Category Archives: Uncategorized

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

Meeting Calendar
Meetings are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Information is obtained from the applicable agency, board, committee, or commission and downloaded to this calendar as it becomes available. Information is subject to change. Please check back often for the most up-to-date information, including cancellations.

Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole, in Camera (Closed to the Public) ≫
6:05 PM Tuesday Feb. 18 2020 –
Receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose:
– Welland Rose Festival Inc.

Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees:
-Citizens appointments to:
Waterway Advisory Committee
Committee of Adjustment.

Proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board:
-Update on land sales.

Council Ante Room

Council Meeting in Open Session ≫
7:00 PM Tuesday Feb. 18 2020 –
Council Chambers

Committee of Adjustment Hearing(s) ≫
5:00 PM Wednesday Feb. 19 2020 –
Council Chambers

Market Square Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
6:00 PM Wednesday Feb. 19 2020 –
Welland Community Wellness, 145 Lincoln Street

Senior Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
9:30 AM Thursday Feb. 20 2020 –
LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

North Welland Business Improvement Area Meeting ≫
4:00 PM Thursday Feb. 20 2020 –
MT Bellies, 871 Niagara Street

Accessibility Advisory Committee Meeting ≫
3:00 PM Friday Feb. 21 2020 –
Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street

(Source: City of Welland website)

Julia’s Hope Cup: ‘That’s What Love Is About’

Eddie Burkholder, left, and Jimmy Larouche are shown with Julia’s Hope Cup. Burkholder promotes the event through social media connections and Larouche acts as liaison with the city. They have been involved with the popular fundraiser since its beginning. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich,  Scribbler-at-large

More than a pond hockey tournament and fundraiser, Julia’s Hope Cup is also a love story.

We know about the Turner family, their loss of 15-year-old daughter Julia in December, 2011 to brain cancer and the community’s great outpouring of love in their support.

We know about the Turners’ love of Welland, manifested in layers and layers of community involvement and interaction.

But another love story not so well known comes into play: friendship. It’s about friendship and how its bonds have grown stronger over the passage of time.

I was in Eddie Burkholder’s Fitch Street office a few days ago to chat with him and Jim Larouche (who was a tad late in arriving), about their involvement in Julia’s Hope Cup. Paul Turner, Julia’s dad was there and on his way out to do some errands for the event, said to Burkholder, “I love you, buddy.” Burkholder reciprocated.

This relationship is decades old. Burkholder skated through years gone by with an animated retelling of how it began. The three families lived in the Chippawa Park neighbourhood – the Turners on Edgar Street, the Burkholders on Glen View and the Larouches on Pine Street. The boys attended St. Kevin Catholic elementary school, Eddie a few grades behind the others, who were older. They shared a passion for sports. Some days, they (with siblings and other friends) held Olympics-like competitions engaging in four or five seasonal sports. In winter, their favourite meeting place was the park because of its frozen pond. If I can be allowed to paraphrase a saying: ‘There is no greater waste than an unused sheet of pond ice.’

“We’d go out early in the morning and come home after dinner,” Burkholder recalled. “It just had to be frozen, that’s all that mattered. It didn’t matter how much snow there was on it, we brought our shovels. Back then you went to the park because you always found a game to get into. I know it sounds like Norman Rockwell, but every time we got back home from the park, mom would have hot cocoa on the stove.” It was a ritual at all three homes.

Their “extra-strong bond” held firm over the years because of a combination of trust, their on-going enjoyment of special times and the lessons that reality taught them.

Said Burkholder: “One of the things about our friendship is that we’ve been there for each other not just in good times but bad times. That’s what love is about. Let me tie Jimmy into that.

“I lost my dad in 1989, he died of cancer at 59, I was 21. I was diagnosed at 26 with testicular cancer. After chemotherapy and other treatment I’m 24-years cancer free. My point is Jimmy was there every day for me. He drove me to cancer treatment almost every day. When both my parents died (Burkholder’s mother, Ellen, passed in 2004) both times he was the first guy at my house.”

They shared in each other’s joys, they shared in each other’s tears. That’s what friends are for. That’s what love is.

