Manitoulin Lodge resident receives Jarlette Making a Difference Award

Gloria Hall (right in photo), activities coordinator at the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home, took part in a ceremony in which Jimmy Howard, centre, was presented with a Jarlette Health Services Making a Difference Award. Nicole Middleton, left in photo, has been nominated for the Roberta Jarlette Making a Difference Award.

GORE BAY—A resident of the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home in Gore Bay has been honoured by Jarlette Health Services and the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) for his remarkable accomplishments and outstanding contributions in society to his community and the Lodge.

Twenty recipients were honoured this year across the province with Making a Difference Awards including Jimmy Howard, a resident of Manitoulin Lodge.

“Jarlette Health Services held their Making a Difference Awards 2016 ceremony in Sudbury last week,” said Gloria Hall, activities coordinator at Manitoulin Lodge. “Jimmy (Howard) was one of the people who were presented with the award honouring those who live and work with us and continually put others first.”

Gloria Hall attended the awards celebration as did Nicole Middleton, along with two of Mr. Howard’s sisters, Sally and Paula, and his brother Eddie. Ms. Middleton, a nurse’s aide at Manitoulin Lodge, has been nominated for the Roberta Jarlette Making a Difference Award.

At the awards ceremony, a profile was delivered on Jimmy Howard. “Jimmy was born on November 25, 1950. He is the oldest son of Alf and Leta Howard.”

Mr. Howard lived on the family farm on the Lakeshore Road in Kagawong. He has 10 siblings, four sisters and six brothers. He went to SS#1 Billings Public School, before going to the Flower of Hope School in Gore Bay for four years. There he was taught life skills by Renie Noble and Eric Nicholson. Jimmy, his brother Eddy and sister Marlena would ride on the school bus to the public school and then transfer on to Gore Bay. In 1967 Jimmy and the family moved to Hillsburgh, Ontario to another farm.

“In 1983 Mr. Howard, Eddy, his mom and dad moved to Gordon Township. Jimmy and Eddy both went to the Hope Farm in Mindemoya. They rode the high school bus. Jimmy did lots of chores always looking for things to do,” his profile reads.

After the farm program finished he moved to Sudbury to live with Solange Rochon. Jimmy went to work at the Jarrett Centre on Lorne Street where he worked for 28 years. He worked there until 2014 when diabetes took a toll on his feet and legs. He then moved to St. Andrew’s Place on Larch Street.

In February, 2015 Mr. Howard moved to Manitoulin Lodge, and he has enjoyed living there. “It is much better than living alone in an apartment,” he said.

“Jimmy is very special and loves to talk to everyone,” the awards ceremony participants were told. “He has a great rapport with all the residents, families, volunteers and staff.”

Jimmy, “loves to play bingo; he likes to win so he can get potato chips as his prize. He is also a big hockey fan,” it was pointed out.

“Jimmy worked hard in his younger years helping to make maple syrup, do haying and do lots of barn chores. Both at the home farms and at the Hope Farm Jimmy was also willing to help out wherever help was needed,” it was explained. It was pointed out, “Jimmy is a great help here at the Manitoulin Lodge. He likes to be busy. On newspaper day he makes sure the newspapers are delivered. He makes sure  our home is beautifully decorated for special occasions. Baking is another of his many talents.”

“Jimmy has the nickname of “Our Manitoulin Lodge Greeter,” as he greets everyone as they enter,” said Ms. Hall. “He also keeps tabs on the television remote ensuring it is available to all to use. He also participates in resident council and the food committee meetings. He also likes to make and sell popcorn on special occasions.”

On National Elder Abuse Awareness Jimmy not only handed out balloons and stickers on the day, he did it all week to ensure everyone got the message. “Jimmy truly does make a difference in the lives of residents, family, volunteers and the community.”

Mr. Howard was presented with a framed certificate and pin, along with a lamp with a candle in it, to commemorate his  achievements. He has also been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award certificate, Celebrating the Significant Accomplishment of Extraordinary People, signed by Candace Chartier, chief executive officer of the Ontario Long Term Care Association.

“Nicky Middleton was been nominated for a Roberta Jarlette Making A Difference Award,” said Ms. Hall. “Each of the nursing and long term homes within Jarlette Health Services nominated someone for this award.”

“This year we also recognize staff who are exemplary employees working in our long term care homes and retirement lodges. To qualify they must work in the departments of nursing, wellness, recreation, dietary, housekeeping or laundry,” a Jarlette Health Services release notes. “The nominees wholly demonstrate the Jarlette Health Services values which are: everything we do is with commitment and passion; we treat people with respect; we are proactively accountable and responsible; we strive to do the right thing.”

“And our core purpose is to make an outstanding difference in the lives of others,” the release notes. “One nominee, from each of our long term care homes and one from our retirement lodges will be selected by a committee in the coming months and announced at the end of the year. For example, the selection committee will evaluate how the employees are champions of senior’s services; how they inspire and keep positive relationships with fellow staff members, and how their passion for making connections with the residents has benefitted the homes in which they work.”