Letters – Our Readers Write: Spring 2022

Letters published in the Spring 2022 edition of In The Hills magazine.

March 29, 2022 | | Letters, Our Readers Write

Phone Friends: TeleCheck Volunteers. Photo by Pete Paterson.

Phone Friends: TeleCheck Volunteers. Photo by Pete Paterson.

The origins of TeleCheck

Re “Local Heroes: Phone Friends” [winter ’21]: As I am the longest-running volunteer with TeleCheck Dufferin, I’d like to share how it all began. Frank Stoll, who lived in Mono, had been recently widowed and found himself with five cats to care for. Depressed by the death of his wife, he was also very concerned about the welfare of their cats should anything happen to him. He called Community Living’s Distress Line in Guelph and expressed his concerns to a volunteer who relayed them to Marg Starzynksi, who was part of the organization.

Marg recognized immediately that there was a need for seniors at risk. She consulted with Katherine Johnson and together they set up a program called TeleCheck, a daily phone call, or sometimes two or three, to check on seniors living alone in their own homes or caregiving a spouse. Katherine was TeleCheck’s first manager and held this position for many years until Jennifer McCallum capably took over this past year, allowing Katherine to retire.

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  • Frank Stoll became one of our first volunteers. I served with him on Monday mornings for many years, as did Heather and Gerda, our steady foursome. When Frank retired, all three of us took over Frank’s care. It was because of Frank Stoll that TeleCheck began, along with Marg and Katherine who saw a need in the community and fulfilled it, along with Katherine’s dedication and enthusiasm for our program. Katherine was with Frank last December when he finally met his wish to join his wife, and we, the volunteers and Katherine, met at the graveside service overlooking Island Lake. Today TeleCheck serves well over 100 clients a day with our calls.
    Sandy Small Proudfoot, Mono

    Puppet maker Jane Ohland Cameron and one of her fuzzy friends. Photo by Pete Paterson.

    Puppet maker Jane Ohland Cameron and one of her fuzzy friends. Photo by Pete Paterson.

    Inspirational puppets

    The generous spirit of Jim Henson and Karen Ohland was too vibrant to be interred in 1990 [“No Strings Attached” winter ’21]. Thank you Jane Ohland Cameron and Community Living Dufferin for this most appropriate resurrection (and kudos to Tony Reynolds for exquisite research and writing).
    Steven Hargraves, London

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  • “No Strings Attached” is a tribute to creativity, kindness and inclusiveness. Brilliant! This is what the world needs more of. Looking forward to attending the performances. Wishing everyone continued success.
    Jeanette Brox, Toronto

    A wonderful collaboration of our amazing community. Thank you, Jane Ohland Cameron, Community Living Dufferin, puppeteers, story-makers and all involved. A feel-good article.
    Susan Reynolds, Orangeville

    Digital connections

    We love your magazine. However, we’ve left Caledon and have new community nooks and crannies to explore. But we’re one family happy to have the e-zine [at inthehills.ca]! There’s a plus to everything. Keep up the great work.
    Mary Sasiela

    Writerly review

    Thank you for including my work in “The Year in Books” [winter ’21]. And special thanks to writer Tracey Fockler. I have so often struggled with how to describe my books as they are all so very different from each other. Tracey’s account made me gush with pride. To be included with so many other wonderful authors was beyond an honour.
    Alex McLellan, Shelburne

    Online In The Hills

    We welcome your comments! For more commentary from our readers, or to add your own thoughts on any of the stories, please add a comment at the bottom of any article. You can also send your letters by e-mail to [email protected] or use our handy submission form. Please include your name, address and contact information. In the Hills reserves the right to edit letters for publication.

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    Related Stories

    Phone Friends: TeleCheck Volunteers. Photo by Pete Paterson.

    Phone Friends: TeleCheck Volunteers

    Nov 29, 2021 | Jeff Rollings | Local Heroes

    We salute three longtime volunteers with TeleCheck, a free telephone check-in service for people older than 55 who are living in their own homes.

    No Strings Attached

    Nov 29, 2021 | Tony Reynolds | Arts

    Jane Ohland Cameron’s colourful Muppet-like puppets set loose the creative imagination of kids and adults with developmental disabilities.

    The Year in Books: 2021

    Nov 29, 2021 | Tracey Fockler | Arts

    From mysteries to memoirs, our annual review of new books by local authors and illustrators has you covered for gifts for others – and yourself.

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