Volume 96, Issue 61
Friday, January 17, 2003

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News Briefs

"Silent No More"

The first North American "Silent No More: Women Speak Out About Their Abortion" campaign begins in London next week.

A large number of women suffer negative effects after an abortion from what is known as post-abortive syndrome, said campaign volunteer Carolynn, who chose to withhold her last name.

"[An abortion is] a personal thing," Carolynn said, noting the discussion of abortion in a safe, confidential place is one of the first steps to healing yourself.

There are also a variety of resources available for women in the community who have abortions – especially Project Rachel, a retreat run by the Roman Catholic Diocese of London that is open to everyone in the community, Carolynn explained.

"It's a much bigger issue that isn't recognized by the public," Carolynn said, noting one in every four women will choose to have an abortion.

The "Silent No More" campaign takes place Jan. 18-26, she said. More information can be found at the London Crisis Pregnancy Centre at 432-2073.

–Marshall Bellamy



Chicks with sticks


A Western leader will be taking on a very important role for women's hockey in Ontario.

Ker Ferguson, director of Western's Research and Development Park, has been selected as a new assistant coach for the Ontario women's hockey team.

"It is a definite honour. I was thrilled to be considered and ecstatic after being chosen," Ferguson said.

"The Ontario team is the defending gold medal champions; Ontario has set the bar with high expectations," he said, explaining there is a strong motivation to succeed.

"From the players' standpoint, this is a once in a lifetime experience. We want them to have a positive sport experience," Ferguson said.

He said the appointment also provides him with personal growth in coaching.

"Regarding Western hockey, as a father with daughters, it caused me to ask why there was no program. It took five years, but we were successful. It should be a level playing field for everyone," Ferguson said.

–Des Stutchbury



To freeze or not to freeze?


With Jack Frost nipping at our noses, London prepares itself for the Goodlife SnowFest.

The annual event takes place Jan. 20-26 at Covent Garden Market, said Brad Hardwood, special events coordinator in community relations at Goodlife.

Activities include ice sculpting events, synchronized skating and a wide variety of crafts and children-oriented entertainment, he explained.

The actual festival begins on Jan. 24, but the public is invited to watch several teams of international ice sculptors prepare for the competition throughout the week, Harwood explained. The sculptors must complete their work by 2 p.m. on Saturday in Jubilee Square outside the John Labatt Centre, where judging will commence, he added.

Other events for SnowFest include a juvenile diabetes road hockey game, snow block carving for the public, a "Cook for a Cure" chili cook-off, ice skating and the ninth annual Fire Hall Reunion to raise money for the London Forest City Flyers wheelchair basketball team, he said.

–Pierre Hamilton

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2002 THE GAZETTE