Three members of the Vintage Iron and Traditions of Eastern Ontario (VITEO) visited the new location of the House of Lazarus Food Bank recently, to present them with a cheque for $500. The money was raised at the Ottawa Farm Show in March. From the left: Sylvia Payne, VITEO member, Daryle Payne, VITEO director, Carson Hill, VITEO president, Cathy Ashby, House of Lazarus executive director, and Kim Merkley, House of Lazarus operations manager. Tinkess Photo

By Terry Tinkess
AgriNews Staff Writer

MOUNTAIN – The House of Lazarus Food Bank was recently the beneficiary of the fundraising efforts of yet another local group who believe in giving back.

Vintage Iron and Traditions of Eastern Ontario (VITEO) is a club that consists of approximately 150 members, who are dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of our rural life. Many of the members are collectors of such things as tractors and farm implements, but there is a huge variety of collections, including vintage toys, cars, horse buggies, steam engines, wooden carvings, hit and miss engines, thrashers, saw mills, milk cans, milk bottles, sewing machines, toy pedal tractors, stoves, trapping and fishing gear, chain saws, snowmobiles, old store, church, and jail items and displays, the list is endless.

On this day, Carson Hill, VITEO president, Daryle Payne, VITEO director, and Sylvia Payne, VITEO member were on hand at the food bank’s new location in Mountain for the presentation of a cheque for $500 that was presented to Cathy Ashby, House of Lazarus executive director, and Kim Merkley, House of Lazarus operations manager.

For House of Lazarus, it is literally a case of rising from the ashes, thanks to the support of so many groups and individuals in the community. The food bank, which had been in South Mountain, was decimated by fire, but despite this, they were only closed for one day. According to Cathy Ashby, the credit can be shared by many people. “The community has definitely rallied around us,” said Ashby. “Like I said, at a provincial conference for Feed Ontario, and people couldn’t get over it. We were closed for one day; a fire that totally, you know, devastated us. Everything was lost. For only one day we were closed.

“That’s the community, right?” said Ashby. “That’s the community getting behind us and just saying, ‘you know, we’ll help you keep this going’. It’s been amazing.”

VITEO holds approximately six events a year. These are mainly organized tours of member collections, as well as an annual general meeting and annual picnic. Their area extends from Kingston to Quebec and the Ottawa Valley.  

One of their biggest events takes place over three days in March at the Ottawa Farm Show. VITEO members donate or sell on consignment some of their collectibles. Many people volunteer to ensure the success of our auction. Again, this year, they were able to display and feature them at the Farm Show, and then have a live auction to sell approximately 100 items. The money raised at this event is donated to various charities, including today’s donation of $500 to the House of Lazarus Food Bank.

“The money that we donated today was raised at the Ottawa Farm Show,” said VITEO member Sylvia Payne. “Some of the money that we raised at the farm show goes to food baskets for Farmers Feed Families as well. So that’s one thing but these other donations like this are separate from that.”

For more information on Vintage Iron and Traditions of Eastern Ontario you can visit their website at They also have a Facebook page where they post upcoming events. New members are always welcome.