Skip to content

A heartwarming story of the Stratford Winterfest snowmen

Cory Geiger got involved with Stratford Winterfest through Community Living Stratford and Area, an organization that assists people with developmental disabilities. Cory is instrumental in getting one of Winterfest's traditions up and running
Cory Geiger outside of St. Joseph's Catholic School with a snowman.

Stratford Winterfest is warming up and one particular volunteer is being recognized by the organizers. 

Cory Geiger is a Stratford citizen, a volunteer with the winter celebration, who gets involved through Community Living Stratford and Area.

Stratford Winterfest is a free, family-friendly community event featuring skating, winter activities, ice sculptures, and food and drinks. 

Carys Wyn Hughes, manager of community development and involved with Stratford Winterfest since 2003, told StratfordToday the focus of the organization is helping people find their purpose in life. 

Geiger has been instrumental in helping get a staple part of Stratford Winterfest up and running: the themed snowmen. 

Each year students from local schools decorate wooden snowmen and the community votes on their favourites but Hughes said they were leaning towards not including it this time around. 

Geiger approached Hughes about helping again, but another problem arose when the local high school was unavailable as a venue to cut out new snowmen.

Hughes asked Geiger if he could get last year’s 13 snowmen ready to be reused and Geiger happily agreed. 

He pulled them out of storage, stripped them down, took off the paint and decorations, sanded them, and painted them.

Then, on a particularly blustery day, along with Heather Contois, a community living manager of support services, delivered the 13 snowmen to local schools. Students painted and decorated them to the theme of 'Hockey in Stratford'. 

“It was a great day for Cory,” Contois told StratfordToday. “He was pretty proud of himself and everybody that greeted him at the door was just so friendly and happy to see him because they look forward to those snowmen coming.”

“The schools just love this,” Hughes added. “We have a lot of schools that participate and then they'll bring them down to the event, and then Cory will come down and look at them and be proud of something he's participated in.

“He's come a long way from when he came to Community Living. So for him to do what he's doing and deliver it to the schools is a pretty amazing involvement for him.”

The snowmen will make their debut at Stratford Winterfest, which is Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Upper Queen’s Park. 

Hughes said that they will continue to reuse the snowmen in the future. Not only will it save the organization money but Geiger can get involved again.

When asked if he wants to make this activity a tradition? "Yes," he said. 

Attendees will also vote on their favourite snowmen. At the end of the day a winner will be announced and Cory will contribute to Stratford Winterfest 2022 one last time by delivering the trophy to the winning school.