Believe in Cobourg! A Cobourg Media Tribute to Community Heroes

Elizabeth (Libby) Bailey

Local Hero Elizabeth Bailey is a member of the Hospice Services Team at the Northumberland Hospice Care Centre. Libby’s contributions to our community are incalculable.  As a proud community-minded person, she has been an ardent supporter, mentor, educator, advocate, and leader in the community Hospice Palliative Care field locally and beyond for the past 30 years.  Libby’s commitment to developing and providing exceptional quality of hospice palliative care has always been unshakable, even under the pandemic’s current challenges. Driven by her dedication to helping clients, family members, volunteers, students, staff and community partners/providers, or to anyone, Libby underpins the compassion and hospice approach to care that is the bedrock in our community today. The inspiring, positive, fun-loving, and caring Libby Bailey, is a true community hero to many!

Nominated by Cheryl McFarlane

Northumberland Hills Hospital Staff, Volunteers and Donors

Thank you to the Doctors, Nurses, volunteers, donors and the entire staff at Northumberland Hills Hospital for their tireless efforts to take care of patients throughout the pandemic.

NHH was able to acquire Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) thanks to the support of two local businesses: Weir Esco and Spoolon Manufacturing Ltd. Early in the pandemic, Weir Esco stepped in to loan 20 of these pieces of PPE to NHH and after hearing of this loan and the benefits of PAPRs, Spoolon funded the purchase of 10 PAPRs for NHH to maintain its own supply in-house to help protect frontline staff. SABIC also donated strategic materials such as polycarbonate sheets to help with the Producer Alliance’s production of face shields for frontline workers

Nominated by the NHH Foundation

Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre Staff

Cornerstone staff have been working diligently and without missing a beat since the pandemic began. Their ability to pivot their approach to service, uphold rigorous infection prevention measures, and still deliver high-quality, vital supports to women and children impacted by violence is admirable. We are so appreciative of their resilience and contributions to the community!

Nominated by Carly Cunningham

Local Food for Local Good Volunteers & Donors

In April, Local Food for Local Good learned that a population of students would be at risk of becoming food insecure due to the impact of COVID-19 and the closure of schools and their nutrition programs. We couldn’t fathom children and their families not having access to healthy food so we developed partnerships with two local restaurants, Food Inspired and Dockside Bistro, to provide prepared family meals.  We also partnered with Market Smor to deliver their healthy fresh food boxes to families on a weekly basis. We worked with Northumberland Food for Thought who coordinates the regional student nutrition program for student and family outreach.  We were also able to provide fresh food boxes to the Children’s Aid Society and Rebound Child & Youth Services families as well as hot meals to folks in an emergency shelter. Over the course of 20 weeks, we provided 1,883 prepared meals and 791 fresh food boxes to over 90 families and 200 children from 25 different schools.  We had 11 volunteers who spent 125 hours driving over 7,600 kilometres to 11 communities across Northumberland County.

Nominated by Nicole Beatty

Thelma Dillon

As Seeds of Hope Pinakbet Ambassador, Thelma has initiated the fundraising to put up a Bahay Kubo by selling Seeds of Hope Pinakbet pack. The seeds are used to encourage vegetable backyard gardening in the community and aim to teach children how to sow, grow and cook healthy dishes from the Pinakbet vegetables. She also does Zumba Party and sells Seeds of Hope Pinakbet pack on the Cobourg Market Day, rain or shine to raise funds for the victims of the recent Typhoon in Bicol Province where she came from. Thelma is like an energizer always spreading love, kindness and positive vibes through her Zumba Party online encouraging those who are homebound to exercise and have fun. She also made a big impact doing Zumba with the residents of the long-term care in Cobourg. Thelma is like a Wonder woman, a mother of 4 four boys, a nurse and a wife. Everything Thelma does creates a ripple effect– her kindness and love for humanity is amazing.

Nominated by Maria Sherry Lacsoon Tan

Lions Club of Cobourg

The Cobourg Lions continue to live their motto WE SERVE. Just look at their Facebook page to see that they continued to raise money and donate it to many community groups while supporting and saluting front-line workers even keeping the community entertained. From bottle drives to take out meals, a drive-in concert, a socially distanced yard sale, calendar sales, and giving meals to medical staff and local emergency personnel – they never stop doing for this community. This is a photo from summer – sharing food with the staff at Golden Plough Lodge!

