Happy Thursday Friends!

Summer is officially just around the corner, however this June in Durham Region is just starting to heat up with activity and good news all around. Ready? Get your sunscreen on it's going to get hot!

First off, if you haven't seen our social posts in your streams, we've partnered with the TEDx Oshawa team and created a couple of pre-show interviews with Faris Siddiqui, the event co-organizer and Atif Rashid 🎤, one of the speakers at the event. (Happening this Saturday, June 8th at the Biltmore Theatre in Oshawa, 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm)

I have long admired the TED organization, its videos, https://www.youtube.com/@TED and its values. Following a conversation with Faris, the Oshawa TEDx Team is dedicated to creating an exceptional first event that they will no doubt continue to grow in the future. You can read and watch the video interviews here, or on our YouTube channel:
- Faris Siddiqui = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coCFm7uqCOs
- Atif Rashid = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW38tJFdlyQ

That said, we have a little surprise for all of our subscribers... Good luck to all of you!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Durham Life is giving away a pair of tickets to TEDx Oshawa (value = approx. $80.00). All you have to do is sign-up to receive our weekly newsletter - https://www.durhamlife.ca/#/portal/signup . You must sign-up before noon on Friday, June 7th to be eligible. All subscribers will be entered in the draw, and the winner will be announced at 5:00 pm on Friday, June 7th. Good Luck!

June is now known as Pride Month 🌈, and local pride groups across Durham have got a number of events lined up. North Durham Pride has a parade in Port Perry on Saturday, June 8th, starting @ 9:00 am, with activities all day long in Palmer Park. North Durham Pride is dedicated to promoting visibility and representation of 2SLGBTQI+ individuals in Scugog, Uxbridge, and Brock Townships. And their vision is to cultivate an inclusive and diverse rural culture that values and respects the contributions, experiences, and identities of 2SLGBTQI+ communities. This also marks their 20th year of Pride in Durham. Should be a great day! Lots of love!

BTW, do you know what the colours on the rainbow flag represent? 🏳️‍🌈 I have to be honest and say that I didn't know what they all represented, so here's a quick lesson about the Pride Flag 🏳️‍🌈.

Recognized once again by Festivals and Events Ontario as one of the Top 100 Festivals in the province, this year’s Peony Festival promises even more excitement as Oshawa celebrates it’s centennial. This is the 20th anniversary of the Festival and it's bigger and better than ever. Happening this weekend and definitely worth a stroll through the gardens and capture great photos as well as that amazing smell of the peonies. Aaaaaaah! Full details at the City of Oshawa website.

Quite a few organizations are celebrating milestones this year - City of Oshawa is now 100 years old and Durham Region is celebrating 50 years. Congrats to both you! 🎂🎉🥳

But this one is extra special! Oshawa Fiesta Week. As a grass roots organization, it is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year. If you are not familiar with Fiesta Week, it celebrates the diverse cultures and vibrant community of the city. It kicks off at noon, on Sunday, June 16th with a street festival and concert at Memorial Park in downtown Oshawa. It runs until the following Saturday, June 22nd with festivities and great food in 11 Pavillions around town:
- Club Carib - Caribbean
- Club Loreley - German
- French Canadian
- Italian
- Krakov - Polish
- LVIV - Ukrainian
- Northern Portugal
- Odesa - Ukrainian
- Poznan - Polish
- Oshawa Portuguese
- Romanian
Each pavilion has a showcase of its heritage including food and shows. And from what I understand from regular attendees of the festival, the food at these pavillions is the real deal! “Just like back home” they say. Plan to make a stop during Fiesta Week. You'll love it!❤️❤️❤️

June is also:

  • Recreation and Parks Month 🏃🏽 in every municipality in #DR
  • Aging Well Month in Ajax 👴🏽 👵🏽 (celebrating older adults and seniors)
  • Seniors Month for Durham Region
  • National Indigenous History Month in Canada
  • 🇵🇹 Portuguese Heritage Month for Durham Region
  • 🇵🇭 Filipino Heritage Month for Durham Region
  • 🇮🇹 Italian Heritage Month for Durham Region
  • Participaction Community Challenge in Clarington, Oshawa
  • National Deaf Blind Awareness Month
  • This week is Local Food Week
  • ALS Awareness Month (miss you Mom! ❤️)

But it's not all good news in Durham Region.

Most of the Food Banks are running on empty which means a lot of people are suffering right now in Durham Region. Many families struggle to bridge the gap and face difficult decisions that nobody should have to make: deciding between paying rent or providing their children with the nutritious foods necessary for their health and development.

That said, Feed the Need in Durham is launching a summer campaign because hunger doesn't take a summer break.

You can help by making a donation to Feed the Need in Durham before August 31st to help them ensure no student goes hungry over the summer months

Your generous gift of any amount will help us continue to nourish hungry children and families across Durham Region this summer break. 

Help Bethesda House: Sponsor a women’s shelter suite

Bethesda House, a shelter in Durham for women and children, is urgently seeking support from the public, businesses, and institutional donors to ensure the continuous operation and expansion of the essential shelter.

“We had to turn away some 800 women and children who met our mandate,” says Laura Burch, Executive Director. And Clarington has declared “Intimate Partner Violence” an epidemic.

Supporters and contributors of Bethesda House are doing their best to assist. Fundraising activities are also being organized through community events like dinners and auctions. For instance, there is a yard sale scheduled for Saturday, June 15th. Danielle MacDuff, the event organizer, is seeking donations for the yard sale. A dedicated Facebook group, named “Bethesda House - The Community In Support Of The Bethesda House,” has been established.

Nevertheless, these endeavors fall short.

"We aim to collect $200,000 this year," stated Burch. She is optimistic that both individual and corporate donors, as well as institutional sponsors, will come forward to aid in funding, particularly by supporting one or both of the one-bedroom suites.

You can help Bethesda House in the next 2 weeks.

Mark your calendars because Bethesda House is coming to Home Depot Bowmanville. You can join them on Fridays, June 7th and 14th from 9 AM to 11 AM for an exclusive educational experience you won't want to miss! Curious about the incredible work they do in the community? Want to see firsthand how your generous donations through the #OrangeDoorProject make a real impact? Then swing by their booth and let them enlighten you!

When you shop, simply scan the codes at the cash to donate $2, $5, or $10 - every bit counts!

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Until next time...
Be You... Have fun... Do Good!

MiKe D