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Hello E.J.,

Please allow me to quickly apologize for taking a week to let you know all know how our National Children’s Day kayaking session went. Been a crazy busy week at home and at work.

Well, on Sunday November 19th, CReW with our friends at "Partir D’ Un Bons Pas Pour L’ Avenir" (Translates in English to "Starting On The Right Foot For The Future") and several other Children’s organizations including Big Brothers and Sisters, put together a 1.5 hour pool session for the regions kids.

This was part of a 3 day long series of events that is held in different communities across Canada.
Here in the Cornwall, Ontario region, the events are usually organized free swims, movies, breakfasts, skating , bowling, etc.

This year CReW brought something new to the table: Introduction to Kayaking!

Man what a success.

In one and a half hours 65 children (that was our final count) between the ages of 6 and 13 got an opportunity to get into a kayak at the Cornwall Aquatic Center and paddle around under the watchful eyes of our Club volunteers and volunteers from Partir D’Un Bon Pas Pour L’ Avenir.

Our non-paddling volunteers did an awesome job keeping the entrances and lockers rooms safe and the waiting lines organized and flowing smoothly (Kids that were waiting could use the water slide to keep them occupied and laughing).

All the kids were visibly excited about trying this out.
Many were anxious getting in the boats but with the encouragement of Sylvie Lebel (my wife and best friend, without whom I would not be able to keep it all together), Mary Jane Hakvoort one of our members and Susan (my sister) they all slid gently into the water with a smile.
Once in the water….. their outlook quickly changed. They had FUN!.
Lots of questions were asked and with some gentle guidance from our Club paddlers (Zachary and Emily Zwanenburg, Adam and Sean Hakvoort, Sean Blaine and myself) the kids were paddling back and forth across the pool, racing each other and just having a good time.

Every one of them who got in the pool left with a gift. Many left with Jackson Stickers, DVD’s or CReW stickers, ballons and various other gifts.

But most importantly, they left knowing that there is a larger spectrum of activities and lifestyles available to them than they previously knew AND that there are people who care about their futures who want to make these things a reality.

I am so very proud of the volunteers from our Club and those who came from Partir D’Un Bons Pas Pour L’ Avenir.
Lucie Hart from Partir D’Un Bons Pas Pour L’ Avenir, is an incredible lady who is driven , cares about the kids and knows how to get things done. Without her and her volunteers this event would not have been possible.
Their efforts facilitated a lot of big smiles and laughter and I can not ask for a greater reward.

Now we are regrouping and in the coming year plan to put on more events of this type for different age groups with longer pool times.
We will be raising the funds to do this and are looking forward to the next group of kid’s and will also be raising funds to help provide kayak lessons and outings for as many kids as possible during the next paddling season.

These kids are the future of our communities our sports and our rivers and we are looking forward to another year of sharing our playground and environment with them.

Thank you Lucie, thanks to all the CReW Volunteers and thank you Eric and Jackson Kayaks for your support.


Robert Zwanenburg

I have included some pictures taken by Sylvie at the event.
Unfortunately at the end of the event we were in such a hurry to get out of the pool area for their regular pool schedule, I did not get a group shot of all the volunteers. Missing are Lucie Hart and her staff.
However there is a groups shot of our CReW volunteers. The photo was taken this Friday evening at our bi-monthly CReW Kayak Polo games in Alexandria, Ontario.

Our local media coverage was not as great as expected. This we will be correcting correcting at future events. It seems that kids having fun does not make big news. Well: Watch us change that in 2007!


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CReW Volunteers- Left to right top to bottom- Adam Hakvoor, Robert Zwanenburg, Sean Hakvoort, Zachary Zwanenburg, Sean Blaine, Emily Zwanenburg and Sylvie Lebel

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National Childrens Day 004- Emily in pink coaching 2 young paddlers

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National Childrens Day 001

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National Childrens Day 002- Marry Jane keeping a watchful eye as the kids cue up

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National Childrens Day 003- Sean Hakvoort helping out in the foreground

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National Childrens Day 005- Adam Hakvoort keeping a watchful eye and directing traffic