Last week the City turned out, despite the inclement weather, to celebrate Armed Forces Day 2018.  Over 3500 students and thousands of residents took in the celebration at our waterfront on Wednesday morning with our Canadian Armed Forces, First Responders, and volunteers.  Although Mother Nature wasn’t too co-operative, forcing the cancellation of the Sky Hawks Jump Team, it was a tremendous celebration for the City of North Bay.

The relationship and history, that our City has with our military is far beyond just the economic benefits that we see from having a military base in our community.  The countless volunteer hours that our military members and families provide back to our community is hard to measure, but it is appreciated by so many different groups.  From Relay to Life (2018-Relay for Life Celebration this Friday evening), the Santa Claus Fund annually, Armed Forces Day, coaching and being involved in so many other great causes, makes this community a better place, each day.

The celebration annually, does not happen without an entire community coming together each year to say “Thank You” to each and every one of our members of the Military Family.  Colonel Mark Roberts, his entire Command staff along with Honorary Colonels George Burton, Hariett Madigan and Jake Lacourse do a tremendous job of integrating the military with our residents.  It is no small task to pull this all together each year and a big thank you for all involved, especially, Canadore College, The City of North Bay, and the hundreds of volunteers that work for months, prior to the event.

Events like this underscore the important role that our Military play in making our Country the place it is today.  The sacrifice and dedication that our military personnel, both past and present, give and have given, to Canada, is why we need to say thank you.  This commitment to keeping us safe, allows each of us to sleep soundly at night and enjoy the peaceful existence, that most of us do.  Whenever they are called upon to help, they are there.  From all our members at the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, “Thank You”!!!

Please make sure you mark your calendars for Thursday nights “Ignite North Bay” at the Capitol Centre starting at 7:00 p.m.  Come down, enjoy a complimentary New Ontario Brewery beverage, help PADDLE, and most of all, be inspired to change our future.  Check it out at www.ignitenorthbay.com/about and tickets can be obtained at the door or https://tangr.com/ .  You won’t regret it!! See you there.

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