Every once in a while life offers an unexpected experience that leads to a great opportunity and new friendships. On a sunny afternoon in August, Lynda Silvester, Executive Director of Strong Start® and her husband Ken, were enjoying the sites on a garden tour that took them to many distant parts of the Bruce peninsula. At Rural Rootz, just outside of Wiarton, they met Tom and Dee Ashman and now they and Strong Start® have new friends.

Dee and Tom are blessed with artistic creativity, the ability to appreciate and draw strength from nature and hearts for giving. Their home and extensive gardens are nestled in a unique and important part of the Niagara Escarpment with a special section of the Bruce Trail running through their hundred acre Nature Reserve.

With nature’s beauty as the backdrop, these four strangers talked over tea in the pagoda and the connections were instant and deep. The mission of Strong Start® resonated with Tom and Dee. Lynda and Ken were inspired by the symbols Dee designs and uses to create special gifts. Dee set about creating a magnetic bookmark, called a “Page Hugger” and special notepaper designed exclusively for Strong Start®.

This design work was a gift to Strong Start® as is much of the time they spend producing hundreds of copies. These treasures are now used to convey appreciation to many of the folks that make Strong Start® a success in Waterloo Region.

Strong Start® is fortunate to have Tom and Dee join its journey in community service. For more insight into the life of this special couple go to: www.gardenspirit.ca