Archive for Kathy Lapointe

The Most Wonderful Time

This is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time when almost everyone can believe in the magic of Christmas. Whether you are five and just starting to make those magical memories, or 85, and thinking back over the years, everyone has at least one special memory of Christmas. This year, we would like to share some of ours with you.

Jo likes to keep things simple.

“Christmas memories…traditional family gatherings, lots of food, people and prezzies. Caroling as kids, snow angels, snow ball fights and sledding down some pretty big hills. Then, as adults, it was Christmas parties and winter events. All were wonderful, but some of my most favourite rememberings were going up to the barn at midnight to see if the horses talked…and enjoying a few Christmas’s on my own (by choice), not having to travel, buy gifts or overeat…just me in my PJ’s with some great movies. This year I’ll be alone at the lake enjoying some Peace on Earth so I can continue to have Good Will towards Everyone.” Jo Ann Rucinski, Sales Person, Administrator


Family and food provide the Christmas magic for Kathy.

“Christmas for us is always about just slowing down and spending time together, because life is such a rush. I think my favorite part of Christmas is having my family together…and the food. I love cooking and my family loves eating! We traditionally do a French ‘Night before Christmas’ dinner— an homage to my husband Paul’s background— with home-made Tourtier, chicken liver pate flavoured with Courvoisier, cold seafood like salmon Gravlax, arugula salad with figs, and the best pumpkin pie, made by my son. Then, for Christmas dinner, we always have a turkey. We give it a name, like Fredrick or Henry, and the boys roast it on the BBQ. Santa usually gets us a new board game so there’s always lots of passionate competition. And of course, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” Kathy Lapointe, Sales Person

Anna shares one of her favourite memories of Christmas.
“My grandfather would set up the Nativity Scene (with the exception of baby Jesus) and he would tell us kids the Christmas Story. Then, on Christmas morning we would rush downstairs to see baby Jesus lying in the manger. Even after all these years I can still see him waiting for us on Christmas morning.” Anna Stinson, Sales Person

John would like the Christmas magic to last all year long.

“I think of Christmas as a very special time of year. It is a time when special things happen. People put aside their differences and are actually nice to each other. Perfect strangers will wish you a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. People are also more aware of those less fortunate. Countries at war have even stopped fighting to celebrate the day or a portion thereof. It is truly sad that this spirit only lasts for a very short time. Then, on Boxing day, it’s “Get out of my way, there’s a deal somewhere!” John Martin, Salesperson

Attending the recent Christmas party for the Durham Contact Business Exchange at the Waterfront Bistro had Judy reminiscing about Christmas past.


Overlooking Lake Ontario and Frenchman’s Bay at the end of Liverpool Rd, the Waterfront Bistro holds many warm memories for me. MinCom’s Christmas party was the first function ever held at the Waterfront when they opened in ’96. The owners, George and his family told us that they were not quite open for business but if we were game so were they. And so we did! Construction was ongoing and the kitchen was still under renovation, so the food had to be prepared and then transported from Lord Byron’s Restaurant to the Bistro for our party. There were at least 30 to 40 people in attendance, all dancing and enjoying the festivities. Wayne sang his ‘Night Before Christmas’ (in Rap) song. It was such a great hit that it became a tradition and Wayne did it at our parties for years. We had many wonderful times at the Waterfront, singing Karaoke led by Garth Riley or dancing to the live tunes of ‘The Johnny Max Blues Band’ just to mention a few. Garth always had such fun in store for us. I wish I could find the pictures of a game we played. Garth had the men wear white long johns and the women had to stuff as many full balloons inside to win a prize. We all laughed until we had tears in our eyes. Many years have come and gone, but there is one thing we can all agree on. MinCom had some of the best Christmas parties ever!

