Thursday, January 29, 2009

UPDATED - Auction for local artist

Sorry the link to my email was dead, please email click here to send me email if you would like to bid on the auction - the current bid stands at $40

On Tuesday one of the local men from the nearby Batay Nuevo (which is a small village that used to be for the sugar cane workers before the cane fields closed. Now it is mainly squatters) came to display his art work to the volunteers. One of the directors of the orphanage had advanced him a small amount of money so that he could buy some paint. The idea being that once he sells a painting or two he will be able to support himself in this business that can generate some money for him and his family. When you see the ‘sheds’ these guys live in it isn’t hard to see how it would be almost impossible for them to get started otherwise.

Some of the volunteers that come to the orphanage also work and help out at Batay Nuevo. For example this week there is a group down that is starting the building of an adult classroom and small pharmacy (which is actually no bigger that a closet) at the Batay.

As part of Nutri-Lawn’s commitment to the re:nourish program at NPH we have purchased the painting below and would like to auction it off, the money raised will be sent down to continue the work in the Batay as well as go to the artist himself. The idea is the more you can empower these people the more than can start to help themselves. An example of this is that some of the donations we bought down; toothpaste, tooth brushes, etc were taken to the lady who runs an ‘convenience store’ in the Batay. Of course all she has is the front of her shed where she has items that the others living in the Batay can buy for a small amount but this generates some money for her to buy more supplies to support her.

We would like to start the auction at $20, if you would like to bid on the painting please email me by clicking here. When I get back I will send out a daily email letting people know what price the auction is at the end of the day. We will probably run the auction for a week or two depending on the response we get. Please remember a small amount to use goes a long way here.
Thank you

Day 5

Jordan, Cam and Terry update us on the various pieces that are bringing the field together.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 4 Updates

Here's the update from this morning.....must run we are on schedule but need to keep moving.

Late on Day 3

An update from Shawn towards the end of Day Three

David Beckham he isnt but Boyd wins it for the Canadian

Last night we had a Canada vs the kids soccer match on the exisiting soccer field, which meant plenty of scrapes & scratches....thanks to an impassible defence line of Terry, Boyd & Ryan the local lads were kept to a one all tie at the end of regular time. A penalty shoot out results and with the last kick Boyd stepped up......

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The new onsite high school

This is the second school block at the orphanage. The first is complete and it houses the primary school. This is the high school which is in the middle of construction however the space is so valuable they are already using some of the rooms.

An update from Ryan on Day Three

Ryan gives us an update on the progress of the soccer field at the start of Day Three. The first load of sod arrives this afternoon!!!

Day 3 - Toro and Green Financial Garden

Shawn gives an update at the end of Day Two

Monday, January 26, 2009

Terry Ormrod from Toro

Terry from Toro explains the irrigration layout.

Day 2

Day 2
The challenges of getting this blog posted continues....just as I was in the middle of posting after finally finding an internet cafe where I could hook up my laptop, which I then couldn’t actually do so I just had to use their computer the power has now gone out! Thankfully I can still laugh despite the challenges. They do have internet at the orphanage however connecting to it is another story. They are very limited in their bandwidth allowance and at the end of the month it tends to be off more than on added to that hydro is off 70% of the time.
However our projects are progressing well at the orphanage. Irrigation of the veggie garden is almost complete and this was done by the end of day one. I will post a video of this tomorrow, fingers crossed.
A grader turned up today (that was supposed to be here Saturday) this was a huge saviour as the ‘top soil’ that was laid on the field before we got here was rock hard.
Power is back on so I will attempt to post the videos I have so you can see and hear how the progress is going.....

Day 1

Here is Jordan from the start of day 1.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sun Jan 25

Hi All

We are having some challenges with our net connection. I hope to have this resolved tomorrow.

Day one went well though. We had some challenges leveling the field but the irrigation in the garden area is almost complete. We are planning to hook the pump up tomorrow to test it out.

Our efforts and time here is being very well received and they enjoy helping us with our work.

As soon as I get the internet situation resolved I will post plenty of photos & videos.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thanks to Transcontinental

We also wants to give a special mention to the gang at Transcontinental for their generous donation of 160 t-shirts for the children at the orphanage.

Thanks to Terry Lapp & everyone at Transcontinental

Go Tigers/Tigres Go!

Pre-Construction started today!

This morning came early after a good night sleep in a bunk room that I shared in the clinic but the cold shower took care of the cloudy morning mind.

The grader operator was up and running by 7:00 a.m. and now it is noon, he has the makings of a field in front of me. I staked off an area 210 feet long x 120 feet wide this morning when he started and he has been doing a great job so far. In the background, you will see the makings of our pump house. I pre-ordered a well to be drilled so we could draw water for our Toro irrigation system. I was hoping for a drilled well and a well head but in the Dominican, every well comes with a concrete building and a tank on top for gravity feeding water when the power is out (70% of the time, there is no electricity).

I am waiting for the arrival of our PVC pipe and a visit from the local sod farmer.....getting our container from the port is not going well so far.
I made arrangements for some local labor to assist us for the week. We will have 5 Dominican's help our team of 11, and on Thursday, I am trying to get 15 men to work with us as we hope to complete the field and lay an acre of sod. Labor in the Dominican get's paid $5.00 per day, and the sugar cane workers get paid by the ton of cane cut and loaded and on average, make $3-$4 per day. On the orphanage, and with the help we have hired, we will pay them a bit more, but we have to be careful that we don't set a precedent for the full time staff that work here.

