Sturgeon County recognizes its volunteers

The 2012 Volunteer of the Award was presented to Simonne and Pat Sheehan for their involvement in the Aging in Place Foundation, West Country Hearth and for many additional hours of volunteerism over the years. Their involvement in the Aging in Place Foundation and the West Country Hearth, which is the only assisted living facility in Sturgeon County has certainly contributed to improving the quality of life in the County. – Lucie Roy Photos

By Lucie Roy

Sturgeon County – The County recognized its many volunteers at the Villeneuve Community Hall Tuesday night. For the first time the County presented an individual Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award. Terry Cashin Manager, Sturgeon County Community Services said they revised the Volunteer Appreciation Program and they started that last year with ads in the paper and again this year to recognize all volunteer nominees. They set out the criteria for the Volunteer of the Year and received nine nominations. The nominees all come with a list of accomplishments, accolades, committees and volunteer positions too numerous to mention. A brief outline of the talents they bring forth to make their communities a better place to live is outlined.

The 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Simonne and Pat Sheehan. Their involvement in the Aging in Place Foundation and the West Country Hearth, which is the only assisted living facility in Sturgeon County, has certainly contributed to improving the quality of life in the County. They were nominated by the Villeneuve Happy Sixties Seniors’ Club as a team that work together and support one another. The nomination read by Terry Cashin, Sturgeon County Manager Community Services, read in part, “No involvement in their community seems too large or too small, whether in a leadership role or pushing a broom. They are always willing and able to use their time and talents whenever required. As seniors still very involved in volunteering they epitomize the value that senior citizens’ can bring to their community.”

Phyllis Borle has served on boards for numerous years. One of them was the Mearns History Book which took many hours of research. Jerry Belziuk is an active volunteer involved as Associate Leader in the 4-H Beef Club of Bon Accord for eight years and an active member of Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch for 25 years. Jackie Morin has been a busy volunteer for six years at Camilla School, serving on the kindergarten parent council for four separate years and organizing special events hosted by the parents of the Camilla Advisory Council. Joyce Brenneis was nominated for her involvement with the Mearns Recreation Association and volunteering for the last 15 years.

Susan Evans has been an integral part of the Cardiff Community Club for 13 years. She is also Chairman of the School Council for MCHS, Chairman of the Council of Schools Greater St. Albert Schools, sits on the Provincial Joint Stakeholders Committee on Children and Poverty and the Youth Strategy Committee. Yvonne Kluthe served with the Catholic Women’s League, and the Rendez-Vous Centre, sits on the Board of the Mearns Community Association and volunteered for several years at the Lac St. Anne Pilgrimage and with Sturgeon Victim Services. Lois Wood serves on the Namao Cemetery Committee and Namao United Church organizing events which includes the Namao Turkey Suppers and is busy bringing the community together for a Namao school re-union to take place this summer.

Jake Graden was the youngest to be nominated and is an exceptional youth who is an example to other youth in the community said Cashin. He volunteers at the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), the Loops for Troops, Garrison Library and for numerous events held by the MFRC such as the Children’s Thrift Sale and Annual Family Halloween Party.

The nominees for the Sturgeon County Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, Jake Graden, Lois Wood, Jackie Morin, Joyce Brenneis, Susan Evans, Yvonne Kluthe, Simonne and Pat Sheehan, Phyllis Borle and Jerry Belziuk.

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