The Waterfront Bistro has evolved over the years and so have we, but it will always have a special place in my heart, especially around Christmas.” Judy Stacee-Cleaver, Broker of Record


From The Stacee-Free Team and everyone at Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd. , have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Making History

By now you’re probably aware that Phase 1 of the Highway 407 East Project has been completed and is officially opened to traffic. This section includes Highway 407 from Brock Road in Pickering to Harmony Road in Oshawa, as well as Highway 412, which connects Highway 407 and the 401. Some think the best part of the opening may just be that the use of these sections is toll free until the new year. “Free” is hard to argue with, but a recent trip to Port Perry from Pickering was shortened by a minimum of half an hour by taking advantage of the 412 arm from the 401 to the 407, then scooting down the 407 to Simcoe Street in Oshawa and emerging at Columbus. No stop signs! No red lights! No bumper-to-bumper traffic to contend with through that whole section!

The Saturday morning before the highway officially opened (June 18, 2016) locals were invited to test it out. The catch was: no vehicles allowed. You could walk, run, cycle, roller blade, wheel, skateboard or anything else you could think of that didn’t involve a motor vehicle. It was a great opportunity to be part of history. Stacee-Free Team members Kathy (Lapointe) and Anna (Stinson) were both up to the challenge. They arrived prepared, with walking shoes, bottles of water and sunglasses.

walking the 407

Kathy & Anna Ready To Conquer The 407

Vehicles were not allowed on the highway and there was no parking on site, so the trusty Mincom Vehicle had to sit this one out. Parking was provided at two locations and free shuttle buses ran back and forth for the duration.
riding the big girl bus
It had been some time since either one of our ladies had been on a school bus but they quickly adapted. The buses dropped everyone off on the highway under the Baldwin Street overpass.
Baldwin street
It was a sight to see. It seemed that all of Whitby had come out to participate. Young and old, men and women and lots of kids. Couples strolled or skated together and generations of families walked, rode and wheeled together. Friends and fitness groups enjoyed every minute of it.
lots of people
boot camp
Even the four-legged family members enjoyed themselves.
dog and skate boarder
They came on bikes of all sizes and numbers of wheels, on skateboards, roller blades, roller skates and scooters.
bicycles and roller skates
roller blades
There was a lot to do and see in both directions.
Our young ladies headed east first until they reached Thickson Road and their cue to turn around.
kathy & anna walking
Thickson Road
407 truck
Emergency vehicles and personal were on hand – just in case. When they weren’t seeing to scrapes and over-heating, they were letting the kids tour their rides.
Even Molly the Fire Dog was there, complete with special shoes to make sure she didn’t burn her paws.
Molly the Fire Dog
It was hot! Really hot and sunny. With a wide-open road it was necessary to grab any bit of shade you could.
The organizers were prepared and had water stations throughout the entire length of the route. They also had a cart trolling up and down, passing out bottles of water along the way.
water stations
The complimentary ice cream truck was a really popular stop to cool down.
icecream for everyone
As you headed west you could play games at the Camp Activities stop.
games on the 407
golfWith an invitation like this…
chalk on the 407
who could resist leaving their mark? Not us!
Mincom chalk on the 407
Ashburn Road marked the Western most point with another subtle hint to turn around.
Ashburn Road
From end to end you could never be sure what you were going to see. People had some pretty clever ideas about how to get around. These young ladies, known as 2 Cute 4 Country, and their Dad, sported around in something he created for wheel chair users to have a bit of fun.
2 Cute 4 Country
We never did find out what this was!
weird car
We were also able to confirm that it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’re driving a race car…it’s going to break down.
car breaks down on 407
This one has to be one of the most Canadian sights to be seen on the 407 this day…a man and his son playing hockey.
407 hockey
Hot and happy they were able to be part of this historic day, Kathy and Anna proudly took to the podium to have their achievement documented.
I walked the 407
 Anna was thrilled with their adventure,
“Skateboards, trikes, strollers, walkers, runners, oh my! What a glorious day for a fabulous community event. It was really well-planned and executed.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching and interacting with so many creative people.”
For Kathy the day brought back fond memories,
“The anticipation and excitement of walking on the New Hwy 407 was reminiscent of an elementary school bus trip, starting with the yellow school bus shuttle to the 407 asphalt. It wasn’t planes, trains and automobiles, but bikes, roller skates, scooters and miniature electric cars. It was a fantastic 30 minute walk for us on a beautiful day. The event was a success.”
Don’t forget, if you missed all the fun, you can still make history by driving on the 407 East. The historical part? It’s FREE until the New Year!

