Letters July 2020

Say yes to the mask!

I read with interest Glenn Asano’s article in Leaside Life about Darren Sampson and NovoMask. On April 11, I ordered one dozen masks from Darren after reading his post on Facebook. Thinking that ‘down the line’ we would be asked by politicians and retailers to wear masks in the community, I ordered them for me and my husband and my son and daughter’s family. My son and daughter-in-law were doing all our groceries and errands for us and I wanted them to be safe. I wanted to help out a guy who was out of work and who had the guts to start out on this enterprise, never guessing that his business would explode. I took a chance and sent him an e-transfer to his personal account, hoping that I wasn’t throwing away money.

Darren sent me his draft website and also asked me to post my (masked) photo on FB. I did this with trepidation because I rarely post and was a bit shy doing so. Again, I did it to help him out.

You ‘get what you pay for’ with Darren’s masks. They are very comfortable; with two hearing aids as well as eyeglasses, I find the head strap design works for me. In fact, my identical twin (with the same hearing loss) asked me recently to get some for her. Living near Peterborough, she is now getting compliments. I then ordered more for my daughter (in a FB group of women doctors across Canada and has posted Darren’s masks).

I get a lot of compliments on my masks. In fact, I am waiting to order a couple more for summer – just waiting for new fabric choices to be posted on his website.

Elaine Snider

Re: Northlea Blood Donor Clinic

I want to thank you very much for including the article on the Northlea Blood Donor Clinic. Suzanne did an outstanding job of capturing the essence and community spirit of this biannual event. From its very beginning in 2003, the clinic had an unprecedented response of people wanting to donate to help two young children with their leukaemia diagnosis. Leaside Life does an incredible role with binding our community spirit today, as we feel the compassion more than ever in our village of Leaside.

With gratitude and appreciation, thank you for all you do for bring- ing out the best in people and for bringing them together. We appreciate your promotion of the clinic that will now likely have to be postponed until October due to COVID-19. We await the plans for school reopening.

Anne Murray

An example of true community spirit

I was born and raised in Ontario but had to move in 2016 to start my life over in safety (I am a domestic abuse survivor), but that’s a whole other story. This move took me out of Leaside and away from my parents. While being miles away, I have enjoyed reading your publication as it keeps me connected to my roots. I am really impressed by the sense of community your publication exudes. Your covering of the COVID situation and how it’s impacted residents and local businesses has been informative and inspiring, highlighting how Leasiders have been coping and supporting each other.

Enter Barrig Hagopian-Hayward. We have been friends since the 70s (having attended St. Anselm’s School). She exudes community spirit. When my maternal grandfather, Ken Stovell, died in 2018, I was many miles away but desperately wanted to help my parents with the preparation during this extremely difficult time. I sent a quick message to Barrig (as she is the administrator at St. Anselm’s Parish) and boom! – plans were in action (on her day off, no less). She made an emotional time significantly easier. Her support and compassion were very appreciated by my family. Fast forward a year and a half and here’s COVID.

With my parents being seniors, I have been extra worried about them. Phone calls are not the same as being there, and though I have tried, they are not on social media so no Facetime. Enter Barrig. She and her family return from holidays, and while self-isolating, she reaches out to my parents to check on them (she cannot check in on them in person). This woman is incredibly consider- ate. She has once again made a stressful time easier to contend with. She is the epitome of community spirit and a true friend.

Kathleen Ware

Re: Sandy’s Bikes and Books

I read Lorna Krawchuk’s article about the now-closed Sandy’s Bikes and Books, and I greatly appreciate Leaside Life’s coverage of the store’s closure. Last year, when I lived in the Wynford–Concorde area of North York, I made it a point to visit Sandy’s once a month or so, and as I was in the process of downsizing prior to a major move, I donated dozens of books to the store. Sandy was a generous man who gave my mother several old books and magazines for free with her purchases.
When I visited Sandy’s in September, Sandy made no mention of the store’s imminent closure, so I was heartbroken a few weeks later when I found paper covering all the windows. I was especially dismayed because I think that I accidentally gave him my high school yearbooks during my last donation, and there was no way to contact him. I was wondering if Leaside Life would be willing to provide me Sandy’s contact info so that I can express my thanks and inquire about the yearbooks. I tried looking up his name elsewhere, but I was unable to locate him. Please let me know. Thank you. [Leaside Life does not have contact for David/ Sandy, if anyone does, let us know!]

Jason Greenberg