas on Friday, Oct. 6, both games starting shortly after 6 p.m.

Antique tractors galore at MacVicar Farm

DingmanAntiqueEzra Goodwin-MacVicar, almost 2, and his mom Meg Goodwin of North Bay hopped onto a mini John Deere all-terrain vehicle during the 12th annual Dingman Antique Plowing Day held on Saturday, Sept. 16 at Doug and Penni MacVicar’s farm on Belmont Road just south of Ron McNeil Line (north of New Sarum). Ezra’s dad Ryan MacVicar was just out of camera range. Ryan is the son of Doug and Penni MacVicar. Hundreds of antique, classic and newer tractors and other farm equipment were on display that day which also featured demonstrations, plowing, vendors, a kids tractor pull, a Belmont Lions food booth, a classic car show, an auction and a perch fish fry for dinner. Proceeds of the event go to Frest Start Maternity Supports along with Lions Club youth programs in Belmont and St. Thomas.

Behind bars, but just for a bit

DoorsOpenTimothy Bylsma, 4, front, his cousin Travis Rozendaal, 4, and sister Katie, 9, were about to be put behind bars, but only briefly, within a jail cell at the Aylmer Police Station during Doors Open East Elgin on Saturday, Sept. 16. Local residents and visitors to the area could take a guided tour through several areas of the police station where current police technologies and services were highlighted. An Ontario Provincial Police canine unit and a rollover simulator display were also on hand for the day. Other Aylmer Doors Open locations including Old Town Hall Theatre and Library and the Aylmer Optimist Club. There were seven locations for Doors Open that day in Bayham.

Springfield hosts powwow

powwowThe Eagle Flight Singers and Dancers of London performed a pow wow ceremony at Malahide Community Place in front of Springfield Public School pupils and staff on Friday afternoon, Sept. 15 to help celebrate the record breaking Summer Reading Club (SRC) program at Springfield Library. The event was supported by donations to the library’s SRC from local businesses and organizations and the Springfield Public School Parent Council. “We had 168 children read 2,852 books over the course of the summer,” library assistant Colleen DeVos said. “We had 68 students from Springfield Public School, or 42 percent of the school’s population, participate in SRC along with other children from the local area.” The program surpassed the goal of 150 children participating in the SRC for Canada’s 150th birthday. Ms. DeVos said despite being slated for closure in 2020, Springfield Public School’s pupil enrolment is up by 23 this year to total 183. The Eagle Flight Singers and Dancers are a First Nations troupe with cultural influences from the western plains who employ an educational and informative approach to their performances.

Getting back to school–with pizza!

webmcgpizzaVolunteers at McGregor Public School in Aylmer handed out slices of free pizza during a teacher open house and Terry Fox Family Walk that traditionally opens the new school year there, Wednesday night, Sept. 13. Similar events were being held this week at public, Catholic and private schools across the area.

Car crashes into Baptist Church

BapChurchA black 2006 Chevrolet car driven by an Aylmer man, 50, crashed into the front of Aylmer Baptist Church at about 8:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Church property committee chairman Lynda Shelly surveyed the damage the next morning and is seen here pointing to a dent at the bottom of the church sign which is where the car came to rest. Aylmer Police Sergeant Paul Lawrence said the car had been travelling north on John Street South when it left the road. The car then struck the front steps area of the church, snapped the railing, chipped some bricks, broke a newly placed flower planter box and continued across the front lawn breaking a ground level light fixture before coming to rest against the church sign on the southeast corner of the property at Pine Street. The driver was transported to St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital by ambulance as a precaution. Sgt. Lawrence said the car was towed from the scene, the investigation would continue and charges were pending.

Girl, 6, killed by SUV driven by family member

Melissa Klassen, 6, from Norwich Township was struck and killed by a sports utility vehicle (SUV) driven by a family member somewhere in Bayham on Monday afternoon, Sept. 11.

Ontario Provincial Police officers responded to a “Bayham, Ontario address at 4:30 p.m.” that day “to a report of a child struck by a vehicle,” Sergeant Dave Rektor said.

“OPP investigators discovered that a 6-year-old girl was running next to a vehicle on private property when she was struck by the SUV,” Sgt. Rektor said. “The child was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced deceased.”

Time to play hockey

webbadbantamaHost BAD (Belmont-Aylmer-Dorchester) Girls Bantam A hockey team goalie Megan DeHaan frustrated a determined Chatham attacker in an early-season game at East Elgin Community Complex on Saturday, Sept. 9. The local girls fought hard but ended up losing 5-2.