WINCHESTER — If you like fun, you’ll like Aaron Dellah.
The self proclaimed ‘professional father’ moonlights as a ‘professional volunteer.’
Aaron runs Moovie (not a typo) Night at the Old Town Hall Theatre and Friday Night Roller Skate at the Chesterville Arena. In his spare time, he helps out anyone who asks and is always ready to swoop in and save the day with his tech skills.
Aaron moved to Winchester 20 years ago and instantly fell in love with the community. He is a mechanical engineer by trade and stay-at-home dad at heart.
“In 2001 — the year my first son was born — I took off one year for parental leave,” Aaron explains. “While on leave, the company I worked for closed up shop and I’ve been a stay-at-home dad ever since.
“That’s how I ended up unemployed in Winchester,” he jokes.
Aaron met his future wife at summer camp when they were teenagers — sometime in the early ‘90s (he was a tad fuzzy on the exact year). He is married to Dr. Patricia Moussette, head of anesthesia at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital, and together they have three children.
Once the kids — who are now 19, 17 and 14-years-old respectively — headed off to school, Dellah went on the hunt for local volunteer gigs.
He ended up at Community Food Share in Winchester and also pitched in with the Dundas County Players, offering up his services to do the sound and lighting for the theatre group.
Aaron says volunteering is a great way to immerse yourself in the community and get to know people around town.
“If you ever need help, you can find it,” he notes. “People in North Dundas are there for each other. When I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal, I didn’t know my neighbours. Now I know them all by name and their kids.”
Aaron says he’s seen a lot of changes in Winchester over the past two decades, including the loss of some staple businesses downtown.
“We had a general store and a video rental place,” he explains. “I think it’s important to revitalize the downtown.”
Aaron would also like to see Dairyfest revived in the near future.
He says there are many hidden gems in North Dundas, including the Old Town Hall.
“It’s a beautiful, very well-maintained, theatre space that can be used for anything,” Aaron notes. “Movies, conferences, birthday parties…I’ve run sporting events on the big screen. When the Tragically Hip did their last concert in Kingston, I put that up on the big screen. It’s a wonderful community resource that really isn’t used very often.”
He says another local facility that may not get the usage it deserves is the disc golf course in South Mountain.
“It’s been there for 10 years or so and people just don’t know about it,” Aaron notes.
He says there are all kinds of things to discover in North Dundas and encourages people to get out there and experience all the community has to offer.
When it comes to the future of North Dundas, Aaron says change is good, but it’s important to keep the community-feel that the township is known for.
“Everybody is friendly…everybody is helpful. If your kids do something wrong on the other side of town, you know about it before they get home. Just wonderful people in general. Much better than living in a big city.”