Nominated by Brenda Whitehead

Dawn Kinghorn

I would like to nominate my sister Dawn Kinghorn who has been my inspiration. She never stopped throughout the lockdown to put crafts out for children and hamper packages for care homes and those in need. During this Christmas season, she also dressed as Santa to give children presents from her front garden. Throughout this whole lockdown, she never stopped giving and making people smile. She has a heart of gold and she deserves it so much!

Nominated by Theresa Brown

Community Care Northumberland Staff & Volunteers

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff and volunteers of Community Care Northumberland have gone above and beyond to continue offering services and providing care so that the members of our community have been supported. Thanks to the incredible team of staff and volunteers, Community Care could safely: prepare and deliver meals; provide necessary transportation; offer virtual programming; provide support through personal distress alarms, virtual friendly visiting and telephone reassurance calls; and support hospice clients both at Ed’s House and those living throughout Northumberland County. Community Care Northumberland staff and volunteers are heroes in our community, working both behind the scenes and on the frontline to continue offering community support services that many throughout Northumberland County rely on.   

Nominated by Community Care Northumberland

Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Throughout the pandemic, they have ensured that businesses have advocates with all levels of government to speak on their behalf and develop support during these challenging times. Information and resources are readily available for a sector that has been hit hard. They support the staff who can get it out quickly and efficiently. The thing to remember is that they too all work in their own businesses or for businesses that have also been impacted but they make the other businesses in the community a priority in their daily decision making.

Nominated by Brenda Whitehead

Outreach Staff Team at Green Wood Coalition 

The outreach staff team at Green Wood Coalition has been working relentlessly this year, particularly since Covid-19 hit, to support the hungry, homeless and hurting in our community. With the pandemic, there has been increased substance use, homelessness and isolation for those who were already living on the margins. With Covid-19 funding support, we were able to bring a few part-time peer support workers to help our already stretched outreach staff. The staff team of five, working with further support from community cooking volunteers, have recently been delivering over 100 prepared meals a week to community members. They have also been providing vital supplies such as Naloxone kits, sanitizers and non-perishable foods. They do check-ins with those they are supporting just to say hi and let them know that someone in the world cares that they are alive. That makes a world of difference any time, but with increased isolation, it is even more vital. Our team has been instrumental in developing and running a supportive housing program. The program aims to lift people up so that they can continue their lives with dignity and a secure roof over their heads. Early in the pandemic, the outreach team worked around the clock to support those living in temporary housing at CCI and other temporary housing arrangements to ensure people could be warm, safe and have options for isolation should they contract Covid-19. The outreach staff of Green Wood Coalition provides more than food and conversation. They provide hope to those who feel they have been forgotten. Green Wood Coalition has been providing community outreach and support services for over a decade; but this year, our role in delivering a caring safety net for the vulnerable in our community has been more valuable than ever before.

Nominated by the Board of Directors for Green Wood Coalition

Gail Bambrough

It is with great pleasure that I nominate Gail Bambrough as a local community hero. Gail has worked with the Cobourg Transit System since 1989. She brings true professionalism to the company and the community. Gail always has a positive attitude which is noticed by her passengers. She helps in anyway she can and genuinely cares about delivering excellent quality service. Passengers call her by name and you can easily strike up a brief conversation with her, she also takes the time to get to know new passengers. She knows where many are going and strives to integrate individual passenger needs. Gail is well-deserving of this recognition as she is a strong professional leader to this community. 

Nominated by Melissa Nelson

Jordyn Jacobs

Jordyn wanted to raise $200 to buy meals for local families who may not be so fortunate this holiday season. She hosted a zoom baking class, charged $20 for admission and accepted other donations as well and raised $1,100, (60 families) and donated it to the Fare Share Turkey drive through Holton’s Flower shop! 

