On Jan. 9, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Renfrew County Community Office held their 2019 Community Impact Award ceremony. This event not only thanked the volunteers for their countless hours helping out the CCS but also handed out awards to selected volunteers who have gone above and beyond. Many of the award recipients were pictured here. (Submitted photo)

County Canadian Cancer Society presents 2019 volunteer awards

By Patricia Lebouf

Posted on Thursday January 23, 2020

Without the effort of dedicated volunteers, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Renfrew County Community Office would be unable to provide as many programs and services as they do.

“It is essentially run by volunteers,” said CCS Leigh Costello, Community Fundraising Specialist, adding they do everything from working in the office to canvassing the neighbourhood for donations.

As such, it was imperative to her that these volunteers were properly thanked for their help. The CCS’s 2019 Community Impact Award ceremony was the perfect opportunity not only to celebrate those very special volunteers, but also acknowledge these generous members of the community and highlight their efforts throughout the year.

Though not all 300 registered volunteers were able to attend the Jan. 9 event held at the Shady Nook Recreation Centre, those who were able to make it were treated to a night filled with laughter and tears.

Many of these volunteers have either been affected by cancer themselves, or have a friend or family member who has.

“There is a great sense of community in this area,” said Costello, noting people want to be involved. “They are essential for what we do and it is essential that we thank them.”

According to Costello, 34 volunteer drivers with the Wheels of Hope transportation program travelled 446,000 km to provide 2,641 safe rides to cancer-related appointments for 199 people diagnosed with cancer, travelling to treatment centres in Pembroke, Renfrew, Ottawa and Kingston.

Approximately 17 local patients diagnosed with cancer, or their caregivers, were connected with a trained volunteer who had gone through a similar experience. About 36 more were provided with supportive information and resources through the CCS Peer Support Program and more than 43 Wigs were distributed free of charge.

The community has also helped the local CCS exceed its financial goals by helping raise more than $442,000, through events such as Relay for Life, Git’er Done Mud Run, Neon Night Run for Childhood Cancer, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month Campaign, Taking Steps against Breast Cancer Walk, Daffodil Month Campaign and many other independent fundraising events.

All of this would be impossible without a small army of volunteers, said Costello.

Awards were given out at the end of the evening: The Celebrating Impact in Corporate Fundraising Award went to seven different businesses including Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Bennett, MyFM, Scotiabank, The Mortgage Advisors, The Co-operators and SunSign Graphics. The Celebrating Impact in Community Fundraising went to Robert and Julie Mallory, Brian Gunn, Jan Moore and Bob French.

The Celebrating Impact in Community Leadership was award to Marguerite Zillman, Brenda Hall and Ray Beimers. Daryl Fiebig was also recognized as he was one of the organizers of the Car Show for Dad, which celebrated its 15th and final year in 2019. The Celebrating Impact in Relay for Life Team Award was given to the Care Bears led by Eva Brushett and Families Giving Back led by Cindy Giroux.

The Celebrating Impact in Community Operations Award was given to Larry TerMarsch. The award for Celebrating Impact in Community Youth Leadership was handed to Aspyn Carroll. Tom and Kerri Carroll were the recipients of the Celebrating Caregivers award. Amy Lavier received the Celebrating Courage award.