Friends say good-bye to Cedar Bay champion Val Mascotto
Tim Brody - Associate Editor
A steady stream of well-wishers visited the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre in mid-February to wish a longtime Sioux Lookout resident all the best in her next adventure.
Val Mascotto stepped off the train in Sioux Lookout many years ago as a young woman, later marrying her husband Elso Mascotto. The couple had three children, Myles, Sheila, and Dawn.
“Going back as far as the mid-1980s, she was writing letters to the town and advocating the building and development of Cedar Bay into a really first class recreation facility,” shared good friend of nearly 40 years, Joyce Timpson.
“As horse people themselves, they (she and her late husband Elso) were very interested in the equestrian activities there. Back in 2005 and 2006, when a group of people were trying to revitalize Cedar Bay, Val was instrumental in bringing community members into the initiative.
“Once we formed a board and we were then given the mandate to work to revitalize Cedar Bay, she did virtually everything to help. She and her husband would be out there cleaning, fixing fences, scooping manure, throwing hay down from the loft,” Timpson shared.
“Her claim to fame of course is when the penny was phased out, she collected almost every penny there was in Sioux Lookout. She collected $3000 for us. Even these last few years when her health has been going down, she still would drive out to the barn and check out what people were doing. She was also a very wise advisor on difficult situations that we had,” Timpson commented.
For her decades of dedication, passion, and support for Cedar Bay, Mascotto was named a lifetime member of the Friends of Cedar Bay.
Mascotto, now in her elder years, has found herself in need of long-time care.
An opening presented itself at a facility in Sault Ste. Marie, the community where her daughter Sheila Critchley lives.
Critchley applied for and was successful in obtaining a spot for her mother.
Critchley and her brother Myles Mascotto, in recognition of the many years Mascotto lived in Sioux Lookout and her many contributions to the community, organized a going away party for their mother.
“We were quite happy that she had such a great turnout,” Critchley said.
Mascotto said she will take many fond memories of Sioux Lookout with her.
“Cedar Bay will carry on. I want everyone to make sure Cedar Bay is going ahead. That was my plan from day one,” she concluded.