Pictured, from left, are: Chris Swarthout, St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation fundraising coordinator Krista Linklater, Wayne Barber, Shawn Connolly, Chris Smith, Mike Richardson, Gord Shaughnessy, and foundation chair John McIntosh.
By Samantha Mills
The St. Marys Kinsmen Club was founded in May of 1957, with their very first president Sam Dunseith at the helm. The Kinsmen belong to a larger organization that stretches across Canada, founded in February of 1920 by Hal Rogers. It includes the Kin, Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs, all of which strive towards the goal of aiding Canadian communities and assisting in international disaster relief programs. The conjoined efforts of Kin, Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs across Canada have raised over a billion dollars for these programs.
Within the town of St. Marys, the Kinsmen support local ventures such as the town’s sports teams, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the St. Marys Tennis Courts, the Junction Station Rehabilitation, the Pyramid Recreation Centre, the Public Library and the Santa Claus Parade.
In the first week of January every year, the Kinsmen commence their annual Christmas tree pick up and, in the summer, they aid in Summer Fest – just to scratch the surface of their commitment to the community.
Some of their current projects include fundraising towards their $25,000 commitment to St. Marys Memorial Hospital, and their national project Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis Canada is one of the Kinsmen’s oldest partners in fundraising for research, clinical care and advocacy advancement for patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Every year the Kinsmen perform their annual bottle drive in the month of October in order to raise money for this noble cause.
For more information, or to find out how you can donate or volunteer, please visit the Kinsmen’s website at stmaryskinsmen.com or contact St. Marys club president Christopher E. Smith at (519)-272-5908.