BY GLORIA J. KATCH
Special to the VOICE
The local firefighting community and the Grade 8 student council of Glynn A. Green School just received a symbolic feather in their caps for their recent support of indigenous communities in Lac Seul, which is north of Sioux Lookout. Both St. Catharines and Pelham Fire departments are members of Firefighters Without Borders, and St. Catharines is donating a firetruck to the northern community, said St. Catharines firefighter Kevin Beamer.
Pelham previously donated a firetruck to the Bear Claw Reserve as a part of the same program, said the Town’s Fire Prevention Officer, Jason Longhurst.
This year’s truck is also packed with eight boxes of books, as Nancy Beamer, Pelham’s representative to the District School Board of Niagara and Kevin’s Beamer’s mother, heard there would be storage space available to send books for the students there.
“I’ve heard with transportation costs how difficult it is to ship books up there,” she said.
Putting two and two together, Beamer contacted Glynn A. Green to organize a book drive. Within three days, the students were able to gather eight boxes of recycled, gently used books. The point of the idea was “recycle and re-read,” so there is no wasted paper.
“It’s part of a Kids Helping Kids program, added Beamer. In cooperation with the firefighters, this is the first opportunity Glynn A. Green has been able to do this.
The books will be distributed to three native schools on reservations around the area, noted Kevin Beamer, who is personally delivering the books on a trip that will involve 23 hours of travelling time, and an overnight stay.
He and fellow firefighter Greg Clarke are both volunteering their time and efforts toward this cause, which includes training the northern firefighters to use the truck. Apparently, one of the three villages does not have a fire hydrant or water access, so the truck is “water ready” in case of an emergency fire.
The students at Glynn A. Green are also working on a can recycling drive for the community.
Many of the students have been mentally gearing up for an intensive Region-wide chess tournament that will be held in St. Catharines at the beginning of April, said Glynn A. Green Principal, Todd Halliday.
In respect to the book drive, Nancy Beamer is proud of the work the students have done in such a short period of time, which will make a positive difference to the northern indigenous nations in the Lac Seul area. The school’s mascot and motto is the Glynn A. Green Gators, and Beamer said she’s pleased to shout: “Go Gators!”
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