Walking for Wendy

The past two Julys have contained tumultuous events for my family. As you all know, ten months ago my sister-in-law drowned while on vacation in Mexico. Twelve months before that, her father, Wendell Noteboom, checked into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to close a hole in his heart. This major surgery kept him off his feet for almost eight weeks, but it did give him a new lease on life

Yesterday, to commemorate both events, my father-in-law walked a half-marathon in his home town of Lincoln, Nebraska. He raised nearly $2000 in sponsorships which all went towards the Wendy Noteboom Ewell Memorial Scholarship. Thanks to this, and to the incredible efforts of my mother-in-law Rosemarie, and the contributions she mustered, we are quite close to reaching the $25000 required to formally establish the scholarship at Iowa State University.

Wendell’s wife, Judy, supplied us with these photographs:

At the nine mile mark, Wendell is still smiling.

At the finish line! Wendell (left) poses with a co-worker who walked the half marathon with him, and Wendell’s brother Stan Noteboom, who came all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan to show his support.

From left to right: Stan Noteboom, Wendell’s wife Judy, Wendell, my mother-in-law Rosemarie O’Connor and her husband Michael Allsopp; the latter two down from Des Moines to show their support.

If you would like to contribute to an art scholarship to ensure that Wendy’s life is always remembered, you would be most welcome. Please do so by visiting this link for further instructions.

FINALLY!! (Garbage Comes Home to Roost)

Somebody connected southern Ontario’s trash problem and the province’s power shortage as a means of each helping to solve the other. Here’s the lead article in today’s Toronto Star:

Trash now a burning issue

Incinerating the garbage that Ontario trucks to Michigan landfills could produce enough power for about 200,000 homes, not enough to solve the province’s looming energy crisis but certainly a help.

As a double bonus, it could also be the answer to Ontario’s waste-disposal crisis.

“There are jurisdictions throughout the world that use energy from waste … They have (as) rigorous environmental standards as we do, in Europe, so if they can do it, the question is: Why can’t we?” says Energy Minister Donna Cansfield.

Now, if only we could convince the people of Ontario that the incinerators of today are nothing like the problematic incinerators of yesteryear. I’m sure the facilities we could build could replace the coal-fired plant of Nanticoke, with a net improvement in our air quality. But articles like these might change people’s minds, and give our politicians the will to continue.

On the Waterloo Public Library Website

Here’s a neat thing: the Waterloo Public Library has written up a feature on my upcoming launch of The Unwritten Girl on Saturday, May 27.

I have to say that Cathy Mathias and her crew at the Waterloo Public Library have really gone out of their way to reach out to and promote the literary community here in the Region of Waterloo. They have been eager to promote local literary events and local authors and other literary groups like The New Quarterly can count on the WPL for space. It really goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Waterloo Region is blessed with at least three excellent library systems (they’re a local responsibility, so Kitchener, Cambridge and the City of Waterloo have separate systems), but the City of Waterloo really impresses me by how eager they are to help develop the area into a literary hotspot. Thank you, Cathy.

Hot Hotstove

We had a rolicking good time on this one, hashing out the budget and the fiscal imbalance, so give it a listen!

blog comments powered by Disqus