“When you see someone you love like Paul and Tina go through pain, it hurts,” Burkholder said, tearing up behind his desk as he fast-forwarded the story. “As a friend you want to take their pain away.”

Burkholder has been involved in the hockey tournament from its inception. Here’s something I didn’t know: It started in his office with some casual conversation amongst the friends:

“We said let’s do what we did when we were kids – let’s throw our sticks into the middle of the rink, it didn’t matter who was on your team. We said let’s throw in $50 or $100 or whatever, and we’ll give back to the community.”

That’s what led to the Hope Cup, a hockey fundraiser for Hope Centre. Then after Julia passed, it was re-dedicated in 2012 as Julia’s Hope Cup in her memory.

Jimmy Larouche joined in with: “Building on what Eddie said, the Burkholder, Turner, Larouche families were inseparable. Our bond is unbreakable. It’s the foundation our parents built for us and to pass the message on.”

Burkholder added: “We were fortunate to come from very good families. At the end of the day, it’s love that has been the foundation of our friendship.”

They knew Julia, of course, from their family friendships. They spoke of her glowingly: sweet, wonderful, inspirational, full of spirit, athletic, committed to giving back to the community, and more.

“She loved helping young kids with their homework,” Burkholder recalled. “She was my daughter Emily’s reading buddy. My daughter adored her.”

They’re not surprised Julia’s Hope Cup day has the backing it does. Welland and Wellanders are known for turning out to support good causes that benefit others, Larouche said, and this is one that qualifies.

“The three of us share the belief that it’s our duty to give back to the community,” he said. “We all share that commitment. What’s ironic is that we go back to a frozen pond playing when we were kids, and here we are again, all these years later, back in the park, back on the pond, still having fun and doing it for a good cause. You gotta love that.”

The ninth annual Julia’s Hope Cup takes place Saturday, February 15. For information about the event, visit

Sign Language

Please Support/Attend This Deserving Community Event, Saturday, February 15, Chippawa Park, Welland.

Julia’s Hope Cup is a fundraiser for Hope Centre. Exciting hockey action, silent auction, food festival, more! Great event for the Family Day weekend. (Sign Language is a recurring feature on the blog. Photo by Joe Barkovich)

2020 National Rowing Championships, Canada Cup Stroking To Welland

WELLAND – The City of Welland has been awarded the 2020 National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup, which will take place September 17 to 21, 2020, at the Welland South Canal.

Welland last hosted the National Rowing Championships in 2013, and has been the site of multiple Row Ontario provincial championships as well as the 2017 Canadian University Rowing Championships.

“The City of Welland is excited and proud to have been selected to host our national rowing athletes in September at the RCA National Championships and Canada Cup Regatta,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “Our Organizing Committee will be working diligently with Rowing Canada Aviron to ensure a positive experience and championship regatta for all in attendance. Welland’s flatwater courses are recognized internationally as among the best in the world.”

“RCA is extremely pleased to announce the venue and host of the 2020 National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup,” added Rowing Canada Aviron CEO, Terry Dillon. “It will be the first time since 2014 that this event will be held outside of British Columbia, so we are expecting strong participation from central and eastern Canada. The City of Welland is an experienced event host and we are confident the Organizing Committee will deliver an outstanding National event.”

The 2020 National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup will follow the same format as 2019, with the 2000m National Rowing Championship small boat races (singles and pairs) contested from September 17 to 20, and the 500m Canada Cup big boat races (quads and eights) completed on September 21.

Medalists will once again be celebrated at the annual Athlete Awards Banquet and top performances will be recognized with RCA’s six National Rowing Championships and Canada Cup trophies.

When and Where: September 17-21, 2020 Welland South Canal, Welland, ON
Schedule (Subject to change) September 17, 2020 – Course open for practice September 18, 2020 – NRCs Time Trials and Repechages September 19, 2020 – NRCs Quaterfinals and Semifinals September 20, 2020 – NRCs Finals September 21, 2020 – Canada Cup

Join the conversation @rowingcanada: #CDNRowing #AvironCDN #rowingcanada

(Source: City of Welland news release)