Congratulations to our Furnace Giveaway Winners!

A Kitchener family that has dealt with hardships this year when their grandfather, Grant Wight, had emergency open-heart surgery, received a great gift from Afterglow this weekend. We surprised the Wight’s and two other Region of Waterloo families Saturday morning.

The Wight family

L to R: Grant Wight, Betty Ann Wight, Stephen McDonald.

“We started the Furnace Giveaway back in 2012 and are switching things up this year,” said our General Manager Stephen McDonald.

When we visited our 2014 Furnace Giveaway nominees, we realized their furnaces were in decent working condition and needed repairs or maintenance, but did not need to be replaced.

“We decided to fix up the three families furnaces which needed the most maintenance,” explained McDonald. “Afterglow will also be providing these families with a one year Care Package, including free furnace cleanings, maintenance, and a new carbon monoxide detector.”

The second family that Afterglow will be servicing this year is the Duffy’s. A Cambridge family has been in and out of McMaster Medical Hospital for the past year, as their daughter was born with life threatening medical issues. Neither parent has medical coverage, and the cost of furnace maintenance is not their top financial priority, even though their furnace needs a thorough cleaning.

“We are incredibly grateful that Afterglow is doing this for our family,” said Fran Duffy.

L to R: Shamus Duffy, Rick Duffy, Stephen McDonald, Fran Duffy, Molly Duffy.

L to R: Shamus Duffy, Rick Duffy, Stephen McDonald, Fran Duffy, Molly Duffy.

Their son Shamus LOVED our Afterglow blanket. He asked his parents if he could bring it to school!

Shamus Duffy
The final winner of Afterglow’s Giveaway is Charléne Le Duc, a Kitchener resident who is extremely community-minded. She spends the majority of her time giving back to the Region of Waterloo. Every week she hands out hats, gloves, and scarves in downtown Kitchener.

L to R: Stephen McDonald, Charléne Le Duc

When Afterglow inspected Le Duc’s home they recognized she did not have a carbon monoxide detector and her furnace needed some maintenance.

“This is an absolutely amazing initiative,” commented Le Duc, “Heart, business, philanthropy and all round goodness. Bravo!”

It’s amazing to see how appreciative residents are of the Furnace Giveaway.

We just want to quickly thank everyone who made our 3rd annual Furnace Giveaway possible. A big shout to CTV Kitchener for coming along for the ride today!

Happy Holidays!

Afterglow. Water, warmth, well-being.

Wow! What a storm!

It’s been one week since the hurricane-like winds swept through Kitchener Waterloo leaving a swath of destruction. Thousands of  residents were left in the dark due to extreme weather and damaged hydro lines. Luckily, no major injuries occurred but many trees were damaged.

Like many families, Stephen McDonald, the General Manager of Afterglow has been busy cleaning up after the storm. “We had over a dozen trees in our neighbourhood go down” Stephen told us, “the damages are unfortunate, but it’s incredible to see everyone in our community come together to help”.

The McDonald boys, Sacha and Rowan had some fun after the storm with this photo shoot!

Several neighbourhoods went through extensive clean up after the storm subsided. The old saying… many hands make light work could not be more true. “We had five neighbourhood home owners banded together to help out, including helping the recently widowed lady down the street”. Stephen said.

The vice-president of operations at Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro, Wilf Meston, estimated the total repair bill for Kitchener around $300,000.

“Many areas experienced the same damages as Kitchener and Waterloo” said Stephen, “but in KW We are fortunate to have a community that works together”.

The hottest weekend events!

This is turning out to be the “do not miss Weekend of the Summer”!

Of all the weekends to live in Kitchener or Waterloo, this one may be the most exciting. From Jazz music, to beer tasting, to open streets and a rib fest midway, there’s something for everyone. We have the details you need to plan your weekend. Don’t miss out on these great events:

1. Sunlife Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival is an annual 3 day FREE music festival held in Uptown Waterloo.  Look forward to a diverse line up of Jazz music all weekend long as well as Jazz for kids and delicious food vendors.

Fri 6-10:30pm, Sat 12-10:30pm, Sun 12-4pm

Click here for the festival schedule

2. Open Streets Uptown Waterloo is pairing with the Jazz Festival Saturday night. This will be the first ever Openstreets at night! Walk King St with friends and family.

Live Jazz artists, Uptown food vendors and an Artist Alley  from the Button Factory are just some of the highlights.

Sat 6-10pm

3. Kitchener Rib and Beer Fest has free admission with a food bank donation all weekend long. The 10th anniversary event will feature craft beer tasting, BBQ chicken and ribs and a MIDWAY.

Fri 5-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12- 6pm

It’s a busy weekend that you won’t want to miss. See you at the events!

afterglow’s keep cool tips

We scoured the Internet to find you the best tips to deal with rising temperatures and heat waves. Whether you have an air-conditioning unit or not, we have some informative and fun keep cool tips to help beat the heat this summer.

1. Stay hydrated – In the summer it is more important than ever to stay hydrated. A hydrated body will stay cooler and keep you healthy and prepared for your day. Not sure how much water you should be drinking? Try this calculator that accounts for exercise, alcohol, and temperatures.

2. Protect your skin – You’re told this all the time, we know. And though sun exposure can be extremely dangerous for your skin, it can also hold in the heat. Your damaged skin will receive increased blood flow that will make you feel even warmer.

3. Don’t let the light in – Blocking sunlight is a great way to keep the heat out of your home. Over the summer months make sure all of your windows are covered with blinds or shades to avoid the direct light (and heat) from creeping in. The same is true for your body: covering your skin from direct sunlight, in natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and linen can actually keep you cooler than exposing your skin.

4. Heat free dinnersTry it yourself! On a hot day, rather than starting up your oven, try some heat free meals that are just as delicious. There are many No-cook recipes available on line.

You can also keep cool with healthy treats by freezing fruit such as watermelon, pineapple or lemons.

Did You Know?

  • Spicy food can keep you cooler? Spicy foods will increase your perspiration, which cools your body as it evaporates!
  • Running cold water on both wrists for 10 seconds can reduce your temperature for up to an hour

Afterglow Community Report – June 21st

The countdown to summer is over. June 21st marks the first day of summer, the longest day of the year and we are marking the occasion with lots of great events in Waterloo.

Uptown Waterloo has been bustling this spring, with cool car days like Cruzin’ in the Square classic car show, and memorable live musical performances and Open Streets. I’m amazed at the transformation this area undergone. Born and raised in Waterloo I’ve seen this city flourish and grow into what it is today. It wasn’t long ago the Public Square was a parking lot, surrounded by discount stores.

 My family and I are looking forward to spending the weekend at the public square.

 Grab some delicious edibles and crafts drinks at Solstice Sampling  this Friday June 21st 7-11pm in the Uptown Square.

Steel Rails 2013 departs at 7pm this Friday as well. Local artists and members of the community come together for party on a Waterloo train. (Unfortunately the event has been sold out for many weeks.)

Opening weekend has finally come for my friends at Taco Farm. This will be its first weekend with open doors and I know its unique menu and margarita list is sure to please!

All in all a busy weekend in Waterloo and there’s only more to come for my favourite community and home.

See you in Waterloo!

Stephen, Afterglow GM