Seven Manitoulin Island residents receive provincial volunteer awards

SUDBURY—Seven Manitoulin Island residents have been acknowledged for their outstanding volunteer service to their community by the Ontario government.

As is the case all across the province, volunteers are being celebrated at Ontario volunteer award ceremonies. More than 11,000 volunteers are being honoured at 57 different ceremonies around the province, with 245 residents of Sudbury and the surrounding area being honoured May 26 in Sudbury.

This ceremony included seven awards for volunteers from Manitoulin Island, six members of the Gore Bay-Western Manitoulin Lions Club and a volunteer with the Sudbury and District Health Unit (SDHU) being recognized.

For her volunteering efforts with SDHU, Esther Spadzinksi of Gore Bay received a provincial five-year volunteer award.

The members of the Gore Bay-Western Manitoulin Lions Club who received awards included Joe Baker, for 30 years of volunteer work with the club, Miriam Wailes of Evansville with a 15-year award; Gord Flanagan with a 10-year award; and Rose Jackson, Wilma Rupert and Brian Rupert, all from Gore Bay who received five-year awards from the province.

Award recipients were nominated by the organization they serve and certificates and customized trillium pins were presented to people with five to 60 or more years of service.

Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault and Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas were in attendance to present the awards at the Sudbury ceremonies.

Mr. Thibeault was quoted by Northern Life in its May 27, edition saying “I just want to say thank you to everyone of you who are here. If you think about what would happen if you were not here, there would be seniors who wouldn’t be getting meals, there would be children who wouldn’t have activities, there would be so many things that weren’t happening in our community; and for that I want to say thank you.”

Ms. Gelinas was quoted by Northern Life as saying, “it’s always an honour for me to participate in this recognition. Because of people like you, who have freely decided to give your time and energy to make our community better, we have a thriving community and you are there in every sector of our community to make us proud, to make us richer and to make us healthier.”

Michael Chan, minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade said in a news release, “the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards offer us a chance to recognize volunteers and the vital role that they play in our communities and organizations. These awards are our way of saying thank you for their significant contributions.”