Fall Friendship Festival
Saturday, October 24, 2015
ClearView Church, Oakville, Ontario
10:00am. to 2:00pm.

Come and join us for our tenth Friendship Festival!

Register now for a concert with Peter Slofstra and other musical guests. We’ll enjoy a day of singing, laughter, good fellowship and some surprises. Refreshments and lunch are provided.

Our theme for the day is “Can’t Thank God Enough for You!”

Everyone is invited to attend – friends, club mentors and volunteers, parents, family members, staff members and the general public.

The location is ClearView Christian Reformed Church, 2300 Sheridan Garden Drive in Oakville. The activities run from 10:00am until 2:00pm. and lunch is provided. The cost is $10 per person (cash or cheque “Friendship Festival”), to be collected at the door.

TO REGISTER… Send a list of names of everyone attending – friends, volunteers, parents, mentors – to Marlene Nirula at marlene.nirula@gmail.com. Please indicate if the person attending is a friend, mentor, volunteer, staff member or parent. For more information about the festival, contact Herb Goodhoofd at 905-469-9295.

DIRECTIONS TO THE CHURCH…The church is located at 2300 Sheridan Garden Drive, southeast of the QEW in east Oakville.
From the QEW from Toronto…Take the Ford Drive exit, just past Winston Churchill Blvd. Turn left (south) on Ford Drive. Go one kilometre south to the church, on the corner of Ford Drive and Sheridan Garden Drive.
From the QEW from Hamilton…Go one exit past Trafalgar Road on the QEW and take the Ford Drive exit. Turn right (south) on Ford Drive and go one kilometre to the corner of Ford Drive and Sheridan Garden Drive. The church is on the southeast corner.

Please forward this email to others who might enjoy this event.

Visit www.weloveourfriends.com for photos of previous festivals and www.friendship.org for more information about Friendship Clubs.

We look forward to seeing you in Oakville on October 24!

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June 6, 2015

Over two hundred people attended our most recent festival on June 6. Everyone enjoyed a day of good fun, food and friendly fellowship.

The theme for the day was “God Knows My Name”!

Hugh Cook began the day by reading from his novel Heron River. In the story, Woody takes four young men living in a group home out into the backyard at night. As they gaze into the starry night, Woody says, “God made every one of those stars. And he knows each one by name.” And just as God knows the each star by name, Hugh continued, he also knows each one of us by name.

Jim Reese continued this theme and spoke to us about God’s care for each one of us. By way of storytelling and music, Jim showed us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and that he looks after us and keeps us safe. We were pleased to have Rev. Reese, his wife Adrienne and their son Steven at the festival. The Reese family began Christian Horizons fifty years ago and we are thankful for the love and support this organization provides for the many individuals in their care, both in Canada and abroad.

After the day’s introduction, everyone was divided into two groups. One group enjoyed a presentation by Creature Quest, who introduced us to a variety of birds, small animals and reptiles. Everyone was fascinated to learn more about these beautiful creatures and view them up close. The second group chose from various activities such as the “famous” Fun Tunnel, balloons and foamies, tower time and the water drop. Everyone was invited to decorate a wooden plaque with their name, reminding them of the day’s theme.

After a delicious lunch of hamburgers and all the trimmings, the two groups switched activities. During lunch, we played two games and watched an amazing presentation by five young people. It’s hard to describe what they did… sorry, you had to be there to see it! At the end of the day, everyone met together to sing and say goodbye.

Our next festival to be held on Saturday, October 24. We’ll meet at Clearview Church in Oakville, at our usual time, 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Our featured musician will be Peter Slofstra, who lives in Courtice, just east of Oshawa. Peter has been writing and singing songs for many years. You’ll enjoying listening to his songs, as well as singing along. We’ll have other musical guests as well, so you’ll want to attend!

Registration will begin in early September. Please send an email to Herb Goodhoofd at herbgood@gmail.com if you wish to be on our mailing list, or check this website in September for registration information.

See you in Oakville on October 24!

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November 1, 2014

One of our friends shared his thoughts about the music he enjoyed at our recent festival on November 1.  With everyone singing and laughing and enjoying the music, the place was rocking!

About two hundred people came together at ClearView Church in Oakville on Saturday, November 1 for our eighth Friendship Festival.  We enjoyed a time of singing and listening to good music, sharing a delicious lunch and playing games together.

Our theme for the day was “God’s love helps us to… Stand Strong!”  We laughed when a group of young people portrayed this theme in the ‘Great Canadian Jenga Challenge”.  We listened carefully as Adriaan Steenkamp reminded us of Biblical characters who were able to stand strong when they met difficulties in their lives.  We were reminded that all of us need encouragement to “Stand Strong” every day of our lives.  The key to “Standing Strong” is to be thankful, trust God and rely on his love, grace and mercy.

