Valley East Community Action Network Provides Opportunity For Public To Participate In Many Worthwhile Projects
The Valley East Community Action Network had a very attractive display set up during the Valley East Lions Charity Days on September 9, 2006. From the left we have: Mike Lauzon, Valley East Trail Sub-Committee; Marc Tasse, Chair of the VECAN; Shirley Baxter, Secretary; Nellie Lanteigne, Member; and Claudette Lahti-Ouwens, Member. More information can be found about the VECAN by visiting their web space at 
The Fox Family Is Making A Difference For Our Troops In Afghanistan
Sandra Amyot and her son, Kyle, 23, are shown in front of the special bulletin board which has been created by the Valley East Community Action Network to pay tribute to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are serving in Afghanistan. Kyle and his bother, Glenn, 28, are both members of the armed forces and both have seen action in this war-torn segment of the globe. 
Sandra and Claudette Lauhti-Ouwen of VECAN are shown selling "Support Our Troops" merchandise to help raise money to support families with loved ones serving in Afghanistan. With the help of VECAN and the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre, Sandra was able to raise a significant amount of money for this worthy cause. 

The bulletin board will remain up during January 2007 as a constant reminder to local citizens of the sacrifice that is being made by the brave recruits of the armed forces.


Straight From the Heart
by VECAN ( Valley East Community Action Network)

            The second in a series of Support the Troops endeavours by the Valley East Community Action Network is “Straight from the Heart” which features the Berthelot family whose son, Sergeant Raymond Berthelot, will soon be returning from a mission in the vicinity of Kandahar, to visit with his children, Matthieu and Cassandra.

Matthieu, 11, is shown with Alana Evershed of MCTV being interviewed for a special segment on the evening news. The poster behind Matthieu is one that he designed himself for the display.

            The son of Gaston and Pauline was a Val Caron boy who attended Notre Dame du Rosaire, 9 and 10 at Sacré Coeur, and graduated from l’Héritage.  The 36-year-old’s love of the military began in 1983 with four years of Army Cadets in Capreol, after which he moved on to the Militia in Sudbury .  In October of ’88, Raymond joined the Armed Forces, doing his basic training in St. Jean , Que., before being posted with Vindoux (the 22nd regiment) for infantry training in early ’89 and spending the next four years in Lahr , Germany .  Injuries to his back in Bosnia shortened that ’92 tour of duty, after which he was posted in Gagetown, N.B.  In ’99, he returned to Bosnia for 6 ½ months as a peacekeeper.  In 2001, after becoming Master Corporal, Raymond spent 6 ½ months in Africa’s Eurethea and Ethiopia on a peacekeeping mission.  In 2005, he became Sergeant Raymond Berthelot and was stationed in Kabul .

            Raymond has had a variety of experiences with the Canadian Armed Forces.  For several weeks during the January ice storms south of Montreal in ’98, he brought in food, helped to restore services, was involved in cutting trees and removing debris, and worked to save livestock by removing them from dangerous situations or delivering food to them in isolated areas.   The recovery of forensics and debris from Swiss Air’s Flight 111 plane crash, seven nautical miles off the coast of Nova Scotia , not far from Peggy’s Cove, provided both experience and challenge.

            In an interview, Gaston and Pauline shared, “You never get used to the fact that your son or daughter is stationed in a dangerous situation.  Each parent deals with the situation in their own way; some need to hear every word about the armed forces on television and radio; others avoid any information but what pertains to their family.”

            How can we support the family?  The family needs to know that members of their community support them in what they are doing.  Relatives need to keep in communication with others who are in the same situation, as in a support group.  Soldiers returning to their community need to feel that their community supports them. 

            Straight from the Heart has been organized, not only to showcase the Berthelot Family, but to introduce to the communities of Valley East and Capreol a newly-formed Military Family Support group.

            “We get together to connect with other families who share the same concerns and worries as we do,” said Volunteer Co-ordinator, Denise Lecuyer, “ but, most of all, we provide moral support in very difficult times.”

              The Military Family Support group will be distributing the Invisible Ribbon, part of a federal project that was launched in November, and which represents an invisible uniform that we wear to support our troops. Denise welcomes calls to 983-0708 for any military family member who requires resources or further information about the next meeting to take place on Feb. 22nd.

On Saturday, February 10, 2007, VECAN once again sponsored a special day at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre where the public was able to talk to some of the family members. In the above photo, Gaston, on the left is shown with Denise Lecuyer, Volunteer Co-ordinator, on the far right, explaining some of the information that is on the display board.  Denise also has a daughter in the Canadian navy. In the middle of the photo is Warrant Officer Yvon Godin, a veteran soldier who retired in 2004 after more than 35 years of service in the Canadian military. According to Lecuyer, there are a total of 17 area families with sons or daughters serving in the military.

Sandy Amyot, mother of Glenn and Kyle Fox, was also on hand to sell merchandise to raise money in the Support Our Troops campaign.  Sandy is shown in both photos at her familiar spot selling another item of clothing to a supporter.

If you are aware of other local families whose relatives have been deployed, please share that information by e-mailing

Community Shows Strong Support For The Canadian Armed Forces Fighting In Afghanistan

Sandra Amyot and Wayne Fox were extremely pleased with the way the community demonstrated support for members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have been drawn into the war in Afghanistan. Sandra and Wayne took part in a special "Support The Troops" weekend at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre on December 9 and 10, 2006. Their two sons, Kyle and Glenn Fox, have both served in Afghanistan. The boys' grandmother, Bridget Amyot, on the left in the photo, also took part in the event.

For the complete story and more photos 



Supporting Our Troops

by VECAN ( Valley East Community Action Network)

               The war in Afghanistan may seem a long distance away, but not for Canadians who wait for news of their friends or relatives who fight this faceless war.  Wayne and Sandy, the parents of Kyle and Glenn Fox, understand how difficult it is to wait.  Graduates of Confederation Secondary School , both brothers joined the Canadian Military as Peacekeepers. The younger Kyle who joined in 2001 and Glenn, later in 2004, shared a two month tour.  Both gunners, Glenn is doing more extensive training in Edmonton , while Kyle is presently stationed in Petawawa, awaiting surgery that, hopefully, will repair the hearing lost during a rocket launch attack.

            Not all of their news reaches home.  Daily missions are unpredictable and many of the men who began active duty with Kyle have been lost in action.  Kyle speaks of Mark Anthony Graham as “the best friend I ever had or ever will have”.

Although serving in Afghanistan is very dangerous for our soldiers, Sandy understands that, without it, terrorism would reach as far as our own homes here in the Valley; no one would be safe.  So, while she waits anxiously for news, Sandy has been promoting what she can to support not only her sons, but the rest of Canadian Troops. 

For like-minded Canadians, the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency website,, has several recommendations:

bulletThe proceeds from the sale of Support Our Troops merchandise (ball caps, t-shirts, car and fridge magnets, cling vinyl window decals, bracelets, lapel pins, and more) are reinvested directly into morale and welfare programs for CF members and their families.  They would make good Christmas gifts at this time of year. 
bulletMessages of appreciation can be posted on the online message board at 
bulletPlace an ad in Canadian Forces Newspapers that reach 15 military bases in seven provinces. 
bulletWear something red on Fridays.           

            The Valley East Community Action Network invites you to wear red on Saturday, December 9th when you visit the Support Our Troops display across from the Royal Bank in the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre, from 10 till 3.  Sandy and Wayne are hoping that Kyle will be able to join them there from 11 until 2. 

            If you are aware of other local families whose relatives have been deployed, please share that information by e-mailing, or by telephoning Claudette @ 897-2113.


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