Last week on Wednesday, it was great to attend the Grand Opening and open house at the new consolidated home for Community Living North Bay.  The new building which consolidates it services in one location at the Commerce Court facility, will serve our community well for years to come.  The building has been transformed into a fully integrated hub to assist persons with intellectual disabilities and their families.  What a tremendous job that the staff do and congratulations to those staff, the Board and the families that had the vision and determination to bring this project to fruition.

The completion of this project also marks the end of an era and the start of a new one as well, for Community Living.  Jennifer Valenti, Executive Director of this organization, announced her retirement after some 41 years.  It is fitting that her retirement coincides with the opening of this renovated facility and all the hard work, dedication and commitment that Jennifer has shown throughout her career, will continue in this vital community organization.  Congratulation to all on the opening of the facility and the entire Chamber wishes Jennifer a happy and relaxing retirement, that is so well deserved!

Another great event held on Saturday morning, was the fundraiser for Special Olympics at King Cone/King Putt in support of approximately twenty-five athletes participating in the golf program.  One of these athletes, is Mandy Demers who has qualified for the National Games being held in Nova Scotia next month.  Good luck to Mandy at the games and all your hard work and practice has paid off.  This program is just another example of what our community does to improve the lives of persons in our community, with special needs.  The entire Cundari family, Glenn, Michele and their two children, Nick and Megan, provide these athletes the opportunity to learn, participate and enjoy the game of golf as well, gain the life skills that team work and individual commitment to the sport, teach.  Congratulations to all the athletes and to the Cundari family for their dedication in giving back to their community.

Coming up soon, The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce is excited to be participating and promoting, Ignite North Bay “3”.   On June 21st at 7:00 p.m. at the Capitol Centre, the third event will be held, and we encourage everyone who is interested in the future of our community to attend.  The event will host 14 speakers who will inform, enlighten or inspire us about their deepest passions.  The event is a venue which allows people to express what they are passionate about and inspire others to embrace their dreams and change communities.  Mark it in your calendar and see what this movement is all about.  Admission is $10,00 per person which is 100% being donated to PADDLE and will include a free refreshment from New Ontario Brewery.

The annual Chamber Golf Tournament in support of the North Bay Community Foundation is just a little over a month away on July 5 at Osprey Links.  The tournament is filling up quickly and there are some hole sponsorships still available.  Get your teams in now and come out for a great day of golf and fun both on and off the course.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.