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Laurentian Hills Fire Department

Laurentian Hills Fire Department
Deep River, Ontario

Their Grant: $7,500
To Purchase: New Safety Helmets

The town of Laurentian Hills is located in the heartland of Ontario’s recreation system, situated in the beautiful Valley of the Ottawa River bordered by the Laurentian Mountains and Algonquin Provincial Park.

The amalgamation of several townships created the need for 2 fire halls in this department. The volunteers are the backbone of the department and having proper equipment ensures that these volunteers are safe.

Although the chief requested other equipment along with new helmets, he also kindly stated, “We would be grateful to only receive the helmets in order to share the funds with other communities.”

We welcomed the idea of sharing one grant with several communities and Laurentian Hills will receive their first choice of new helmets with the remaining grant money being shared with three other departments.

I called Chief Kevin Waito with the news of their grant and he was very happy to hear it. Kevin was born and raised in the area and joined the department in 1982, becoming chief in 1991. He shared this photo of his volunteers in action. This is what giving back to the community looks like.

Congrats to Kevin and all the volunteers!

Papineau-Cameron Fire Department

Papineau-Cameron Fire Department
Mattawa, Ontario

Their Grant: $6,000
To Purchase: New Radio Headsets

“Sometimes our headset works, sometimes it doesn’t,” says Lt. Noelle Armaly pictured here with volunteer Dan O’Grady. “If you have people inside a building and you run out of water and you can’t tell anyone, that’s bad. We could really use a new headset.”

The department originated in 1981 in a small garage and storage space. When a call came in, everyone made their way to the garage to load a few portable pumps, hose and hand tools into the back of someone’s pickup truck.

Today, the deoatment’s 18 volunteer firefighters train regularly to provide their community many services including structural, wild land, roadway emergencies, medical assistance and public education.

The Township of Papineau-Cameron is a picturesque mix of fields and forests, rolling hills and waterways, where its 1,000 residents enjoy country life, hunting/fishing, off-road motorsports and golf.

I called  Deputy Chief Mariel Labreche to surprise her with the news of their grant. (that’s her handsome son in the photo above). She said this was wonderful news and shared a photo of how they do rescue training.

Congratulations to the Papineau-Cameron Fire  Department!

Wabigoon Fire Department

Wabigoon Fire Department
Wabigoon, Ontario

Their Grant: $3,000
To Purchase: Eight batteries to power everything from hydraulic rescue tools to area lighting, new gloves, a new AED (Automated External Defibrillator), 8 new flashlights and 2 backboards for patient packaging on the highway.

Wabigoon is a small village (population 600) on the Trans-Canada Highway. Their 16 volunteer firefighters deal primarily with multi-vehicle collisions because they serve 100 miles of highway. They are often on the scene before police and ambulance.

“The difference could literally be life and death for highway collisions,” said Prevention Officer Richard Wetelainen, puncutating their need for this emergency equipment. “In 40 below weather, a patient could freeze to death in minutes.”

Wabigoon is home to a mix of First Nations Métis and immigrants. The Métis are recognized as one of Canada’s aboriginal peoples who trace their descendants to First Nations peoples and European settlers.

I called Richard Wetalaine with the department to surprise him with the news. “This will make a huge difference for us,” he said. “New batteries might not seem expensive, but they are very expensive to us.” He was so appreciative and went on to say, “It’s like giving a city department two million dollars.” He also sent a photo of the volunteers on the job.

Oh, and he also invited me up to go walleye fishing! Congratulations to Kevin and all the volunteers. I’m happy to make a difference.

Redditt Fire Department

Redditt Fire Department
Redditt, Ontario

Their Grant: $2,500
To Purchase: Computer/printer, DVD/TV for training

The Redditt volunteers are a team of 6 to 8 members (some seasonal) who gather and train in fire response for the wellbeing of the community, a hamlet of approximately 150 people along with summer cottagers and winter snowmobilers.

Their department does not have internet so paperwork is often printed elsewhere. The TV/DVD player would allow them to watch training materials as a team in the fire hall rather than lending DVDs out to members to take home.

Redditt was originally a small CN rail town, accessible only by rail as a stop for water to cool the steam engines along the route. Today the locals have regular community gatherings like community breakfasts, dinners, markets, and curling.

They acknowledge they are a small department so the new equipment would “modernize” the department and help boost team morale and help maintain members.

