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    Irvin (Curly) Andrews was the first to receive a pin from MCIIT Manager Luc Vincent. He has spent the last 50 years volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards recognize individual volunteers for continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to an organization. (Far left) Greg Currie has spent 30 years with the Pembroke/Petawawa Lions Club. He poses with MCIIT Manager Luc Vincent. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Jake Barbour is a youth volunteer who gives his time to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, located out of Petawawa. MCIIT Manager Luc Vincent gave him a pin. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



2016 Volunteer Awards recognize nearly 200 local recipients

Community News

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2016

Nearly 200 people gathered at the Petawawa Civic Centre to receive their 2016 Volunteer Services Awards, sharing a combined 2,621 years of volunteer time.

Most volunteers do not do their work for acclaim or honours; they typically do it for the pleasure of helping their community thrive. This is especially true if they’ve been at it for several decades, said Colleen Moran, program lead in the Ontario Honours and Awards Secretariat.

She presided over the provincially-funded award ceremony held on June 1. Similar ceremonies were held in 57 other locations across Ontario from March to June, recognizing close to 11,100 people. Certificates and customized trillium pins were awarded to people with five to 60 or more years of service. Young people were also recognized for two or more years.

“We are so proud of recognizing the wonderful volunteers who are committed and dedicated to all the wonderful services in the community, and who devote their time and energy to all these wonderful causes,” said Moran.

As well as praising longstanding volunteers, she also made sure to celebrate young people who stepped up for organizations in their communities, planting future seeds of goodwill.

“It is a big thank you for all those across the province, who again dedicate their time and energy to wonderful organizations who provide services in the community, who might otherwise not be able to have those services,” said Moran.

She confirmed that without volunteers, a community would be unable to thrive, and many organizations would have to close their doors.

Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade (MCIIT), was unable to make it to the Petawawa event, but spoke to attendees through a pre-recorded video. He confirmed the importance of having a volunteer-rich community. Many volunteers make a life-long commitment, and through their hard work have made the area strong and the province a better place to be, he said.

“The awards that you are receiving tonight offer us a chance to publicly thank you for the road you paved in our communities and organizations,” said Chan. “You take time away from your families and personal life to make a difference for those who need it.”

These awards ceremonies have been officially hosted by the province for about 30 years. Some of the volunteers honoured at the event have been volunteering nearly twice as long. The five longest serving volunteers with more than 250 years combined included Irvin (Curly) Andrews of Petawawa, Sylvia Giroux and Keith T. Martin of Pembroke, Peggy McLeod of Cobden, and Helen Keech of Deep River.

Guest Speaker Warden Peter Emon believes that it is incumbent on every one to work together to make wonderful, safe places to live.

“Our community is so fortunate,” he said. “We have so many people (who volunteer) ... The things that you’ve done is amazing.”

Other volunteers being recognized belonged to a number of different organizations, including 4-H Association, Renfrew County; Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives; Barry’s Bay and Area Senior Citizens Home Support; Deep River and Area Food Bank; Eganville Figure Skating Club; Forester’s Falls Women’s Institute; Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County; Royal Canadian Legion - Ladies Auxiliary Branch 72; Pembroke and Area Fiddling Association; the Pembroke Horticultural Society, the Knights of Columbus N.Z. Lorrain Council 1531; the Canadian Red Cross; Zion Line - Beachburg Women’s Institute, and Phoenix Centre for Children and Families.

A list of all recipients, sortable by name, home town or number of volunteer years, is available online at www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/citizenship/honours/vsa_list.shtml