January 15, 2011
Georgian Lakelands celebrates Christmas early
Michael LaPorte and Nick Solty helped to organize a great Christmas event for the Georgian Lakelands Chapter.
By Michael LaPorte CLT
Georgian Lakelands Chapter president

Georgian Lakelands Chapter members celebrated Christmas early with the annual Social on Dec. 3.

The event took place during the Barrie area’s third major snowstorm of the year. The two previous storms also happened during Chapter events. Despite the weather, many members made the trip, some coming from as far away as 1.5 hours.

This year saw a new location and format for the evening at Fendley Hall in Barrie, with everyone enjoying a casino evening.  

Chapter president Michael LaPorte began the evening by welcoming everyone and introducing guests. Tony DiGiovanni addressed the gathering, inspiring everyone with reasons to have pride in our industry. Helen Hassard, membership coordinator, also joined the gathering, introducing herself and explaining how she is able to help the members of our chapter.

Each year the board of directors votes to select our Volunteer of the Year and Supplier of the Year. Nick Solty announced this year’s recipients. Congratulations to Ross Allin of Creative Gardens and Waterscapes as Volunteer of the Year for his dependability and commitment, and Kevin and Gail Elwood of Clearview Nursery, recipients of the Supplier of the Year award for their support and contributions.

With all the formalities aside, everyone sat down for a great meal. Following dinner, Nick Solty described the workings of the casino and auction. Each person had been given 300 LO dollars when they arrived.  With this money, they could gamble at the tables, or just hold it for later to bid on the auction items.

As the tables opened, everyone began moving to the front of the hall, to participate, watch, or mingle, often having a chance to talk with people they sometimes don’t have the opportunity to meet on a regular basis. It was wonderful to see the life of the party build.

Later in the evening, Nick Solty again called for people’s attention. Tables closed, and the auction began. Using the LO dollars won, saved, or collected, people began bidding on boxes and bags with unknown contents. People paid ridiculous prices for the unknown, and laughter erupted when the prize ended up being a jar of peanuts, or a lump of Christmas cake. The laughter and chatter continue right to the end of the evening.

Nick Solty, Terry Kowalski, Lexi Dearborn, Lynne Barnes, and everyone else involved, deserve full marks for their hard work bringing the Georgian Lakelands Chapter its most exciting and entertaining Christmas Social yet.  And thank you to everyone who attended the evening, through the weather and back. Keep an eye out on how to collect LO dollars throughout the year, in order to gain an advantage at next year’s Christmas Social.