To The Editor,
It is with mixed feelings, mostly excitement, about the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Heart Wise program moving from the Vankleek Hill Community Centre to Zudio in Vankleek Hill.
We have been at the arena …. free…. for about four years.  I am grateful to Champlain Township for its generosity all these years, but it is 2018 and corporations need all the rent money they can get.  
I am in good company.  The Vankleek Hill Nature Society, Line Dancing and the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society are among those who will no longer get a deal from Champlain Township.  
We, the Heart Wise gang, will miss the ledge overlooking the rink located at the Reception Hall.  Especially one gentleman who joined us less than 1 year ago.  He had a stroke approximately 10 years ago and was told by his doctor that he would never walk or talk again.  He did physio for ten years with not a lot of walking.  Since he joined Heart Wise, he has walked 1100 steps ….gone from a walker to a cane to recently walking on his own (using the ledge as security).  We will miss the stairs.  This same person has been walking up two stories to get to the Reception Hall for class.  He has gone down backwards a few times.  He surprised us last Wednesday with a big, full bodied, loud “HEY” . . . much to everyone’s surprise and delight.
It is only the venue that is changing, as I told myself upon waking in the middle of the night — worried we would have to stop Heart Wise.  Hawkesbury was a possibility for the venue, but Vankleek Hill is my town and these are my people. I was not moving.
Thanks to Mayor Gary Barton for his continuing support of Heart Wise.  He is the only person connected to the township who actually checked out the program. Maybe now that he is retiring he will have less meetings and more time for himself.
The first Heart Wise session at Zudio is May 14 from 3 to 4 p.m. (new people are welcome).
NOTE:  We are all heart patients.  Some of us haven’t had an event with our hearts, yet.  Heart Wise will keep going in Vankleek Hill as a preventative measure. Isn’t that what our government wants us to do?  At least that is what they keep telling us.   We are about 20 individuals in Eastern Ontario flying the Heart Wise flag, teaching fall prevention, (balance) strength, flexibility, breathing techniques, simple meditation, back care, nutrition and deep relaxation.  All programs have their strengths. Community support is a large part of the Heart Wise program for all its Institute partners.
A big thank-you to Lou Stephenson and Zudio for welcoming us. Here we come!
Certified Integral Yoga Teachers Assoc. (Virginia.)
Level III Certified YMYWCA Instructor (Ottawa)Recent graduate Yoga of the Heart with Nischala Joy Devi (Virginia) influenced by Dr. Dean Ornish ‘Reversing Heart Disease’
Recent graduate Ageless Yoga with Harvard U. Wellness Professor (Virginia)