2016 • Rose Quartz, Serenity and Monkeys

2015 has come and gone and in its place comes a whole new year of possibilities. Things will most certainly look different. Are you ready to make some changes?

According to the Chinese calendar the new year begins February 8th and it will be the year of the Red Monkey. The monkey is quite clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth. They are also a naughty, wily and vigilant animal so be prepared to be kept on your toes.

Pantone has already surprised us this year by choosing two colours to represent the colour of the year.

“For the first time Pantone introduces two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity as the PANTONE Color of the Year 2016. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

colour of the year 2016

Joined together Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer and embracing warm tone and cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

Our Stacee-Free Team enjoys starting fresh in a new year by setting themselves some goals. They aren’t all the same. In fact most of them are quite different.  Let’s hear what they have planned for 2016.

Judy Stacee-Cleaver

Judy Stacee-Cleaver
Team Leader/Broker of Record

Stacee-Free Team Leader, Judy Stacee-Cleaver, has set a few goals for the year. Balance between her personal and professional life seems to be the focus.

“It was very busy last year, with major changes everywhere. In 2016 I would like to have a little more time to: have fun; get some exercise; complete important projects that have been sitting on the back burner; connect with more of my clients who have become friends; complete our new web site; grow our Networking group who has supported us all these years; and join our local Board of Trade.”
Board of Trade
Kathy Lapoint Sales Representative

Kathy Lapointe
Sales Representative



Kathy Lapointe has a solid plan to increase her Real Estate skills.

“I plan on attending more Real Estate seminars, courses and conferences to network. I would like to treat myself with a new Dell Tablet to update my efficiency dealing with Sellers and Buyers, and I’m looking forward to another successful year with Mincom New Choice Realty.”
Dell tablet
Jo-Ann Rucinski Licensed Assistant & Photographer

Jo-Ann Rucinski
Sales Representative & Administrator



Mincom Jo has done some reflecting and has big plans if she gets lucky.

“The years are going by quickly, but the last one was especially fast.  I’m always striving to be kinder to myself and others, especially on the roads. To send out thoughts of Peace for the World and given the past year, we need more people to think on Peace. I would love to win 5 million dollars, take some friends on a cruise and book suites with balconies, then give most of the money away. On the professional side, I plan on completing the Broker course this year. ”

cruise ship
John Martin

John Martin
Sales Representative

John Martin has a plan for 2016 and has set some very specific goals.

“Some of my goals are as follows:

  1. Grow my Real Estate Business by at least 100% by doing these: advertise in my farm area at least once a month • attend the free “Lunch and Learns” at the Ajax Pickering Board of Trade and at least six “Networking After 5” events at the APBOT • polish my listing presentation skills • try to be a better listener • collect email addresses and include them in a monthly news letter • take more real estate courses
  2.  Get more active, do more cycling, swimming and walking. More activity with the wife would also be good
  3. Start renovating the house
  4. Get the dog well-trained.
 These are just some of the things I’ve been thinking about. The phrase “Planning for Success” is better than doing nothing and planning to fail.”
Anna Stinson

Anna Stinson
Sales Representative



Anna Stinson isn’t one for making resolutions. She does, however, have a good idea of what she hopes to accomplish this year.

“I’m looking forward to helping my clients achieve their Real Estate goals for 2016. I hope to grow spiritually, continue being involved with my community and look forward to spending quality time with my family at home and abroad.”

