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June 24, 2024

Celebrate Canada: safe haven and land of opportunity

Alona and Ihor and JJMJ Embroidery storefront

BY LYNN SILVERTON — A couple of years ago the world heard the devastating news of the atrocities carried out by Russia as they attempted to take over the Ukraine. Many Canadians rallied around groups such as Grey County Cares and made donations to help those Ukrainians that fled here. Many that 'Grey County Cares' helped had plans to come here before this and their plans were sped up but also many suddenly saw other countries such as Canada as a desperately needed safe haven.

The family I talk of today was comfortably settled, he held a good supervisory job and she had two successful stores providing a needed service. However, the worse the days got due to the war, for the love of their very young sons, Alona and Ihor decided that she should leave all behind and flee to Canada for their safety while Ihor remained to do his duty for his country.

Alona and her two boys Dominik and Kristian, were taken in by Carolyn and Justin Gott where they learned the Canadian way. In the Ukraine, Alona owned and operated two stores where sewing, embroidery and printing clothing were done. When the business in Markdale Jeans, Jeans and More Jeans became available because the owner was retiring Carolyn and Justin bought it so Alona could start up again with her successful business.

Carolyn worked in the store with Alona helping her understand the nuances of Canadian business then on June first of this year Alona bought the business now called JJMJ Embroidery from Carolyn and Justin. This family, wholeheartedly welcomed and helped by Canadians is now complete. Dad Ihor, having done his duty for the Ukraine is rejoined with them and employed by Coltons Garage.

Alona carries out a welcome service doing custom embroidery for companies and private customers, hats, shirts, hoodies, sweaters, pants, jackets. Digital and silkscreen printing hoodies, T-shirts, etc. and alterations. Their sons attend Beavercrest Community School which they really enjoy and are doung well and they all live happily as a safe and united family in their new home in Markdale.

Over the decades, Canada has been a safe haven for so very many as well as a land of opportunity for folks such as myself and, this lovely family who now know that Canada is home. Thanks to many of you including Carolyn and Justin, Susanne and Heiner, Jeff Colton, Beavercrest staff that accommodated the non English speaking boys, Alex Ruff's Owen Sound office staff and the many others that provided the knowledge and friendship and various items to them in their time of need.

Oh Canada, my home and native land!


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