Saturday, April 4, 2009

Haldimand "Dunnville Beefs up Flood Relief Efforts"

****Update, Due to an equipment failure the Burger Pit fundraiser is cancelled and will resume next Monday and Wednesday****

Just a note, for anyone that is attending the Caledonia Home Show this weekend Don Ricker has a donation jar at his booth. Thanks Don!

Dunnville beefs up flood relief efforts

Relief application deadline May 19

Posted 1 day ago

Scott Meehan will be flipping homemade burgers to help flood victims and is challenging owners of other Haldimand County eateries to follow his example.

On Monday, April 6, and Wednesday, April 8, he will donate $1 from every burger and fry order he receives at The Burger Pit at 209 Chestnut Street in downtown Dunnville. His contributions to flood relief assistance will be collected from 11 a. m. to 9 p. m. on both days.

"I know it's been tough on a lot of people. Some of my customers were affected," said Meehan. "If I can help, I don't mind."

County personalities including local politicians and Chronicle staff members will provide volunteer labour for this fundraising event. As well, Chronicle employees, who will order burgers and fries next week, are challenging other Dunnville business employees to do the same.
Meanwhile Meehan called upon other food establishments to host their own dining and fundraising events.

Proceeds can be delivered to county offices and will be deposited into the Haldimand Disaster Relief Committee (HDRC) bank account. Cheques are to be made out to the committee. Tax receipts will be issued.

Opening the account was one of the first goals set by Bernie Corbett, who was elected chair of the committee at their March 30 inaugural meeting.

"We're trying to work as expeditiously as we can," he added.

Applications for financial assistance will be available at the Cayuga municipal office, Dunnville satellite office and on line at in local media will outline how to apply for claims. People who filled out survey forms last month are required to fill out formal applications. New applicants are welcome to submit claims too. The deadline to apply is Tuesday May 19.

Over the coming months, the HDRC will hold several fundraising activities across the county to help families and businesses eligible for assistance, announced Corbett in a press release.
Named vice-chair of the fundraising subcommittee, Don Edwards of Caledonia had a variety of ideas.

"We're going to get rolling right away," he told The Chronicle.

This week, Donna Pitcher, who is a member of his subcommittee, talked to Meehan about fundraising ideas and that led to his $1 per meal initiative.

Corbett, Edwards and other committee members will work under Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) guidelines set by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

At the March 30 meeting in the Dunnville recreation centre, Victoria Young of Cayuga was named vice-chair of the claim settlement subcommittee and Brett Kelly of Dunnville was assigned to the job of press secretary.

Other committee members are Donna Pitcher of South Cayuga and Marie Maas of Fisherville and Dunnville residents Joanne Falletta, Ken Egger, and Kim Hessels.

Very capable people are driving relief efforts, said Corbett.

Based on preliminary reports, 60 families and several businesses in Dunnville and Cayuga suffered $1.7 million in damages from the Feb. 13 flood. Those estimates were used to substantiate a county request for provincial financial assistance.

On March 13, Municipal Affairs minister Jim Watson declared a disaster designation in flooded areas from Cayuga's bridge to Port Maitland. The Ontario government will provide up to $2 for every $1 raised in the community.

Tim Ryall , who directs ODRAP, said assistance is not meant to replace insurance so some costs are left to home and business owners. A certain percentage will be covered based on the amount raised by the community. If the amount raised does not cover the community's share of damages, the ministry will provide $2 for every $1 raised. Otherwise ODRAP covers up to 90 per cent of flood damage costs.

Before the committee meets again on April 6, Don Edwards will hold a meeting where he will suggest a No Show Ball. People will be asked to purchase tickets at a price of $125 for example but there will be no event to attend. Donors would receive a token gift such as dollar-store slippers, popcorn and a movie rental plus a tax receipt for their donation minus the cost of the gift.

This type of event, used successfully for an Ottawa Ronald McDonald House, provides the maximum donation for a relief effort, explained Edwards. When a charity holds a dance, it must subtract event costs from admission and can only provide a tax receipt for the difference.

While leading fundraising, Edwards will draw on experience. He operated the West Haldimand Hospital Foundation's Dream Vacation lottery and served as a director and then the board president of Hamilton's Ronald McDonald House. Presently, Edwards is employed as the senior constituent assistant for Haldimand Norfolk MP Diane Finley.

His motive for volunteering for the HDRC was purely a desire to help.

Seeing flood damage in his own community, he realized a lot of people faced considerable devastation and that money must be raised to help them through very tough times made worse by the economy.

"If there's anything we can do to help -that's what the calling is, step up to the plate. They're my neighbours," said Edwards.

The HDRC will also hire a program manager to work in the committee office and act as secretary. His or her salary will be paid by the ministry. In Corbett's opinion, recording meeting minutes is a fiduciary responsibility especially when working with people's money.

"You should be forthright in what you are doing with it," he told The Chronicle. "Funds received will go to recipients."

All committee administration costs will be covered by the ministry and Haldimand County, which will provide office space. When relief work is in its final stages, the program manager and the committee treasurer who will be named by the county will prepare an audit.

Article ID# 1508416


  1. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have a new thing this year called "Fundraing Frenzy" where they partner up with any community fundraising efforts. With the season coming up, this may be a great thing to try. This could raise a lot of money fast especially with the Government matching funds 2:1

    check it out:

  2. Sorry for the terrible spelling.


  3. Thanks for the comment and the information about the ticats.

  4. Thanks to Scott at Burger Pit. We raised $130.00!

  5. The Legion in Dunnville is having a dance on May 2nd featuring True Country. This fundraiser is for the flood victims. Buy your ticket!!!

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