Chantry Island Cham-bettes celebrate giving back to the community

The Chantry Island Cham-bettes celebrated not only the holiday season with their annual Christmas dinner but also their fundraising for 2019.

At Saugeen Golf Course on Tuesday, December 3rd, approximately 100 Cham-bettes gathered and presented the funds raised from their annual Christmas Tour of Homes.  Each year, six residents open their homes, each uniquely decorated for the holiday season, as a fundraiser for the local Saugeen Memorial Hospital and Caitlyn Cobean Crusaders children’s charity.

This year’s tour raised $13,000 for the Hospital Foundation and $2,700 for the Cobean Crusaders.

Mary Jo Arnette of Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation (C) accepted the donation (Click on photo for larger image)
Caitlyn Cobean Crusaders Cheryl Borden (CL) and Barb De Boer (CR) accept the donation (Click on photo for larger image)

Over 11 years, the Cham-bettes have donated $135,000 to the local Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation.

The group of altruistic women hold many events throughout the year raising funds for various community projects that have included not only the local hospital but also the Marine Heritage Society, local school projects, the community band, the Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey and many others.

    The ‘Urn Committee’ – (L) Donna Thomas,          Jo-Anne Willetts, Vi Campbell and                                   Heather Joynt 
Co-Chairs Sherry Winnitoy (L) and                Jo-Anne Willetts

Another holiday season fundraiser was the sale of unique, beautiful urns filled with greenery and decorations that the Cham-bettes design and create in the Southampton Boathouse.  This year, they created 70 urns within three weeks and they were all sold within three hours raising $4,805.  In addition, the ever-popular Christmas Boathouse garage sale, where people can shop for Christmas items by donation, raised $1,528.


  (L) MHS Chair Vicki Tomori and Cham-bette                                     Martha Bennett

When it comes to their namesake, Chantry Island Cham-bettes, the group donates each year to the Marine Heritage Society that maintains the Island and its Imperial lighthouse.  This year, MHS Chair Vicki Tomori announced that the group reached the ‘Queen Victoria’ donor level of over $25,000 – the Cham-bettes have donated $29,000.

While the year may be drawing to a close, the Cham-bettes are keeping up their volunteer work with the upcoming ‘Saugeen Shares‘ door-to-door food drive on Saturday, December 7th being hosted by Saugeen District Senior School (SDSS).  “This food drive is more than that,” said Cham-bette Donna Dollmaier.  “It is also about showing leadership and trying to get young people interested in volunteering.”

The collection begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. in Port Elgin and Southampton by students of SDSS.

The one thing that the group of women all agree on is that they like to put the fun in FUNdraising.

                           It was time for the annual ‘Magic Box’                                     organized by Carol Ann d’Andrea (R) with elves (L) Pam Scott,                                Gay Ashdown & Sue Dagnall – let the game begin!