Shout out from Boyd

Boyd, our Newfoundland Franchisee also wanted me to pass on special thanks to Major's Path Automotive @ 59 Major's Path, St. John's, NL a significant contributor to his fund raising efforts.

Thanks guys!

Special Thanks

What good is a soccer field without the right equipment? Well that question as answered by Ramona Gellel and the children of the Durham School Board where she teaches Physical Education and Health who donated a load of soccer shoes. Bobby Lennox and the West Rouge Soccer Club donates a mountain of uniforms and the nets for the goals we will be constructing.

You can read more about Ramona's amazing accomplishments and believe me there are lots!

For more info about the West Rouge Soccer Club please visit

Thank you to everyone!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Arrived to orphanage tonight

We left Punta Cana this morning and started our 3.5 hour trek across to San Pedro. Before leaving, we made a stop at Roco Ki golf course, a beautiful new Nick Faldo design built and maintained by Troon Golf. They were very generous in loaning us their brand new trencher for the installation of irrigation line and water lines for the village.
I was able to confirm the donation today of our pipe requirements. We are receiving 2000' of 1.5" PVC pipe courtesy of Corripo, a large Manufacturer / Distributor here in the DR.
Our Grader is on-site and ready to work tomorrow and the sod farm is delivering samples tomorrow as well. So all in all, a good first day, topped off with dinner at a corner taco stand in San Pedro.
Tomorrow's challenge is getting our Sea Container from the Port and through immigration!

Arrived Early to D.R.

I arrived in Punta Cana last night with Mark Robinson and Ken Speers from Ontario. These two dedicated volunteers have been managing the Canadian trips to the Dominican for several years now. They are here now for 8 weeks to receive and manage all of the groups, 140 people in total this year including the Nutri-Lawn group. We made it through customs with our 10 hockey bags of donations and relief gear and to the local hotel to stay the night.
I arrived a couple of days before the rest of our group to finalize some arrangements for equipment and supplies. We are waiting in the hotel lobby now for the NPH director to pick us up and start the 3 hour journey across the South East corner of the Dominican to San Pedro where we will work for the next week. Before we leave Punta Cana, we will be visiting Roco Ki Golf Course ( where the course superintendant Damon DiGiorgio has graciously offered the use of their brand new Toro TRX Trencher and any hand tools we need to borrow for our project. Thank you to Damon for his generosity, and to Brandon Mathews of Toro (Latin America and the Caribbean) for putting us in touch with him.
Once we arrive at NPH, our first project is to receive the Sea Container that was shipped here a month ago. It is currently sitting in port. Tomorrow’s project is to supervise the grading of the field with a local pay loader that we hired, make contact with the PVC Pipe supply company to ensure our 1.5” pipe will be delivered to the site on Monday and to arrange for Bermuda Grass Sprigs to be delivered on Wednesday for the installation of the turf.
The weather is 30 degrees and humid….a drastic change from the sub zero temperatures at home.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Special thanks to Angela Arnsby for taking up the last minute ticket to the DR. Angela is a very active community member and when I mentioned to her about the opportunity to spend a week at the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage well she just couldn't say no. Amongst her many activities Angela is a board member of an animal welfare group in London,ON and she also traveled to New Orleans in the days after Katrina hit to volunteer her time. Thank you Angela and Welcome!


One of the members from another group(not Nutri-Lawn) is unable to make the trip to the Dominican next week, therefore there is 1 spot available. If you would like to join us here is the deal; you would leave with our group from Toronto this Saturday 24 and return on the 31st. The ticket is being offered at $1500.00 and you would receive a 2009 tax receipt. A Great deal! And you might even get famous on this site!

If you are interested we need to know by no later than 3pm Thursday (21st). This is offered on a first come first serve basis.

Please call me, Kalon @ 416-577-3316.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Photo of the NPH property

This fly-over photo shows the location of the NPH orphanage in the Dominican, near San Pedro. Located directly across the street is the Texas Ranger and Atlanta Braves Dominican training camp (the 4 baseball diamonds).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Field Shots

To give you an idea of what we are dealing with, here is the loader 'leveling' the area for the soccer field.....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Learn More About the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos project in the Dominican Republic

This is a short video prepared by the Friends of the Orphans - Canada about the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos project in the Dominican Republic.

Our 2009 Dominican Republic Goal

To provide a safe, sustainable playing field for the kids to enjoy for many years. We will do this by:

1. Installing an Inground Sprinkler System
2. Rebuilding the soil structure of the playing surface
3. Planting grass seed
4. Fertilizing
5. Irrigating the existing garden areas to yield better vegetables for use on the dinner tables in the orphanage
6. Teaching the site staff to maintain the field for years to come

re:nourish core beliefs

We believe that the idea and reality of community is the bedrock of a healthy society

We believe that everyone can contribute in some way to the health of a community somewhere

We believe that when we nourish a community we nurture its future

Friday, January 16, 2009

welcome to re:nourish

Inside every company there is the heart and soul of the people who make its brand so valuable. At Nutri-Lawn we say “We Nourish Lawns and Lives.” That is why we have created our most meaningful idea. We call it re:nourish.

re:nourish is our program to nurture the communities around us – both near and far – by giving back to them their greenery. Every part of our organization, the employees of our corporate office and our franchisees, are committing themselves through various projects to making the environment more lush and more nourished.

The way we organize our efforts we call From The Ground Up

  • 1. We find projects with which we can engage
  • 2. If we can bring our experience and expertise, as well as our passion, for healthy grass and exquisite irrigation to the project
  • 3. If we can mobilize our whole franchise system to contribute to a project that helps the community, such as a Food Bank
  • 4. We contribute individually and as a group