Our festival’s featured musician this year was Jordan Raycroft.  We enjoyed his strong melodies and tapped and clapped to the pleasing rhythms of his songs.  You can discover more about Jordan and listen to his music at www.jordanraycroft.com.

We also welcomed Jericka-Lyn Masters, Robin Holmes and Joel Dickinson as they shared their musical talents with us.  Jericka-Lyn danced wonderfully to the beautiful song “In Christ Alone”.  Robin had us clapping and cheering as he played the piano and sang two dynamic songs, including his own song “I’ll Always Have My Friends”.  Joel played his electric guitar and accompanied our singing at the beginning and end of the festival.

Thanks go to everyone who helped out at the festival.  We thank Ellie, Marlene and Michelle on the planning committee, our amazing musicians, our enthusiastic young people and the friendly volunteers who ran the games.  Let’s not forget the friends who worked in the kitchen to prepare a tasty lunch.  As always, we thank the local businesses and individuals who donated food and money to make the festival a special day.

Check out the photos of the day’s activities on the right side of this page in Past Events.

Everyone is invited to attend our next festival, to be held at ClearView Church in Oakville on Saturday, June 6, 2015, from 10:00am to 2:00pm.  The festival will feature games, good food and good fun.  Registration begins in early April.

See you at our next festival!

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May 25, 2013

One way to keep track of how many folks attended our recent festival goes like this. At the end of the day we simply ask Tammy, who runs Troy’s Diner catering service. “Tammy, how many hot dogs and fries did you serve today?”

“We gave out 247 hot dogs! Hope everyone enjoyed them.”

This year’s festival at E.C. Drury High School in Milton on May 25 brought together 180 friends, as well as another 60 parents, mentors and volunteers. The spirited singing at the start of the day, the sharing and laughter during the day and the enthusiasm seen at the various activities seemed to indicate that everyone had an enjoyable time.

Approximately twelve Friendship clubs throughout southern Ontario were represented, as a number of friends who live in group homes in Milton and surrounding communities.

A bit of a theme for the day was “butterflies”. Butterflies not only remind us of God’s creation and care for all his creatures, but they also show us that all of us go through various stages and changes in our lives. And while butterflies are beautiful and colorful, they are also very fragile. Life seen from this perspective means we need to take good care of each other.

As always, many thanks to everyone who made this a special day.

– Friendship club mentors, parents and volunteers who brought their friends

– group home staff who brought friends

– volunteers who ran the activities, including the Chartwell Church youth group – special thanks to the brave volunteers who sat under the water balloon drop!

– Troy’s Diner of Milton for great hot dogs and fries

– the Community Living North Halton catering group

– St. John’s Ambulance volunteers

– St. John’s pet therapy volunteers and their dogs

– local businesses, as listed on the Thank You page

Take a peek at the festival pictures on the right side of this page, and stay tuned for our next festival.

For information about the festival, please contact Herb Goodhoofd at 905-469-9295.

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November 10, 2012

The digeridoo is a unique Australian instrument, one of the musical treats enjoyed by everyone at our recent Fall Friendship Festival, held in Oakville on Saturday, November 10, 2012.

Friends, mentors and volunteers enjoyed music, singing, a magic show, a tasty lunch and lots of Timbits! Our special guests for the day included Tim Miller, Don Robertson and the Spirit Movers from the l’Arche Daybreak community in Richmond Hill.

Our theme for the day was “Seasons change, but God never changes!” We laughed when a group of young people “acted out” the four seasons. We reminded each other that while the seasons change, God’s love and faithfulness never changes. God loves us every day of the year!

In the morning, Tim Miller sang and led us in singing. Everyone enjoyed it when he played his guitar, the digeridoo, an African drum and the bagpipes. Then the Spirit Movers shared God’s love with us as they sang and danced to a couple of beautiful songs. After lunch, Don Robertson kept us guessing with his magical tricks. We finished the day as Don led us in a couple of closing songs.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to another enjoyable festival, including Tim and Don and the Spirit Movers, the friendly and energetic young people from Chartwell Baptist Church, the folks who worked in the kitchen to prepare lunch and the local businesses which gave donations. Many thanks to each one of you!

Go to PAST EVENTS on the right side of this page and click on the PHOTOS for November 10, 2012 to check out the fun.

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“WE LOVE OUR FRIENDS” provides opportunities for fun and fellowship for our friends with developmental disabilities. <ahref=”http://www.weloveourfriends.com”>”We Love Our Friends” organizes festivals and concerts throughout the year. These events include games, music, food and time to socialize and meet new friends.

Our festivals have two primary goals. It’s an opportunity to tell our friends that they are loved by God – and by us – and we want to provide a day of fun and fellowship at minimal cost.

We support the friends and mentors/volunteers of Friendship Clubs in various churches around southern Ontario, as well as group home residents and staff members, whether or not they are members of a Friendship Club. Everyone is invited to attend!

Find out more about Friendship Clubs by visiting their website at www.friendship.org.