I called Chief Thomas Choong, who was very happy to hear from me, not just about the grant but because he used to watch my show growing up. He said this gift with make things more functional for the team. I also learned that he teaches young people in some of the isolated First Nations communities, and he’s also a boxing coach at Ambush Boxing! A good heart always finds ways to benefit others. Congratulations to Thomas and his team for this grant!

Firefighter Winning Grant TBA Tuesday

The winner of the first Jenny’s Heroes 🇨🇦 Canada grant will be announced on Tuesday, October 9th. It’s taking a little longer due to the overwhelming response – over 100 applications! Each application has been reviewed by a qualified panel of 4 people in Canada and I also reviewed every single one. Between all of us, we have finally agreed on where the first grant should go. I can hardly wait to share the news! 👨‍🚒 🚒

The Praying Mantis Incident

Praying MantisI found a praying mantis in my backyard last week and took some pictures, fascinated by its size and a head that turns 180 degrees, but it was still kind of pretty except for all those tiny razor blades on its front legs. But as big as it was, it moved slowly so I had no fear… not until the “incident.” After I took my pictures, I stayed in the backyard for an hour or so, then went inside and cooked dinner.

After dinner my husband went out with some friends and I drove to the mall. It was dark. As I was pulling in to a parking spot, I felt something on my left hand, grabbing my finger and biting or sticking me with something. I panicked because it was dark and I couldn’t see what it was. I shook my left hand but I still couldn’t see what it was. A spider? A scorpion? I jumped out of the car while it was still running and the interior light came on and I saw it… a praying mantis on my steering wheel. And it was huge! I didn’t know what to do.

I grabbed a kleenex from my purse but he looked bigger than the kleenex. I knew I had to act. I was trying to work up my nerve to grab him with the tissue when he suddenly dropped to the floor where there was no light. I ran around to get a flashlight out of my glove box, came back and shone the light but he was gone. But where?  Somewhere in my car. Even if I found him I wouldn’t know what to do. Maybe it was time to sell the car.

I called my husband and said I will not get back in the car so he came and let me drive his car home and he drove mine (my hero ❤️). Once in our garage with lots of light, he was unable to find the intruder. I cut some leaves off a shrub and placed them inside my car overnight hoping it would coax him out but the next morning he was still missing. Maybe he got out? Maybe he’s waiting for me to drive again so he can crawl on the back of my neck while I’m on the freeway. Click these pictures I found online to get a good look!

For the next couple of days we kept checking with flashlights and we never saw him. I was too scared to drive anywhere. By the third day we still didn’t see him but we did hear something… a scratching noise coming from inside the air conditioning vent right by the steering wheel. (It’s coming from inside the car!) The good news: We found him. The bad news: He can’t get out. He’s been there for days. Or maybe he CAN get out and is just resting. What if he crawls out while I’m driving? We took the car to three mechanics who said there’s nothing they can do without taking the whole dashboard apart so I should just let him die in there. I looked up how long a praying mantis can live without food – TWO WEEKS!

He must have hitched a ride on me when I was outside. But why didn’t he go after my salad? I spent ten minutes making a salad, and then ten minutes eating it. Where was he then? On my back? He must have been on me for two hours while I cooked and ate dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, and drove to the mall. I would like to go out today but it’s hot and I would need to run the air conditioning. What if he tries to get out while I’m driving and see I those bulging zombie eyes looking at me through the vent? I’d like to sell the car, with a praying mantis discount of course. Otherwise, to drive I need to arm myself… maybe drive with a fly swatter or an oven glove or a box of cats???

Help is Coming Soon

Jenny's Heroes CanadaHere is the place I grew up. The beautiful province of Ontario, Canada is one of ten provinces and three territories that make up the country and of course, Ontario is the best one! 🙂 Of the 2 million beautiful lakes in Canada, 250,000 are in Ontario, along with moose, elk, timber wolves, bears, caribou and more, especially farther north. All of this land and wild life is vulnerable to fires and there are hundreds of teams of volunteer firefighters all over Ontario ready to jump in during an emergency. Whether it be a fire or a highway crash, water or ice rescues, or any medical emergency, volunteer firefighters are on it. I respect their commitment to their communities and the risks they are willing to take.

My offer of providing equipment to these brave firefighters is underway and applications are coming in (a lot more than I expected) and being reviewed by a team of professionals in Canada and myself here in the U.S.. Requests have come in from as far south as Windsor (close to my hometown  of London), east almost to Ottawa, our capital, west to the border of Manitoba, and as far north and remote as Red Lake, Ear Falls, and Moonbeam.

Their needs cover a broad range of equipment from rescue craft to safety boots to new flashlights — it’s clear that help is needed. That’s why I’m here and I plan to continue this grant program as long as the needs are there. More details are coming soon.

