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Ringing in 2009 with style

Ringing in 2009 with style

Timmins residents celebrate new year

Posted By Jessica Young, The Daily Press

After the December holiday rush fades, people all round the world celebrate the end of one year and the start of another.

It was no different in Timmins as St. Dominiques hall, the McIntyre ballroom, the Dante Club and the Shania Twain Centre opened its doors to the public for one last hurrah in 2008 and welcome 2009.

Bright sparkling hats and matching coloured noisemakers lined every table at the Knights of Columbus New Years Eve party at St. Dominiques hall. The men were dressed to impress and many women donned dresses and tops that shimmered in the dim light as the music filled the air.

After a year hiatus from the hall, Knights of Columbus district deputy Leo Chaumont said they decided to return this year to bring yet another special event to the public while getting them out of the cold.

As people began to fill the venue, Chaumont was reflective on the progressive year he and fellow Knights had in 2008.

We had more fraternity and more get-togethers so it was a definite positive this year, he said. The overall view of the councils is that we had a great year.

In the Timmins area there are six councils and Chaumonts hope for the upcoming year is that more people will join their organization.

We have so many charities and organizations wed like to support, he said. Its hard to support everybody. We would love to have more members. Time will tell.

Over at the McIntyre ballroom, Porcupine Big Brothers and Big Sisters vice-president Tanya Malette was equally optimistic for the spring and also wanted her organization to see a growth in numbers as well.

We would love to see more big brothers join our organization, she said. Weve had a couple of recruits but our goal is to increase the numbers of big brothers this year.

Looking back, Malette noted the organizations first ever Family Fun Day at Hollinger Park and the New Years Eve teen dance as the highlights of the past year.

` It was a great year and we had huge improvements and a lot of good fundraising and new recruits, she said.

One teen at the New Years Eve dance who hit the dance floor with full force was École secondaire catholique Thériault student Sophie Bilodeau. As a dedicated athlete she accomplished quite a few goals in various sports this year.

In karate I got a red belt and I joined the wrestling team and did well in some tournaments, Bilodeau said. My goal is to stick to what I start for 2009.

A woman who stuck to her guns got a special reward this year. Bank of Montreal branch manager Janna Cook bought her very own 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.

Ive wanted that since I was about 13 years old, she said at the Shania Twain Centre on New Years Eve. Off and on it went from different years and different models.

Cook spent all summer learning how to drive standard and 2008 was the year she bought her dream car.

My husband Chris and I hope to add more trips this year and look forward to making some money in this economy. Its a great time to buy shares and theres a lot of activity in Timmins.

Cook sits on the Downtown Timmins Business Improvement Association board and said that everyone should be on the lookout for a lot of action from the local group in the coming year.

Its going to be a great year. I wish everyone health, prosperity and happiness, she said.

A local couple just back from university is also wishing for just that. Tyler Allard and Megan Beyer are both 23 and have just returned after graduating from Nipissing University. It was their first year in their six-year courtship celebrating the new year at the Dante Club.

We want to travel together in the new year and Im looking forward to getting a good pair of slacks, Allard joked.

At the Shania Twain Centre, Ray Belanger and his wife Emmy made the trek once more to Timmins from Thunder Bay just to listen to the All-Star Big Band.

The pair started the tradition three years ago and Ray said this year was an extra special treat to be able to make it to the City with the Heart of Gold.

Im the luckiest guy in the world, he said. I had open-heart surgery and major back surgery and Im dancing. How do you like that?

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