Yes, The Stacee-Free Team is tackling the New Year full force. What changes are you planning on making? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? We would love to hear about them!New Year

Everyone Deserves A Second Chance

Purple is the colour of the day in the Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd. office as Sales Represenative/Stacee-Free Team member Kathy Lapointe and Broker of Record/Owner/Stacee-Free Team Leader Judy Stacee-Cleaver try on their purple scarves.

Purple scarves

Kathy & Judy warming up to their purple scarves.

November marks the international awareness month of “Violence Against Women” and the purple scarves are part of the  “Women Wrapped In Courage” campaign.  Jaki MacKinnon, Executive Director of the Durham Region women’s shelter, Bethesda House, explains…

“Ninety-five shelters across Ontario have joined forces and our voices for one message: “The Courage of a Woman Alone is NOT ENOUGH”.  The scarf symbolizes wrapping the women in courage and support. On November 25th we would like to see men and women across Ontario wearing their purple scarves in support”.

Purple scarf campaing

Of course, purchasing and wearing your purple scarf is just one of the ways you can support Bethesda House, whose Mission Statement pretty much says it all,  “In partnership with our community, Bethesda House provides secure Shelter, woman-centered advocacy, Outreach and other services to women, youth and children, supporting them to live free from domestic abuse.”  MacKinnon explains some of the needs…

“Women and children often arrive at  the shelter with very little, usually with what ever they were wearing at the time of their escape and that is it.  Each new arrival receives a, “Welcome Package”, containing new pajamas, new socks, new underwear, personal hygiene items, etc. We are always looking for gently used clothing for women and children of all ages and sizes. Our clients get first pick of these and then everything else goes to “Second Chance”. Second Chance is a wonderful store run by Bethesda House and volunteers. Located at 25 King Street West in Bowmanville, it provides clothing for Bethesda House residents and earns much needed dollars for the cause.”

Second Chance

25 King Street West in Bowmanville

Second Chance


Second Chance is a great place to start your Christmas shopping. You would be surprised at some of the treasures you will find there. Speaking of Christmas, Bethesda House also has a “Holiday Hamper” drive on now.  Anywhere between 80 and 100 hampers are prepared for current and past clients who are in need of support. It sometimes takes a while for them to get back on their feet and everyone wants to help give the children a great Christmas. They are looking for new unwrapped gifts for all ages, the usual non-perishable food items like beans, peanut butter, pasta, etc.  They are also in need of seasonable treats such as sugar cookie mixes, cranberries, stuffing mix, fancy pickles…things that help make Christmas special. Please see the bottom of this post for more items on their “Wish List”.  All the work for these baskets is done by volunteers and the community really pitches in. Members of the RCMP deliver the baskets to recipients. The local Two Men and a Truck pick up items from schools that have toy drives; a local hockey team packs all the hampers; and lots of volunteers help out with the wrapping of gifts. Bethesda House and the supporting community also throw a Christmas party for approximately 200 of their clients and you can be sure each child there receives a gift from Santa.

Members of The Stacee-Free Team volunteer when possible, donate what they can and participate in the annual “Take Back The Night” walk.  Judy and Kathy use their experience to help the women get back on their feet. Kathy explains…

“When woman are abused it effects their well-being and they feel alone, embarrassed, emotionally drained and they often find it hard to make decisions and to know where to go or what to do to help themselves and their children. Judy and I will go to Bethesda House and talk to the women there, offering support and information regarding housing and rentals. We talk to them about where and how to look for a rental, what a landlord will require, about credit reports and tell them about the Guide for Tenants Rights. This information helps to empower the women to take a few small steps which will give them the confidence they need to continue and move forward with their life. This is a community issue and we feel very strongly about helping them to make their own choices, abuse free.”

As you can see there are many ways you can contribute to the amazing work being done at Bethesda House. If we haven’t mentioned something in your wheel house please check out the Bethesda House website  or call 905.623.6045 for more ideas. There is a year round need for all kinds of  volunteers and help. In the mean time check out the “Wish List Below” and don’t forget to wear your purple scarf.

Holiday Wish List