For Patricia Hart, 90, time has not dampened camp memories the Star’s Fresh Air Fund provided her as a girl from a poor family

Some 80 years later, the heartwarming memories of summer camp still shine brightly in Patricia Hart’s mind: The rolling hills, the pristine lakes, the stillness of the night.And of course she can’t forget three square meals a day; at the time, that was a bit of a luxury for the 10-year-old.“We were financially oppressed, shall we say,” Hart, 90, says with a hint of reticence, recalling her early upbringing when her daily sustenance primarily came in the form of a bowl of porridge and, if she were lucky, sometimes a piece of toast.That changed when she was able to attend summer camp for the first time when she was about nine or 10, thanks to the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund, which has been providing grants to camps to subsidize fees for disadvantaged and special-needs children from the GTA since 1901.Hart says being able to attend summer camp after having grown up in an urban neighbourhood near Bloor Street and Lansdowne Avenue was a “blessing.” Not only did she learn how to paddle a boat and swim in a lake, but it also instilled in her the confidence to make new friends and even try her hand at acting.“I still have good memories of what I had learned and felt at the Star Fresh Air Fund … It meant a lot to me. I never forgot it.”She remembers taking part in the weekly plays the camp would put together and finding herself in her element. It planted a seed for a passion that would continue throughout her life.“From that it just led on, I continued to do some acting afterwards, and it really came at the right time in my life and for me to look back on with fond memories … It made me aware that if I did get sad or upset, I could bury myself in acting,” Hart said.It’s why she’s been a donor to the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund for more than 20 years, her way of giving back to the initiative that changed her life.“You feel fulfilled knowing someone else who was in your position at a time will hopefully experience the same thing,” Hart said.The Star is aiming to raise $650,000 this year and needs your help to make stories like Hart’s a reality for children experiencing similar circumstances.Betty Harding certainly knows a thing or two about fundraising. As a child, she would gather with her sister and friends to sell washcloths, soap and lemonade in the Annex, with the proceeds going to the Fresh Air Fund.“We would set up our little stand down on Bloor Street right by the Millionaire’s Club … It was just what we did, not that we had a lot of money. But we always liked to try and help others,” Harding said.Harding has been a Fresh Air Fund donor for more than 15 years and said it still brings her great joy to know her contribution helps makes summer a little brighter for kids in the GTA. She hopes others will be inspired to lend a helping hand as well.“I’m delighted when I see in the paper that the numbers are coming up, with people donating … It sounds like we’re doing good for a lot of people, helping out. And that’s what we all need to do.”If you have been touched by the Fresh Air Fund or have a story to tell, email FreshAirFund@thestar.ca or phone 416-869-4847.Omar Mosleh is an Edmonton-based reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @OmarMosleh GOAL: $650,000To date: $562,134.71How to donate: With your gift, the Fresh Air Fund can send disadvantaged and special-needs children to camp. These children will take part in a camp experience they will cherish for a lifetime.By cheque: Mail to the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund, One Yonge St., Toronto, ON M5E 1E6By credit card: Visa, MasterCard or AMEX. Call 416.869.4847Online: For instant donations, use our secure form at thestar.com/freshairfundThe Star does not authorize anyone to solicit on its behalf. Tax receipts will be issued.

For Patricia Hart, 90, time has not dampened camp memories the Star’s Fresh Air Fund provided her as a girl from a poor family

Some 80 years later, the heartwarming memories of summer camp still shine brightly in Patricia Hart’s mind: The rolling hills, the pristine lakes, the stillness of the night.

And of course she can’t forget three square meals a day; at the time, that was a bit of a luxury for the 10-year-old.

“We were financially oppressed, shall we say,” Hart, 90, says with a hint of reticence, recalling her early upbringing when her daily sustenance primarily came in the form of a bowl of porridge and, if she were lucky, sometimes a piece of toast.

That changed when she was able to attend summer camp for the first time when she was about nine or 10, thanks to the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund, which has been providing grants to camps to subsidize fees for disadvantaged and special-needs children from the GTA since 1901.

