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Five Oaks - Non-Profit Centre Supporting Local Partent: Holding Summer Day Camp with focus on Nature 

PARIS, Ontario – local retreat centre Five Oaks has developed a new summer day camp program, The Acorn Adventure Camp, to care for area children as COVID-19 restrictions move to Stage 3 in the region on July 17, and more parents head back to work.


The centre, which had re-opened its doors as an isolation centre for newly arriving Temporary Foreign Farmworkers in April, has sectioned off multiple spaces on the property dedicated to the day camp adventures. Activities will include games, crafts, creek study, nature science, campfires, hikes, daily swimming in the Five Oaks pool, and weather permitting, an adventure down the Grand River. All activities are planned with safe and fun social distancing in mind, and Five Oaks is following all guidelines set out by public health authorities to ensure the safety of campers and staff.


Many in the community know Five Oaks for hosting summer day camp for years. After a threat of closure and restructuring of their business plan in 2016, Five Oaks discontinued their in-house camp program, shifting focus to facility rentals for hosted groups. Five Oaks has created an all new day camp program for the summer focused on nature and outdoor fun. 


“This camp brings children into nature to explore and be themselves” says Five Oaks’ Executive Director Michael Shewburg. He continues, “we stand in solidarity with those who work on the frontlines and those who are returning back to an in-person work setting and need a childcare solution. Staying home or leaving children with Grandparents who may be more susceptible to COVID-19 complications is not an option for many families. For others, sending their child for a week at camp comes as a much-needed break for many parents and caregivers. We are happy to welcome children from all circumstances.”


The camp is designed for children ages 6-12, and costs $275/week. Before and after care is available on an as needed basis, at an extra cost.  Parents can register their little acorns on the Five Oaks Website:


Five Oaks is a not-for-profit Interfaith/Intercultural spiritual centre, founded in 1952 as a United Church training facility. Five Oaks offers its own retreats and programs, and also provides a sacred natural setting for facility rentals by groups, organizations and personal retreats, with cozy accommodations, meals from an on-site chef, and 117 acres of forest, fields and trails on the banks of the Grand River. For more information call 519-442-3212 or email

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DBI and Juniper donated lunch to healthcare workers at the Brant Community Healthcare System.
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Walter's group donated 650 lunches to the Brant Community Healthcare system for front lines workers at the Brantford General Hospital and the Willet in Paris.  
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Following the cancelation of the event due to COVID-19, registrants were given options three options on what to do with their registration. 200 would be participants chose to donate their registration fee to St. Josephs Healthcare and Foundation. This totalled over $16,000!
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On Friday, March 27, The Little Paris Bread Co. will have a shelf full of sourdough bread for those who need it in the community. 
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 Story Published in the Brantford Expositor March 18th, 2020

View the original article

The owners of a group of Paris restaurants are stepping up to the plate to ensure the elderly and other vulnerable people are taken care of during the coronavirus crisis. 

Matt and Karly Cummings and their partner, Chef Will Thompson, are offering free food to people who desperately need it. Specifically, they are looking to help out seniors and those who, for whatever reasons, are vulnerable.

“Paris and the surrounding area has wrapped its arms around us and our families for the last 12 years since we opened our first restaurant in 2008,” said Matt Cummings of That Dam Restaurant Group. “Now we have four restaurants and as responsible members of the community we want to give back to those less fortunate.

“Business owners should not only give back to their community when its convenient for them. Sometimes you need to help even when you’re suffering too.

”Those in need of food can reach Cummings by e-mail at Cummings said he can’t promise he’ll be able to answer every request but added that he will do his best to respond to all e-mails.

That Dam Restaurant Group own and operate Cobblestone Public House, Stillwaters, Midtown Kitchen and Coffee and Trattoria Italian Restaurant. Stillwaters, which opened in 2013, Trattoria, which opened last year, and Midtown, which opened in 2018, are closed because of the coronavirus and the state of emergency declared by the province on Tuesday.

By provincial order all restaurants and bars in Ontario are closed except those that offer takeout and delivery service.

Cobblestone, which opened in 2008, remains open for paid take out service only.

The only thing Cummings wants from the community in return for providing free food to the vulnerable and elderly is better behaviour on social media.

“What I’m seeing is terrible,” Cummings said. “The way we speak to each other on social media is tragic.“I’m calling on all of us to stop writing terrible things on local businesses social media pages.

”Cummings is calling on everyone to return to their basics.

“Prioritize our family, our health and our freedom,” Cummings said. “The rest doesn’t matter.

“This situation is teaching us what’s really important."
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Full Facebook post available here  


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Paul Cheney at Paris Bohemian Gallery is offering 50% off his entire collection if you show a receipt from another local business.
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