McCormick comfortable as role model

At the Rainy River District Municipal Association’s annual meeting late last month, Mark Perrault, acting CEO of the Northwestern Health Unit, talked about a recent hiring that had taken place.
“We are finding that there are more and more young people who have grown up in the area who have went away to school and are now returning to work in Northwestern Ontario,” he noted.
He mentioned audiologist Jackie McCormick, who recently joined the health unit, as an example of this positive trend.
After obtaining her Master’s degree in audiology from the University of Western Ontario in London, McCormick spent four years working in Winnipeg.
But she said she always wanted to come back to Northwestern Ontario because that is where her family is, so when the position with the health unit came up, she said, “Yup, let’s go!”
She currently is living in a rented house north of Stratton with her husband, Andy, and their 15-month-old son, Calum, while their new home on their 90-acre river lot south of Stratton is being finished.
“They are doing the drywall right now and we will be moving in next spring,” McCormick noted.
“Having grown up on the river, I have always wanted to live on water, and Andy needs lots of land for hunting, so the property is ideal for us,” she added.
During the banquet for the regional Bantam playdowns in Stratton on Saturday evening, after McCormick had thanked everyone else, rec society president Candy Teeple then thanked McCormick.
“This event would not have happened if it wasn’t for Jackie,” Teeple said—and the crowd of curlers and parents agreed enthusiastically.
Growing up in Stratton, McCormick was one of a fair number of the community’s outstanding curlers. When asked if she feels comfortable as a role model, she was quick to reply.
“Yes, and I am excited to be able to give back to curling,” she enthused. “When I was younger, I did lots of curling and that would not have been possible without others leading me, so I want to give back.
“Curling becomes a lifelong activity and in Stratton everyone curls,” she added. “Our junior program has twice as many curlers as the Port Arthur Curling Club.”
McCormick also hopes to continue her own curling career. She wants to get together with others from the area to play competitively.
She would like everyone to know that you don’t have to live in the city to do well in competitive curling.
“Some say that there are no opportunities in a small town but me and others are showing that to not be the case,” she stressed. “You have to make your own opportunities.”
As co-ordinator of the regional Bantam playdowns, it was important to McCormick that the bonspiel not only go off “without any bumps,” but also that it be more than just a curling event.
“All playdowns have become strictly curling,” she noted. “When I was growing up, we had opening ceremonies, with team introductions and all that.
“I wanted this to be like that.”
McCormick is serving as a role model within her own family. Her brother, Trevor Bonot, who is studying to become an audiologist, travelled from Thunder Bay to take care of the ice in Stratton for the weekend.
His dad, Bryan, normally is the iceman but he was away at a bonspiel in Kenora.