Virtual fundraiser continues tradition

In my hometown of Essex, Ontario there is a magical event that happens about this time of year.

It’s called the Jingle Bell Run/Walk/Wheel and it is a fundraiser, hosted by a local car dealership to benefit their neighbours, Community Living of Essex County.

Now into its 26th year, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk/Wheel gets the entire community involved and supports those with developmental challenges. This year, due to Covid (ugh) those who participate are doing so virtually.

They will not be gathering as a group and running, walking or wheeling but that does not mean that the event won’t go on. Instead, participants are asked to join a team by way of social media, donate, again by social media means and, on their own, or with a small group of friends, walk, run of wheel at various distances of their choice.

I applaud the local car dealership for continuing their strong corporate citizenship sponsorship, carrying on the tradition and being there for those who need their help.

I doubt very much if such platforms as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were not available to allow organizers to reach out to participants, this would not happen.

Courtesy of Ken Knapp Ford, Essex

Engaging an ageing population

I personally know of individuals my age, 60+ who refuse to embrace technology and social media.

Frankly, if I did not have to do it to keep up with communicating with most of the population, I would toss my laptop into the dumpster and simply write notes on pieces of paper.

I have searched high and low to find a training institute that will help those like myself who did not learn social media in Kindergarten like they do now.

So I went and found a website that I found to be quite helpful.

There are some 60+ people who have to learn it for their work and others who want to be able to communicate with their grandkids who live thousands of miles away. So, I want to challenge everyone reading this to tell me how do we teach someone to walk when they do not even know what legs are?

Every single day, more accurately stated, every minute, social media and the technology that drives the platforms change as does the basic terminology. Students in elementary and secondary schools are taught it, but what about the rest of us?

And, how does those who use social media communicate with seniors who simply will not embrace it?

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Way back when…

Okay so who are these two guys you are looking at right now?

At the top is the hockey player that they dubbed Mr. Hockey – Gordie Howe.

When he was 17, this farm kid from Saskatchewan signed his first pro contract at $2,200 which translates to $32,774 in todays money. In his entire 30-plus years career, Gordie made $1.5 million which is $9.35 million in 2021 dollars.

In comparison, Connor McDavid, the young chap with the toque on, is going to make $15 million alone this season.

In the 1970’s hockey players started getting quite a bit more money because, well first off they wanted a bigger piece of the pie and second, television advertising revenue was putting millions into the business of hockey and well, it was there for them to get.

Exposure is the name of the game in sports and Gordie simply did not have access to that exposure like they do now.

Social media plays a huge role in the business of sports and it seems pro athletes tap into it in a big way.

According to, Connor McDavid has 954.2 thousand followers on Instagram and just 138,00 on Facebook. As an old hockey fan what this translates to me is that younger hockey fans, those prone to tune into Instagram are fans of Connor’s as compared to those older fans, Facebook users who just might not be.

I wonder how much money Gordie would have made if he was on Twitter? LOL.

Good or bad?

This is the question that continues to plague many people when they look at the affects of social media.

Briefly I want to site two specific examples that I am involved personally in. I am involved with a local junior hockey club and post pictures on their facebook page. All responses we get from these posts, along with the ones we do on Instragram are positive.

However, as the author of the book ‘Elect Her’ – still struggling to be recognized as equals, I had the opportunity to speak with female politicians from around this county and none of them had anything positive to say about social media when it came to communicating. A few of them went as far as calling those who posted about them, ‘trolls’.

Perhaps, and I offer this for discussion, it may depend on the issue/subject matter to determine whether or not social media is good or bad.

Comments please.

Introduction of Fred

Hello, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself.

On a personal note, my name is Fred and I live in Essex, Ontario near Windsor. This is my hometown and I live with my son and our roommates, Fluffy and Tiger the cats.

Now, more of a professional introduction. I am a writer and have been a story-teller all of my life and that is why I am taking the Introductory of Social Media. Stories always, and will always need to be told. Whether of a personal nature, like passing on the tale of your great aunt falling into the mud puddle, to documenting history and how the world shapes us, stories need to be told. However, what I have found, and to be quite honest, the platform has changed. When I first began my journalism career, it was simple, bang out a few paragraphs on a typewriter (yes, a typewriter) have someone proof read it and then publish it in a newspaper. Newspapers are few and far between these days and now facebook, instagram, twitter and tic-toc are our platforms. If I want to continue to be a story-teller I must embrace these new platforms. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, we shall see.

Have a wonderful day.