Hart says being able to attend summer camp after having grown up in an urban neighbourhood near Bloor Street and Lansdowne Avenue was a “blessing.” Not only did she learn how to paddle a boat and swim in a lake, but it also instilled in her the confidence to make new friends and even try her hand at acting.

“I still have good memories of what I had learned and felt at the Star Fresh Air Fund … It meant a lot to me. I never forgot it.”

She remembers taking part in the weekly plays the camp would put together and finding herself in her element. It planted a seed for a passion that would continue throughout her life.

“From that it just led on, I continued to do some acting afterwards, and it really came at the right time in my life and for me to look back on with fond memories … It made me aware that if I did get sad or upset, I could bury myself in acting,” Hart said.

It’s why she’s been a donor to the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund for more than 20 years, her way of giving back to the initiative that changed her life.

“You feel fulfilled knowing someone else who was in your position at a time will hopefully experience the same thing,” Hart said.

The Star is aiming to raise $650,000 this year and needs your help to make stories like Hart’s a reality for children experiencing similar circumstances.

Betty Harding certainly knows a thing or two about fundraising. As a child, she would gather with her sister and friends to sell washcloths, soap and lemonade in the Annex, with the proceeds going to the Fresh Air Fund.

“We would set up our little stand down on Bloor Street right by the Millionaire’s Club … It was just what we did, not that we had a lot of money. But we always liked to try and help others,” Harding said.

Harding has been a Fresh Air Fund donor for more than 15 years and said it still brings her great joy to know her contribution helps makes summer a little brighter for kids in the GTA. She hopes others will be inspired to lend a helping hand as well.

“I’m delighted when I see in the paper that the numbers are coming up, with people donating … It sounds like we’re doing good for a lot of people, helping out. And that’s what we all need to do.”

If you have been touched by the Fresh Air Fund or have a story to tell, email FreshAirFund@thestar.ca or phone 416-869-4847.

Omar Mosleh is an Edmonton-based reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @OmarMosleh

GOAL: $650,000

To date: $562,134.71

How to donate: With your gift, the Fresh Air Fund can send disadvantaged and special-needs children to camp. These children will take part in a camp experience they will cherish for a lifetime.

By cheque: Mail to the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund, One Yonge St., Toronto, ON M5E 1E6

By credit card: Visa, MasterCard or AMEX. Call 416.869.4847

Online: For instant donations, use our secure form at thestar.com/freshairfund

The Star does not authorize anyone to solicit on its behalf. Tax receipts will be issued.

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 170 cases of COVID-19, 3 deaths and more than 19,100 tests completed; Thousands in Sydney, other Australian cities protest lockdown restrictions

