Chances Are thrift store robbed on weekend
by Roger Varley
Chances Are, the thrift store run by the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital Auxiliary on Bascom Street, was hit by thieves over the Easter weekend.
Darryl Timms, vice-president of the auxiliary, said thieves gained access to the store by first disconnecting the hydro to disable the store’s security system and then smashing the glass in the doors at both the upper level and the lower level. He said the thieves took the floats from the tills and then went into the office to cut the padlock on the safe and take the money that was inside. Timms said he could not give a precise account of the amount taken, but estimated it was in the neighbourhood of $5,000.
On top of the cash stolen, Chances Are had to have the hydro reconnected and the glass replaced in the broken doors.
The robbery was discovered by two volunteers who came to the store at 7:30 a.m. Monday to help sort the weekend’s donations of used clothing and other items. They called the police as soon as they saw the broken glass.
Const. Colin Granger of Durham Regional Police opined that the robbery was likely planned rather than a crime of opportunity. He said police have no leads at present and are asking the public to come forward with any information they might have.
Timms said Chances Are, which recently underwent renovations to turn it into a two-level store, has received “a huge amount of sympathy” as the community learned of the robbery.
“A lot of people are in disbelief,” he said.
He noted that Chances Are raises around $250,000-$300,000 a year for the hospital and even in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it managed to raise $110,000. He said the auxiliary has about 150 volunteers, mostly seniors, working at various times at the hospital and another 118 working at Chances Are. He said the volunteers put in 37,500 man-hours in 2019.
Timms said there have already been offers of help, including an upgrade to the store’s security system. Mayor Dave Barton said his family will be making a donation to the hospital foundation “so our Chances Are volunteers know we have their backs” and encouraged residents to do the same.
“People who steal from a charity make me ill,” he wrote on Facebook. Others on local Facebook groups have also expressed their intention to support Chances Are with donations. Donations can be made through canadahelps.org on a page dedicated to the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital Foundation.
The store remained closed on Tuesday, but was scheduled to re-open yesterday (Wednesday).
Seniors’ program comes to an end
by Roger Varley
After eight weeks, Uxbridge’s version of Seniors Centre Without Walls has come to an end. The final session, held last Wednesday, featured five-minute mysteries.
The program, made possible through a provincial grant, allowed participating seniors to either phone in or log into a Zoom call with their computers to take part in a variety of fun activities, including games such as Scattergories, trivia, five-minute mysteries and Would You Rather.
Aquatics manager Carolyn Clementson, who led the program, said about 20 people registered for the program, with about 10 regulars showing up for each session. Clementson said the program content was organized by Hunter Jarvis, acting recreation manager, and Alana Field, a college student.
Despite the seemingly low numbers, Clementson said feedback to the program was all positive.
Now that the program has ended, a new version of Communi-TEA is scheduled to begin on April 12 and end in June. In the original version, which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors gathered for tea and munchies at the seniors’ centre for a series of talks on a variety of topics. The number of people attending far exceeded the organizers’ expectations. The new version will follow the format of Seniors Centre Without Walls, with participants either calling in or logging in on their computers. Each session will feature a different topic, guest speaker and activity. Like the first Communi-TEA program, this version is also made possible through a provincial government grant.
New chiropractor ready to cater to women’s health
by Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Uxbridge has a new chiropractor in town who specializes in women’s health.
Dr. Sophia Ferguson was born and raised in Uxbridge. After attending school here, she went off to Western University for an undergraduate degree in kinesiology, then went on to New York Chiropractic College for her Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
“While I was at Western, I shadowed a chiropractor who specializes in pregnant women and babies,” says Ferguson. “I fell in love with what she did and knew it was exactly what I wanted to do.”
From then on, Ferguson says she was dedicated to learning all about women’s health with a goal of filling the gap she observed in women’s care.
“I quickly realized that people get more rehab for a sprained ankle than they do for having a C-section,” says Ferguson. “Many women don’t have a proper postpartum assessment and aren’t taught how to rehabilitate their bodies after having a baby, or how to safely return to exercising and doing the things they love.”
With prenatal chiropractic care, Ferguson says she can help her patients with hip, joint, pelvis and lower back issues that are linked to the changes in a woman’s biomechanics as her uterus grows.
“Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can relieve and even prevent the common discomforts experienced in pregnancy, help baby to be in an optimal position for birth, and enhance postpartum recovery,” claims Ferguson.
She is also passionate about paediatric care, seeing patients for difficulties breastfeeding, inconsolable crying, difficulty sleeping and irregular bowel movements. She notes that some newborn babies may have experienced a difficult birth, but with chiropractic care, she says she can greatly improve their quality of life.
Ferguson is also passionate about sports and training, and enjoys helping other women with their technique for exercises like squatting, benching and deadlifting. Because of this, she also likes incorporating exercise and strength training into her practice and rehabilitation.
Ferguson currently practices out of Uxbridge Osteopathy and is accepting new patients.
“Although my speciality is women’s health and pediatrics, everyone is welcome. I work with many other professionals in the community to make sure our clients receive the best care possible.”
COVID this week
by Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Canada hit a new, grim, milestone this week, reaching a million total COVID-19 cases, but that isn’t the only record broken. Approximately 3,000 new cases a day are appearing in Ontario, along with crossing 500 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, an all-time high for the pandemic.
With a reported nearly nine per cent positivity rate, and the number of variant cases steadily rising, healthcare officials are worried that hospitals will soon be unable to accept more patients, whether it be for COVID-19 or other medical emergencies like car accidents, appendectomies or heart attacks.
The Township of Uxbridge also had a record breaking day this past week, with 11 new cases in only one day. Uxbridge is sitting at 37 cases in home isolation.
This past week, Goodwood Public School put five class cohorts in isolation after reporting two positive COVID-19 cases.
Cases were also identified at Uxbridge Secondary School after asymptomatic testing. The school board is now reporting four positive cases at USS with two class cohorts in isolation.
Charles Senior, communications officer for the Durham District School Board, reports that, as of Wednesday, March 31, testing has been offered to the entire district.
“The Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board continue to collaboratively support the testing being provided by the Ministry of Education’s partner, LifeLabs by providing space and communicating the opportunity to school communities.”
For a full list of the reports from asymptomatic school testing, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-asymptomatic-targeted-testing-schools
Another increasing worry is the volume of young people who are becoming infected and seriously ill with the COVID virus. As this is an age group who was previously told it was “safer” compared to older age cohorts, healthcare officials are urging young who have been affected by the virus to share their experiences with their peers, to help them understand the importance of taking this virus seriously at any age.
In a Tuesday press briefing, Doctor Theresa Tam reported an 18 per cent increase in ICU admittance for young people. The doctor reported that while the increase in infections among young people remains proportionate to the overall number of cases, those who become ill enough to require hospitalization seem to be suddenly developing severe illness and require being admitted straight into the ICU.
Last week it was announced that three local pharmacies – Pharmasave, Rexall and Walmart Pharmacy – will be offering the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 55+, with waitlists available for anyone over the age of 16. The community vaccine clinic continues to be in operation two days a week, vaccinating those who sign up through the regional vaccine portal at https://durhamvaccinebooking.ca/