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New Tec residents invited to come and “hug it out”

January 15, 2018   ·   0 Comments

With a fatal house fire in the early hours of New Year’s Day, followed later on by a fatal car crash involving a young woman from Adjala-Tosorontio, 2018 has got off to a rough start in the New Tecumseth community.

But, from the perspective of Rob Farah, New Tecumseth is resilient and it is time to hug it out.

The long-time Tottenham resident is putting the finishing touches on his third annual “TottenHUG,” an event that has grown in popularity each year designed to give local residents a chance to get out of their mid-winter hibernation, meet their neighbours face to face, and take part in the largest “group hug” this town has ever seen.

Events get underway at the Tottenham Legion on Saturday, January 27, at 1 p.m., and will feature live music, messages from local dignitaries, and a way to give back to the local food bank.

“There are always reasons [to have an event like this], there is always something going on in Town and we always seem to bounce back,” Mr. Farah tells The Times. “I started this about three years ago just to get everyone in Town together and show our love and support for each other. We had a truck crash in Town and on Facebook everyone was aggravated and talking bad about everyone else, so I said it was time for a group hug and it took off from there. I just thought everyone in town needed a hug and from the reactions [the idea] got, I just thought, let’s do it!”’

The first year brought just about 100 people out to the Legion with last year’s numbers topping 180.

This year, Mr. Farah says he’s hoping to double those numbers.

“I usually do this at the end of January because people are basically hibernating and nobody sees each other,” he explains.  “So, [through this], I see them come out here with smiles on their face, telling me it is one of the most beautiful things they have ever seen happen – and it’s free! My first thing at the Hug is to have everyone challenge everybody else to go out and meet 10 other people they don’t really know, say hello, and introduce themselves.”

Then, there’s the Hug itself, which Mr. Farah promises will be “the biggest hug in the history of Tottenham.”

For the uninitiated – that is, those who are new to the ever-growing community of New Tecumseth – participating in the Totten Hug will not only be a great way to meet your neighbours but, in the words of Mr. Farah, will be a small but mighty way to give back.

“Come on out and see the love and support that this Town has,” he says. “A hug is so easy to do. You can always give someone a hug. It’s not like you’re playing sports or donating money; it’s free and easy – and it’s easy to return, too. When you show up, show up with your family and friends. Be prepared to have a hug, enjoy yourselves, be entertained by [the band] The Release and bring a donation to the food bank.”


By Brock Weir


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