Jenny’s Heroes Canada 🇨🇦

I have a profound respect for anyone who chooses a life of service to their community and even more so when the risks are great. That’s why I am offering grants up to $25,000 to support the small volunteer fire departments in Ontario, the province where I grew up. Not knowing where to start, I contacted the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs last month and got a warm reception from Executive Director Richard Boyes while I shared with him my desire to help, and he in turn provided a lot of helpful information about the needs of Ontario’s volunteer firefighters. I knew this was going to be good.

Mr. Boyes put me in touch with Michelle O’Hara (the one who did all the work!). She is the Business Development and Operations Manager for the OAFC and she worked tirelessly on putting this grant program together, addressing every tiny detail, sharing emails with me throughout, and now only one month later, we have a grant program!

We decided to call it “Jenny’s Heroes 🇨🇦 Canada” because anyone who chooses to help their fellow citizens is a hero and I love Canada and want to help where help might be needed. Simply put, these grants are for the purchase of equipment to support and keep safe the volunteer firefighters who serve in Ontario. For more on my new philanthropic venture click here.

By the way, I am very familiar with the beautiful province of Ontario. In the early 1960s when I was still a teenager, I played drums in a band and toured all over Ontario from my hometown of London all the way up to Kirkland Lake, Timmins, and Kapuskasing. In fact, I found a newspaper clipping of my first band, the JAD Trio playing in Kirkland Lake in 1965…

My career in show business began in Ontario in 1960s and took me all the way to the Jenny Jones Show, which was nationally syndicated from 1990 to 2003. I got lucky and now I want to give back.

Now here is some information about Jenny’s Heroes U.S. where everyday people spent my donations to benefit their communities and even THEY wanted to support their firefighters and first responders. Here are just a few of the gifts that were given:

Jaws of Life donated to the Wolf Creek All Volunteer Fire Department, Wolf Creek, Oregon

400 High Visibity Safety Vests + 28 Sets of Battery Operated Turbo Flares donated to  Clark County Emergency Responders, Greenwood, Wisconsin

Fully Equipped Dodge Charger Police Car donated to the Ludwiki Police Department, Hinesville, Geogia

Narcotics Tracking Dog donated to the Charles City Police Department, Charles City, Iowa

Thermal Imaging Camera, Jaws of Life Pump, Rescue Saw, Deck Gun, and AR-FFF-Foam donated to the Turkey Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Turkey Creek, Kentucky

4-Wheel Drive Patrol Vehicle donated to the Gillette College Campus Police in Gillette, Wyoming

Telescoping Pole Trimmer Saws donated to Middlesex Taylor Township Volunteer Fire Department, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

For more on “Jenny’s Heroes 🇨🇦 Canada,” click here.

For more on Ontario Fire Services Equipment Grant, please visit the OAFC website.

My Birthday Poem

Well I finally made it to seventy two!
And I’ve learned a few things that might help you
I was scared at first about getting older, you know
Would my hair turn grey, would my nose really grow?

There are some things you simply can’t avoid
Like wrinkles, but they’re proof that your life was enjoyed
So you want to take a nap? Do it – it’s reviving
Nothing wrong with that, just not while you’re driving.

Don’t lie about your age, there’s no reason to miscount
Enjoy the benefits – get that senior discount.
So you need to wear glasses, that bothers you a bit
Truth is without reading glasses, I can’t see… a thing.

The serenity prayer is kind of my plan
Accept what you must, and change what you can
The list for accepting is not very long
Your eyes or your muscles may not be as strong.

But the list you can change… where should I begin?
Fix your bones and your heart and your hair and your skin
Diabetes & cancer & stroke can be prevented
It’s up to your lifestyle – you just reinvent it.

No sodas or fast food, no junk or diet drinks
What’s that you say? This really stinks!
And easy on the pizza & sweets & ice cream
Jenny, you’re killing me. This is a bad dream!

Instead of coffee, drink water or tea instead
And no booze except one glass of wine that’s red
Eat veggies, wear sunscreen, exercise must be done
I know what you’re thinking. Can’t I have any fun?

I’m not here to say that I never cheat
An occasional pizza and gelato I eat
But the next day I’m back on this plan of my making
I cook every day, and do all my own baking.

I know it’s a lot and I’m not saying it’s easy
But you can live without things in bags that are cheezy
Feed your body with the best fuel at every meal
Then see how fabulous you can look and feel.

                                   ~~ ❤️ ~~