Words of Gratitude for Incredible Community Celebration Sparked by Tragic Fire

Photo Karen Graham.
More than 400 tickets were sold and 275 people attended the September 29th Celebration of the Farm event organized by Ann Nelson to give the community an opportunity to stand in support of the Winslow-Lamothe and de Wolde families after their tragic loss in a fire this summer. Attendees were treated to a musical performance by the Mitchell family, pictured, as well as food provided by the Lions’ Club and pies made by members of St. John’s Anglican Church in Ida as well as a welcome chance to catch up with their friends and neighbours.

It has taken us some time to be able to fully process the events of 2018 and we do not believe that we are finished yet.

One thing that the Winslow- Lamothe and de Wolde families have been preoccupied with since the terrible fire that destroyed six barns and a pig production farm is how to express the magnitude of gratitude we have to the community for their tremendous support.

We cannot think of any actions or words that will come close, but we are compelled to at least try.  As many of you will recall, on an otherwise quiet morning in July our families woke up to a fire in the barns on Sharpe Line of Cavan.  Despite the quick response and impressive work of the Cavan-Monaghan fire department along with the assistance of 4 other regional fire departments, six barns were lost and the pigs in them were all lost.  As a result of their efforts though, the family home was saved as well as two other farm buildings and thankfully no one was injured.  In the aftermath the community was quick to offer support and we are eternally grateful to all of our family, neighbours, friends, businesses and co-workers who brought food, helped watch our children, participated in clean-up, generously donated money or simply reached out with messages of encouragement and concern.

Photo Karen Graham.

On top of all of this immediate support, this fine community stepped up even further through a beautiful event in support of our families on September 30, 2018.  We are completely overwhelmed with all of the support and generosity.  Many people donated time, money, and services to put this event together.  We are so grateful to all of those who were a part of it but there is one person who was ring-leader in organizing the entire event and we must single her out.  Ann Nelson was asked by many community members how they could help out, so she took it upon herself to plan this entire event that brought a large group of the community together.  It was lovely to have so many neighbours, friends and family out celebrating, despite the unfortunate circumstances that inspired it.  It makes us incredibly proud to be a part of this community.  The silver-lining of the fire has certainly been the reassurance that in difficult times, there is an entire community that is willing to step up and help out.

by the Winslow-Lamothe and de Wolde families

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