Above: Seven-year-old Grace Guenette plays with Valentina, one of four cats up for adoption at the Library’s pop-up Cat Café, held Thursday night in honour of Volunteer Appreciation Week. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

by Stephen Dafoe
with files from Lucie Roy

The Morinville Community Library recognized some special visitors Thursday night as a prelude to Volunteer Appreciation Week – Library volunteers and some special feline guests.

The library partnered with the Morinville Veterinary Clinic by hosting a pop-up Cat Café, recognizing volunteers with games and refreshments and providing volunteers and the public an opportunity to adopt a pet.

Library staff member Josh Dmytrow provided the idea for the fun night.

“I had been to a couple [of Cat Cafés] when I was in South Korea, and I thought they were awesome,” he said, adding a Cat Café opened recently on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate our volunteers.”

Morinville Veterinary Clinic Manager Elyse Prince was happy to join the party with four cats, three females, and a male. Prince was hoping two of the cats would be adopted together as they are well bounded.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” she said of the concept. “I heard about the one on Whyte Avenue and thought Morinville needs that. Then Josh contacted me, and it was, ‘I’ll be there.'”

Volunteer Appreciation Week runs Apr. 23 to 29.

The Town has booked Government of Alberta Community Development Officer Heather Nicol to conduct two workshops. The free workshops are geared towards adults and are scheduled to be held April 24 and 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Each has the capacity for 80 people per session.

The Apr. 24 topic is When People and Expectations Collide and is designed to help with the motivation of volunteers. The Apr. 27 topic is Show Me the Money. It will cover how to apply for grants, proposals, and other monetary matters.

Pre-registration is required as there are limited spaces available and both sessions run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on their respective days.

The Town is giving out $150 grants. The grant is available to those volunteer organizations who want to apply. It was made available at the beginning of April and groups have until the end of December 2017 to use the funds. Submission deadline is Apr. 28.

The Town is also displaying a volunteer photo exhibit at the Cultural Centre throughout Volunteer Week in the foyer.

The Morinville Lions Club, Rendez-Vous Centre, and Morinville News are partnering for a Volunteer Appreciation Night Apr. 28 to present the Lions Citizen of the Year, Rendez-Vous’ Heritage Award, and the Morinville News’ Paul Krauskopf Community Spirit Award.

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