SHAWN LACKIE
Special to The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: Amy Terrill’s career path is living proof that yes, you really can go home. We are speaking metaphorically. Amy was born and raised and continues to live in the Lindsay area but her career took her on travels far and away from where she lives. Born and raised in Lindsay, Amy graduated from LCVI and attended Queen’s University to get her degree in Political Science. From there she started at CHEX TV in Peterborough, in media relations. Nine years later Amy was back in Lindsay managing the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce. That led her to another job with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce where she served as VP of Marketing and Communications. The three core parts of her job functions (communications, public policy and Not for Profit management) led her down a most unusual path. She ended up at Music Canada as an Executive Vice President. But the itch to return to her roots was still very much alive, so she had some hard decisions to make but more on that later.
Along the way Amy was active outside her core business, serving on several boards in advisory capacities at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, City of Kawartha Lakes Tourism Advisory Board, Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation and she was Chair of Polaris Music Prize. Amy is currently serving on the Ross Memorial Hospital Quality Committee and the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council Board of Directors. So you can see that she is used to being busy. But somewhere along the way Amy was feeling disenfranchised, and that is when she decided that she wanted to work in the same area she lived in for so long. It just so happened there was an opening with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes. A perfect fit.
The Boys and Girls Club of Kawartha Lakes will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020. Established in 1970 by Ron Kennedy the club was originally called Kawartha Youth Incorporated. The club was first located at the corner of Cambridge and Wellington but in 1999 received the property where it is presently located, occupying the former Deyell Printing building on Lindsay Street South. And what an operation it is! The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes is one of the area’s largest and most diverse child and youth-serving organizations. And that seems to be one of the core messages that needs to get out. The club doesn’t serve only Lindsay. There are programs being run that service Lindsay, Little Britain, Coboconk, Manvers, Omemee, Dunsford, Kirkfield, Fenelon Falls, Mariposa, Bobcaygeon and Peterborough. So you can see the huge impact the club can have on these areas. The Club provides summer camps, before and after-school programs, early learning-licensed child care, child and youth counselling, infant development programs and sports, recreation and adventure programs in local communities. They also organize special day trips for the children such as trips to Blue Jays games. And there is always something special going on in the main building such as pajamas days and other special events. They are always keeping the kids engaged. Just before I met with Amy in her office, she had been watching a young boy who normally uses a wheelchair, tackle the club’s climbing wall for the first time. This was made possible through the use of new equipment, that allows trained staff to provide assisted climbing which removes the barriers for participants with mobility issues.
But back to Amy’s career path. She was feeling like a change was in order so when the opportunity to join such a great organization came along, she quickly accepted. Let’s let Amy tell her story. “I was commuting and trying to stay as involved as much as possible. And I always wanted to contribute as much as I could to my home community. That’s why I came back.”
And probably the happiest people in town that heard about this were Amy’s parents Paul and Judy. She explains “My parents were my biggest supporters all along and when they found out I was joining the Club, they became immediate ambassadors for the club. Their help and support has been fantastic.” Amy’s Dad Paul Terrill is a local realtor for Coldwell Banker R.M.R and he and his wife Judy have been big on the local curling scene for years.
Amy has a strong vision for the Club as it moves into its second 50 years of existence. She would like to see the capacity increased to provide more for the children and youth outside of Lindsay and to serve more youth with front-line programs. As for her thoughts on both the present and the future of the Kawartha Lakes Boys and Girls Clubs we will leave the last word to Amy. “The Club truly makes an impact on the lives of children and youth every day and I can’t think of a better place to work in our community. I honestly feel privileged to have joined this amazing organization and the incredible team of staff and volunteers here. As we plan for our 50th anniversary, we’re really excited about celebrating the past while planning for an even brighter future.”