April 16, 2014

Erin honours its volunteers

As published in The Erin Advocate

The legion of volunteers who uphold the quality of life in this area got a huge “Thank-you” at the Celebrate Erin event on April 12.

The 2nd Annual Volunteer Appreciation Awards Dinner was held in the Shamrock Room at Centre 2000. Seven residents received awards for Citizenship and Outstanding Community Service, and the late Steve Revell was named the 2014 Citizen of the Year.

His wife Donna accepted the award, expressing appreciation on behalf of her family for the support of the community.

Steve Revell, who passed away last year, was a teacher and a volunteer, devoting more than 20 years to protection and clean-up of the Credit River. He promoted awareness of local history, researched Erin architecture, organized tree plantings, helped establish the Elora Cataract Trailway and a network of other trails, and volunteered with East Wellington Community Services (EWCS).

He was nominated by Bill Dinwoody and Phil Gravelle, and the award was presented by Councillor John Brennan, who also chaired this year’s Celebrate Erin Committee.

Dana Mundell was the MC for Saturday’s event, which was attended by about 170 people including MPP Ted Arnott, and catered by David’s Restaurant. Town Crier Andrew Welch reminded everyone that the dinner came at the conclusion of National Volunteer Week in Canada and urged people to recognize the “countless hours of personal time” donated by volunteers throughout the year.

“The words are simple: Thank-you for all you do – we appreciate your gift,” he said.

Here are the recipients of the awards, presented by Mayor Lou Maieron, Councillor Barb Tocher and Councillor Brennan:

Rachel Ingram, nominated by John Wilson for her contributions to the East Wellington Family Health Team. She helped establish the Team, and has served as Secretary and legal advisor for the Board.

Ted Forrest, nominated by George Wilson for his contributions to ARC Industries East. He chaired the Erin PhysioFitness campaign to buy two wheelchair bikes, and is organizing volunteers to take ARC participants with developmental challenges on trail rides.

Mary Smith, for the 230 hours of friendly service she has provided in the past year to the New-To-You store and the Seniors’ Adult Day Program. Sherri Plourde and Barb Carscadden of EWCS provided that nomination, as well as the next two.

Elinor Fuller, a volunteer with EWCS for more than two years, helping at the front desk, the food bank, the adult day program and the New-To-You store, contributing more than 1,800 hours.

Mary Porter, a front desk volunteer at EWCS for 15 years, and a driver for the Seniors Transportation Program for the last 14 years, bringing clients to medical appointments and on shopping trips.

Doug Smith, nominated by the Hillsburgh Lions’ Club, where he has been a member for more than 30 years. He organizes volunteers at the Erin Fall Fair, helps care for the parkette in Erin, organizes the ice rink project at Victoria Park in Hillsburgh and organizes the Lions’ roadside clean-up.

June Switzer, for her leadership role in the local 4H movement. She has operated many club projects, helped start the Clover Buds program for 6-9-year olds, coordinated the Life Skills Day, made school presentations for the Milk Marketing Board, worked with the Home Craft Board of the Erin Fair on the apple pie/fritter booth, and served as an elder and Sunday school teacher at Mimosa United Church.

Erika Westcott, Manager of Community Services and Volunteers at EWCS, presented a slide show featuring hundreds of local volunteers. She praised the “energy and enthusiasm” that they bring to their work.

The evening was organized by a committee that included representatives of Erin organizations (Erin and Hillsburgh Lions, Rotary, Optimists, East Wellington Community Services, Recreation and Culture Committee and the Business Improvement Area), Mayor Maieron, Town staff Kathryn Ironmonger and Connie Cox, and David Netherton.