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.10:27 a.m.: Ontario is reporting 170 cases of COVID-19 and more than 19,100 tests completed. Locally, there are 44 new cases in Toronto, 26 in Peel Region, 17 in Hamilton, 15 in the Region of Waterloo and 13 in Grey Bruce.As of 8 p.m. Friday, 18,848,661 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 124,261 doses administered.9:56 a.m.: Tanzania on Saturday received its first batch of 1 million Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donated by the U.S. government.Tanzania had been among the few countries in Africa yet to receive vaccines or start inoculating its population against the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly because its former leader had denied claimed prayer had defeated COVID-19 in the country.The vaccines were received by Foreign Affairs Minister Liberata Mulamula and the U.S. ambassador to Tanzania, Donald Wright, at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in the country's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.Former Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who died in March, had refused to accept vaccines after he claimed three days of prayer had healed the country of the coronavirus in June 2020.Magufuli, 61, was among the world's most prominent skeptics of COVID-19. Though his official cause of death was reported to be cardiac arrest, Magufuli's critics believe he died of COVID-19.9:55 a.m.: Far-right activists and members of France’s yellow vest movement are holding protests Saturday against a bill requiring everyone to have a special virus pass to enter restaurants and other venues and mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all health care workers.Legislators in France’s Senate are debating the bill Saturday after the lower house of parliament approved it Friday.French virus infections are spiking and hospitalizations are rising anew. The government is trying to speed up vaccination to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals and avoid new lockdowns.Most French adults are fully vaccinated and polls indicate a majority of French people support the new measures.But not everyone. Protesters chanting “Liberty! Liberty!” marched through Paris in one of multiple demonstrations planned Saturday.Last weekend, more than 100,000 people protested around France against the measures. They included far-right politicians and activists as well as some others angry at President Emmanuel Macron for various reasons.8:05 a.m.: It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on restaurants — both their owners and their workers, many of whom have been in and out of work for a year and a half.For some in the industry, it has also been a wake-up call.Adam Colquhoun, owner of Oyster Boy in Toronto, said the pandemic only sped up his plans to change how he compensates his workers.Though his pre-pandemic wages were already above average, Colquhoun said he boosted pay for all positions at his restaurant, and has even given some workers a share in the company.With restaurants now welcoming back indoor diners, it’s been hard to get front-of-house staff, said Colquhoun, so he offered a $1,000 retention bonus to servers who could commit to a minimum of three months. He also pays potential employees for both an observational shift and a training shift.“We’re establishing a baseline for what people should be paid,” he said.As Ontario moves into Step 3 of its reopening plan, restaurants are scrambling to fill positions that were lost when COVID-19 decimated the industry. The catch? They’re all looking at the same time — leading to what some are calling a labour shortage, and others, a short-term bottleneck.Read more: Higher wages, signing bonuses, benefits on the menu as restaurants struggle to bring back workers.8:01 a.m.: Vietnam announced a 15-day lockdown in the capital Hanoi starting Saturday as a coronavirus surge spread from the southern Mekong Delta region. The lockdown order, issued late Friday night, bans the gathering of more than two people in public. Only government offices, hospitals and essential businesses are allowed to stay open. Earlier in the week, the city had suspended all outdoor activities and ordered non-essential businesses to close following an increase in cases. On Friday, Hanoi reported 70 confirmed infections, the city’s highest, part of a record 7,295 cases in the country in the last 24 hours. Nearly 5,000 of them are from Vietnam’s largest metropolis, southern Ho Chi Minh City, which has also extended its lockdown until Aug. 1. 8 a.m.: Everyone in a county in China’s southwest near Myanmar will be tested for the coronavirus following a spike in infections, the government announced Saturday.Businesses, schools and markets in Jiangcheng County in Yunnan province will close Monday and Tuesday while nucleic acid testing is carried out, the government said. Travel into and out of the county will be prohibited.Yunnan has reported a

Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 170 cases of COVID-19, 3 deaths and more than 19,100 tests completed; Thousands in Sydney, other Australian cities protest lockdown restrictions

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Saturday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

10:27 a.m.: Ontario is reporting 170 cases of COVID-19 and more than 19,100 tests completed.

Locally, there are 44 new cases in Toronto, 26 in Peel Region, 17 in Hamilton, 15 in the Region of Waterloo and 13 in Grey Bruce.

As of 8 p.m. Friday, 18,848,661 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 124,261 doses administered.

9:56 a.m.: Tanzania on Saturday received its first batch of 1 million Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donated by the U.S. government.

Tanzania had been among the few countries in Africa yet to receive vaccines or start inoculating its population against the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly because its former leader had denied claimed prayer had defeated COVID-19 in the country.

The vaccines were received by Foreign Affairs Minister Liberata Mulamula and the U.S. ambassador to Tanzania, Donald Wright, at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in the country's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

Former Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who died in March, had refused to accept vaccines after he claimed three days of prayer had healed the country of the coronavirus in June 2020.

Magufuli, 61, was among the world's most prominent skeptics of COVID-19. Though his official cause of death was reported to be cardiac arrest, Magufuli's critics believe he died of COVID-19.

9:55 a.m.: Far-right activists and members of France’s yellow vest movement are holding protests Saturday against a bill requiring everyone to have a special virus pass to enter restaurants and other venues and mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all health care workers.

