Two local groups deserve to be singled out this week for their worthy efforts.
First off, kudos to the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society for staging yet another successful fall fair in Emo from Thursday to Saturday.
A record 9,700 people attended the fair last year, with RRVAS chairman James Gibson thinking there might have been even more out this year, which says a lot about those who work so diligently behind the scenes year after year to keep alive a district tradition that has carried on for well over a century.
Mother Nature no doubt helped boost the attendance figures, with rain Wednesday and into Thursday morning giving way to sunshine and summer-like temperatures the rest of the way. But it's also clear the wide variety of events held at the fair each year literally offers something for all ages and interests.
The Emo Fair is the highlight of the year for so many people; a chance to showcase their harvest, livestock, and handiwork or their skills handling cattle and horses. For others, it's an opportunity to socialize with their neighbours and fellow district residents in a final hurrah of summer.
Regardless of why people attend the fair, it's all made possible by the countless volunteers who give their time to ensure its success and longevity.
Here in town, meanwhile, those involved with the Fort Frances Multi-Use Courts committee rightfully should be proud of the fruits of their efforts that officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony late Friday morning.
Despite running behind schedule, and with initial cost estimates of $80,000 per court ballooning to $100,000 in the end, it's great to see yet another recreational opportunity come to reality with the resurrection of tennis courts here.
As was the case with the Townshend Theatre and Ice For Kids Arena, among others, the generosity of local residents played a big role in fundraising for the project, generating about one-quarter of the $475,000 price tag, with an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant and contributions from the town and both local school boards largely covering the rest.
Still, someone needed to take the bull by the horns and spearhead the project—a role admirably filled by chairman Rick Wiedenhoeft and the rest of his committee of volunteers.
Thanks to you, our community now boasts another top-notch facility that residents hopefully will enjoy for years to come.
We're truly blessed to have so many people who step up to make our district such a great place to live and raise a family.