GORE BAY – The Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home recognized its Volunteer of the Year Award and Resident of the Year at the annual June Days celebrations and barbecue last Friday.
“I would like to welcome everyone to our annual June Days, which have been going on for many, many years,” said Sue Farren, administrator of the Lodge. “It’s a celebration of seniors’ month in Ontario as well.”
The day featured a barbecue and bake sale, and music being provided by the band Doug and Friends.
Gloria Hall, activities coordinator at the Lodge thanked the large crowd on hand for attending and supporting the Lodge. She explained, “every year we present a Making a Difference Award to a resident who has shown care and compassion to others in the lodge, and tries to make life better for everyone.”
Ms. Hall outlined, “Bernard Howard Lauber was born on August 16, 1934 in Williamston, Ontario to parents Dennis and Patricia. He is the oldest of three children. Howie, as he likes to be called, has two younger sisters.”
“He married the love of his life, Patricia, on November 12, 1955,” said Ms. Hall. “They shared their love and admiration for over 60 years. They have two children, Tim and Donna, and five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.”
“Howie started public school in Williamstown, then moved to Quebec. He went to Lyola High School in Montreal. Here he played hockey for the Lachine Maroons as a goalie. He worked at the Dorel Airport as a meteorologist, then in finances in Sault Ste. Marie. He moved to Sudbury in 1977 where he worked for the federal government in the CRA,” continued Ms. Hall.
“Howie was very athletic and played catcher in the men’s baseball league. He also played senior hockey and fastball in the Montreal area,” said Ms. Hall. “He also loves to fish, hunt and trap. Howie is known as ‘the outdoors guy’.”
“Howie enjoyed volunteering with the Meals on Wheels for many years. He also volunteered at the Health Sciences North and did fundraising for the United Way. He also installed medical alert systems in homes,” explained Ms. Hall, noting Mr. Lauber has been retired for 24 years.
“Since Howie joined us at Manitoulin Lodge he has been a great resident advocate. He is president of Resident Council and he keeps everyone on their toes. He is a member of the food council and he often has input into the menu offered,” said Ms. Hall. “He is very safety conscious, making sure his home is safe. He checks the many areas for safety compliance. And he loves to ensure our courtyard is looking beautiful by planting, weeding and caring for the plants. He also welcomes new residents, making them feel more at ease.”
She pointed out Mr. Lauber, “is very knowledgeable on many topics and enjoys sharing this information.”
“Earlier this year at the volunteer appreciation Howie helped with the entertainment by singing a few songs. He also had the history of the songs he had memorized. We learned a lot about the songs meaning and who wrote and sang it,” said Ms. Hall. “It gives me great pleasure to present the Making a Difference Award to Howie. Congratulations.” Ms. Hall and Ms. Farren presented the award to Mr. Lauber for his significant volunteer contributions.
“What an honour,” stated Mr. Lauber.
Nancy Clark presented with Volunteer of the Year Award
“Every year we have to choose a volunteer for the volunteer of the year award and this is very, very difficult,” said Ms. Hall. “For each volunteer is special and no matter how much time they share with us-they make a difference. Daily visits, weekly visits, monthly visits or yearly visits, all are appreciated by those who receive them.”
“Some of the volunteer programs are bingo, both regular and food bingo, music, pastoral care, hair care, outings, community events and picnics, special events, men’s breakfast, Angel Bus drivers, companions on the Angel Bus, one to one visiting, newspaper reading, manicures and the list goes on,” said Ms. Hall.
“This year the volunteer Award is being presented to someone who first became involved when her mother was a resident (at the Lodge),” said Ms. Hall. “Later, she saw the need to assist residents with attending the Gore Bay United Church worship services. Nancy (Clark) would help residents with getting on and off the Angel Bus and assist while at church. Then she volunteered with the Tuesday music. She helped rearrange the room and get residents to and from the event, then assuring furniture in the room was put back. Nancy also helps with special events, doing whatever is asked of her.”
“Along with volunteering here she also finds time to help with the beautifying of Front Street, fundraising with events at the United Church, assisting with transportation for community members to various appointments and is a member of the Spanish River Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star,” continued Ms. Hall. “When you want something done ask a busy person.”
“It gives me great pleasure to announced that this deserving award is being presented to Nancy Clark,” said Ms. Hall. Unfortunately, Ms. Clark was unable to be in attendance at the presentation. “Thanks for all your support and dedication. You do make a difference in everyone you touch and come in contact with. Thanks for touching us and sharing your precious time.”