Legislators in France’s Senate are debating the bill Saturday after the lower house of parliament approved it Friday.

French virus infections are spiking and hospitalizations are rising anew. The government is trying to speed up vaccination to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals and avoid new lockdowns.

Most French adults are fully vaccinated and polls indicate a majority of French people support the new measures.

But not everyone. Protesters chanting “Liberty! Liberty!” marched through Paris in one of multiple demonstrations planned Saturday.

Last weekend, more than 100,000 people protested around France against the measures. They included far-right politicians and activists as well as some others angry at President Emmanuel Macron for various reasons.

8:05 a.m.: It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on restaurants — both their owners and their workers, many of whom have been in and out of work for a year and a half.

For some in the industry, it has also been a wake-up call.

Adam Colquhoun, owner of Oyster Boy in Toronto, said the pandemic only sped up his plans to change how he compensates his workers.

Though his pre-pandemic wages were already above average, Colquhoun said he boosted pay for all positions at his restaurant, and has even given some workers a share in the company.

With restaurants now welcoming back indoor diners, it’s been hard to get front-of-house staff, said Colquhoun, so he offered a $1,000 retention bonus to servers who could commit to a minimum of three months. He also pays potential employees for both an observational shift and a training shift.

“We’re establishing a baseline for what people should be paid,” he said.

As Ontario moves into Step 3 of its reopening plan, restaurants are scrambling to fill positions that were lost when COVID-19 decimated the industry. The catch? They’re all looking at the same time — leading to what some are calling a labour shortage, and others, a short-term bottleneck.

Read more: Higher wages, signing bonuses, benefits on the menu as restaurants struggle to bring back workers.

8:01 a.m.: Vietnam announced a 15-day lockdown in the capital Hanoi starting Saturday as a coronavirus surge spread from the southern Mekong Delta region.

The lockdown order, issued late Friday night, bans the gathering of more than two people in public. Only government offices, hospitals and essential businesses are allowed to stay open.

Earlier in the week, the city had suspended all outdoor activities and ordered non-essential businesses to close following an increase in cases. On Friday, Hanoi reported 70 confirmed infections, the city’s highest, part of a record 7,295 cases in the country in the last 24 hours.

Nearly 5,000 of them are from Vietnam’s largest metropolis, southern Ho Chi Minh City, which has also extended its lockdown until Aug. 1.

8 a.m.: Everyone in a county in China’s southwest near Myanmar will be tested for the coronavirus following a spike in infections, the government announced Saturday.

Businesses, schools and markets in Jiangcheng County in Yunnan province will close Monday and Tuesday while nucleic acid testing is carried out, the government said. Travel into and out of the county will be prohibited.

Yunnan has reported a spike in infections traced to nearby Myanmar, where a military government that seized power in February is struggling to contain a surge in cases. Beijing has tightened border controls.

Jiangcheng County, southeast of the city of Pu’er, is on China’s border with Vietnam and Laos. It doesn’t directly border Myanmar.

On Saturday, the Yunnan health agency reported five new infections, all in people it said lived recently in Myanmar.

Saturday 7:59 a.m.: Thousands of people took to the streets of Sydney and other Australian cities on Saturday to protest lockdown restrictions amid another surge in cases, and police made several arrests after crowds broke through barriers and threw plastic bottles and plants.

The unmasked participants marched from Sydney’s Victoria Park to Town Hall in the central business district, carrying signs calling for “freedom” and “the truth.”

There was a heavy police presence in Sydney, including mounted police and riot officers in response to what authorities said was unauthorized protest activity. Police confirmed a number of arrests had been made.

New South Wales Police said it recognized and supported the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly, but the protest was a breach of public health orders.

“The priority for NSW Police is always the safety of the wider community,” a police statement said.

The protest comes as COVID-19 case numbers in the state reached another record with 163 new infections in the last 24 hours.

Read Friday’s coronavirus news.

Source : Toronto Star More   

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