The vast, picturesque grounds at Sandhill Nursery have been busy this fall. Tim Cantelon and the entire team went to extra lengths to bring joy and fun with some outstanding autumn attractions while giving back to the community. The team reimagined their annual fall festival to adapt to 2020 covid rules, all while benefitting Huntsville Hospice.
“We knew we wanted to reach out to Hospice with support”, says Tim Cantelon. “We are so fortunate to have this organization in our community. With many of their main fundraising events cancelled this year, we knew we could contribute.”
Initially the team set a goal to raise $10,000. The fall attractions – including some adorable barnyard animals, a pumpkin slingshot, and a corn maze – drew autumn enthusiasts from all over Muskoka. Sandhill’s team was committed to welcoming visitors while protecting everyone’s health and safety. The welcome crew Dave and Ann Fairbarn, Bill Watts and Barb Buckley did a fantastic job greeting visitors and encouraging donations. They also assisted in crowd control to comply with covid regulations. “We owe them a huge thank you for sticking it out even during the inclement weather we experienced several of those weekends.”
Student volunteers Olivia Morrison, Ava Williamson and Kelsey Peterson operated the always popular pumpkin sling shot; donations from this activity went directly to Hospice. “We were all feeling a sense of gratitude when those donations started to pile up.”
And pile up they did! All of the hard work paid off in spades with the team exceeding their original goal and raising $15,000 for Hospice Huntsville.
“We could not have pulled off such a fundraising endeavour without the support of our entire team,” says Cantelon. “They worked tirelessly on the fall displays and pulled together to make the place just a little extra special this season.”
This recent success has inspired Sandhill Nursery to jump onboard with the Rotary Club’s “Light Up the Night” tour, to be held November 20 – 27. They are accepting donations of non-perishable food and gifts for The Table Soup Kitchen. “The Christmas lights are up,” says Cantelon. “We hope that the type of support we saw for Hospice this fall will continue for this new initiative. We encourage everyone in our community to come by to show their support for The Table, have some seasonal fun and take in the sights at Sandhill Nursery.”