One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato. Four.

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A group picture & coffee break took place at Moose Lodge & Family Centre #535, on Thursday morning, January 21st, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Fellow volunteers at ‘The Moose’ celebrated a volunteer, who’s constant contribution to the weekly fish fry and other dinners at The Moose, was marked & honoured. Jamie Rehel is a fellow that looks forward, week after week, to supporting the ongoing work of ‘The Moose’. Saultonline caught up with Jamie and the merry band of volunteers, to share the story about a person who moves through a mountain of potatoes week after week, cutting them into french fries for the Friday Night Fish Fry.

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“He does about 200 lbs (potatoes) per week. And it’s not just the fish fry” shared Ron Dimma, fellow volunteer, “He’s here for all of our big dinners; the Christmas dinner in July, turkey dinner in November, Mardis Gras (which is coming up soon), to name a few.”
“Our weekly fish fry is a big deal, and we are always busy.” shared Ron Dimma. “Jamie is responsible for prepping all of the french fries customers enjoy with their basket of fish & chips. Volunteers are at a minimum these days, and having Jamie be able to commit every week is huge for us. We’re very lucky to have him. He’ll jump in wherever help is needed; He never complains. When the paper liners inside the baskets & take-out containers need to get finished, Jamie will jump in and get that done too.” said Ron.

20160121_090509” I like coming out and talking to friends” shared Jamie Rehel. The fellowship & camaraderie that can be found in the kitchen at the Moose Lodge is the reason Jamie and the rest of the crew come back week after week to support the work of the Moose Lodge & Family Centre #535.

“When my parents started volunteering at the fish fry, my dad thought about me cutting the potatoes into french fries.” said Jamie. 10 years later, Jamie and his parents, Cathy & Vic Rehel are still going strong at The Moose Family Centre. Jamie’s parents are also volunteer bar tenders on Thursday and Friday nights at ‘The Moose’. “Thursday night and Friday night are The Jam Nights” shared Cathy Rehel, Jamie’s mom.

Jamie brings many strengths to his role at the Moose, including a steady, calm presence. “He’s a good man, that Jamie.” shared Ed as the doughnuts were being passed around during the celebratory coffee break.

Jamie has volunteered with several organizations in the City of Sault, including the Alzheimer Society, the Canadian Red Cross, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the Hospital (SAH), Group Health Centre Trust Fund, V.O.N. (Victoria Order of Nurses), St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, where he does scripture readings, and is also an active member of the church.

Jamie was born and raised in the Sault. “I went to school in Brantford, Ontario for a number of years at the W. Ross Macdonald High School for the Blind, and then afterwards I was at the CNIB Transitional Training Centre in Hamilton for a little while.” Jamie graduated in the early 1990’s.

20160121_090545“I made a lot of friends at the school for the blind who I stay in touch with through email. I have a talking programme on my computer that reads everything to me. Over the summer, I spend 2 weeks at the Lake Joseph Centre in Muskoka, which I really look forward to. I like to go offsite to visit the museums, where hands on exhibits, featuring Muskoka Lakes history can be found.”

The CNIB’s ‘Lake Joseph Centre’ is a fully accessible lakefront facility located in the Muskoka region of Ontario. Founded in 1918, CNIB has grown to become the primary resource for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted.

“I go to the Watertower Inn 3 times a week for exercising and swimming with my dad.” Jamie also enjoys attending live music concerts. “I went to hear Roger Whitaker at White Pines. I like him a lot, and he put on a good show. I’ve gone to see Roy Orbison, Bryan Adams, Corey Hart, Rick Springfield, Kenny G., The Guess Who, Ronny Millsap at the Casino across the river.” On his bucket list is John Cougar-Mellencamp. “I tried to get tickets a few years ago, but the concert got sold out.”

Jamie has a sister in Woodstock, and he adores his niece and nephew. “I’m pretty proud of them.” he shared.

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One wish Jamie has, is to be able to experience more Television and Movies available by closed captioning and described video. Through a former schoolmate and contact Jamie has at The AMI Network(Accessible Media Inc.) he regularly sends suggestions about future programming. “I would like to see more family sit-coms on the AMI tv schedule, like Sanford & Sons” he said.

Congratulations on all of your hard work Jamie Rehel, and the whole gang at The Moose Lodge & Family Centre #535, on Trunk Rd.

The Friday Night Fish Fry happens from 4:30 – 7:00 pm. Jam Nights are Thursday & Friday nights starting at 8:00 pm. Folks of all ages are encouraged to come out and, enjoy various styles of music. Bringing a musical instrument and your voice is encouraged.
Call (705) 759-8623 for details.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Hey! This is my Aunt, Uncle and cousin! Love them all! Great job James! (That’s what I call Jamie) he is amazing. We go for a couple to several years without seeing each other and he knows who I am the minute I say “hey!” Miss them all. Glad you are enjoying life up in the North!

  2. My brother is awesome!! People need to know how much it means to a person with a disability to feel like an active person in the community. Having an opportunity to go out and do something with and for others is such a wonderful thing. Everyone deserves that chance and everyone has something to give. I hope articles like this will encourage people to look outside the box for their volunteers, because special people have something special to give.

    • yes.. your brother is awesome. and a cool dude. He is well loved at ‘The Moose’, who are all such good people. #family

  3. I think this is a perfect example of how people with disabilities can contribute in society in really unique and needed ways. Good for all three Rehels for stepping forward to offer such help. What a great story! Good going, Jamie!

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