Nominated by Natasha Jacobs

Fern Blodgett Sunde Commemorative Committee

The Fern Blodgett Sunde Commemorative Committee for their contributions to preserving the historic story of the first woman wireless radio operator to serve deep-sea during WWII. The committee included Lt. Christopher Barker, Peter Delanty, Laura McCracken Ebbrell, Lynn Hardy, Cationa Wood, Leona Woods, Art Seymour, Stanley Isherwood (Cobourg Museum Foundation), absent Petra Bekker.

Nominated by Graham Beer

Cobourg Fire Department

The strength of the relationship between first responders and our local hospital has been on full display throughout 2020 and earlier this year, Cobourg Professional Firefighter Association Local 1732 steps up to go the extra mile with a big donation to raise funds for NHH. The Cobourg Professional Firefighter Association generously donated a Traeger Texas Elite 34 to NHH Foundation to advance fundraising efforts in support of priority medical equipment and technology at NHH

Nominated by the NHH Foundation

Cobourg Media Crew for the Fern Blodgett Sunde Commemorations

I would like to nominate the Cobourg Media team who worked on live streaming the Fern Blodgett Sunde unveiling for the hero spotlight. Your work allowed people who would otherwise not have been able to be part of the unveiling, to be there in real-time. Fern Blodgett Sunde’s daughters and their children and grandchildren in Norway, Paris, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States were able to share in the event. Veterans of WWII who could not make the journey to Cobourg got to see it live-streamed including Gord Woods, the oldest surviving Battle of the Atlantic veteran in this area, living in a senior’s residence in Port Hope. Out of the COVID crisis came an opportunity for so many people to see the unveiling and to learn Fern’s story. In addition, the story and the unveiling itself will be preserved for posterity. This would not have happened without covid, and without the knowledge, experience, hard work, co-operation and expertise of your team.

Nominated by Leona Woods

David Mitchell, Glenn Bailey, & David Marshall of the Northumberland New Ventures Band

In February of 2014, Glenn Bailey, a local retired high school music teacher, invited anyone who was interested in joining a new band to come and discuss how this could be made possible. 34 people came to meet Glenn and hear his ideas about forming a new band. Some of the people had music backgrounds, some had played 25 years ago in their high school band, others had never played an instrument in their lives. Last March, The Northumberland New Ventures Band had 95 members with two additional retired Music teachers, David Mitchell and David Marshall helping to lead five different groups under the umbrella of New Ventures. Covid has made it very difficult for this group of musicians to get together to play safely as a group, but this has not stopped our fearless leader Glenn Bailey! This fall, Glenn organized for the band to meet in small sectional groups, for those who wished to continue to learn to play new music. This has taken hours and hours of checking with the local health unit for safety regulations and rearranging musical scores, so they would work in small groups rather than with a full band. Both Davids have continued to offer their leadership as well to band members that wished to continue to play during the pandemic. I think all three gents deserve a big applause as they continue to share their love for music with their community!

Nominated by Julie Stewart

Spry-Wharram Family

The Spry Family hosted Family Christmas at Spry Christmas Tree Farm for the 6th year in the row, and this 2020 event was a record-breaking year, raising $28,000 in support of NHH Foundation’s Light Up a Life campaign, which will help fund priority medical equipment at NHH.

Nominated by the NHH Foundation

Cobourg Police

Thank you Cobourg Police and auxiliary team. Police officers risk their lives for the general safety of the people, and enforcement of the law. People form opinions of the police based on their own interactions with them or the experiences they hear from trusted friends and family, people sometimes forget those police officers are human beings. 247/365, overnights, double shifts, and through this pandemic, they do it while still having to be family people, pay the bills and handle all the same things most of us deal with on our own time. Every time they put that uniform on they put our safety above theirs. Every time they leave home for another shift they aren’t guaranteed to return home. The vast majority at heart are trying to do well for the community. We are blessed to have men and women such as this. Thank you Cobourg Police and the auxiliary team for protecting us and keeping our community safe.

Nominated by Anonymous

We truly live in an amazing and supportive community! Thank you to all who nominated our 2020 community heroes. From our Cobourg Media team, Happy Holidays and wishing you peace and good health in 2021!

Graham Beer
Executive Producer, Cobourg Media