Sunday, December 21, 2014

District volunteers honoured for service

Volunteers from Rainy River District were in the spotlight once again for the 2014 Volunteer Service Awards, which took place last Wednesday night at La Place Rendez-Vous here.
Among the longest-serving volunteers saluted was Dr. Robert Lidkea—recognized for more than 60 years of service with the Kiwanis Club of Fort Frances.

Gordon McTaggart, meanwhile, was recognized for 50 years with the Kiwanis Club of Fort Frances, as well as 15 years as a member of La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary.
“I joined Kiwanis very young and I’ve enjoyed it,” said Dr. Lidkea, who previously has been recognized by Fort Frances as its “Citizen of the Year” and by the Ontario Association of Optometrists for his years of community service in addition to his professional practice.
“Volunteering has been a great experience,” Dr. Lidkea added.
In regards to being committed to a service group like Kiwanis or any other volunteer organization, Dr. Lidkea said the secret is that an individual “get out of it as much as they put into it.”
And Dr. Lidkea said he has no intention to quit Kiwanis now.
“I’m the secretary. I’ve got to keep going,” he chuckled.
More than 90 recipients were honoured at last Wednesday’s ceremony, although not all attended in person. Together, they’ve contributed 1,163 years of volunteer service to the district.
Pins were presented by Rick Beaver, director of the Citizenship branch of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
Recognized for 30 years of service were:
•Ellen Chojko-Bolec (4-H Association—Rainy River District); and
•Doug McTavish (Township of La Vallee Volunteer Fire Dept.)
Recognized for 25 years of service were:
•Louise Bliss (4-H Association—Rainy River District);
•Dennis Brown (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Dave Elder (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Vic Prokopchuk (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Ken Sawchuk (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.); and
•Perry Sharbot (Lions Club of Atikokan)
Recognized for 20 years of service were:
•Ken Desjardins (Halkirk Fire Protection Team);
•Allan Empey (Township of La Vallee Volunteer Fire Dept.);
•Bea Galbraith (Halkirk Fire Protection Team);
•JoAnn Gosselin (La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary);
•John LePine (Halkirk Fire Protection Team);
•Joy Lockman (Halkirk Fire Protection Team);
•Carol MacLean (Halkirk Fire Protection Team);
•Mike McCoy (Township of La Vallee Volunteer Fire Dept.); and
•Leo Pruys (Township of La Vallee Volunteer Fire Dept.)
Recognized for 15 years of service were:
•Dave Bjorkman (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Cathy Burton (Atikokan Children’s Entertainment Series);
•Marlene Davidson (Atikokan Children’s Entertainment Series);
•Irene Haver (Fort Frances Horticultural Society);
•Darren Hughes (Township of La Vallee Volunteer Fire Dept.);
•June Keddie (Canadian Cancer Society—Fort Frances Branch);
•Jill Leduchowski (Atikokan Bass Classic Committee);
•Wayne McAndrew (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Michael McKinnon (Atikokan Ringette Association);
•Margaret Shields (Pioneer Club of Atikokan); and
•Robin Wright (Fort Frances Kiwanis Club)
Recognized for 10 years of service were:
•Louis Byma (Alberton Recreation Committee);
•Willie Cole (Alberton Volunteer Fire Dept.);
•Shanda DeGagne-Begin (Kiwanis Club of Fort Frances);
•Sue Drew (Fort Frances Horticultural Society);
•John Esselink (Alberton Recreation Committee);
•Phil Gavel (Alberton Committee of Adjustment);
•Carol Gosselin (Atikokan Children’s Entertainment Series);
•Paul Gronski (Atikokan Bass Classic Committee);
•Rick Hallam (Alberton Committee of Adjustment);
•Kathy Haukaas (Fort Frances Horticultural Association);
•Sheldon Haw (Atikokan Bass Classic Committee);
•Lyle Hyatt (Township of Alberton);
Shelley Hyatt (Township of Alberton);
•Brian Jackson (Atikokan Bass Classic Committee);
•Ahlan Johanson (Township of Alberton);
•Angie Korzinski (Kiwanis Club of Fort Frances);
•Beth Logue (Alberton Recreation Committee);
•Blair Lowey (Alberton Committee of Adjustment);
•Peter Neilson (Alberton Volunteer Fire Dept.);
•Tom Rawn (Alberton Volunteer Fire Dept.);
•Angela Sharbot (Lions Club of Atikokan);
•Davetta Sheppard (Canadian Cancer Society—Fort Frances Branch);
•Liz Shine (Lions Club of Atikokan);
Tammy Simard (Atikokan Children’s Entertainment Series);
•Robert Sletmoen (Kiwanis Club of Fort Frances);
•Kathy Stahn (4-H Association—Rainy River District);
•Bonnie Turriff (Canadian Cancer Society—Fort Frances Branch);
•Peter West (Halkirk Fire Protection Team);
•Shirley Wiens (Pioneer Club of Atikokan);
•Victoria Wishart (Fort Frances Horticultural Society); and
•Ken Wright (Alberton Volunteer Fire Dept.)
Recognized for five years of service were:
•Earle Arnold (Atikokan Ringette Association);
•Sheri Bailey (Atikokan Ringette Association);
•Tanner Bell (Kiwanis Club of Fort Frances);
•Chris Bodnar (Alberton Volunteer Fire Dept.);
•Marilyn Brown (La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary);
•Marilyn Brown (La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary);
•Roy Brown (La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary);
•Dale Callaghan (Township of Alberton);
•Mike Cameron (Atikokan Ringette Association);
•Duane Cridland (Canadian Cancer Society—Fort Frances Branch);
•Marlene Davidson (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Pauline Gosselin (Atikokan Ringette Association);
•Linda Hamilton (Ontario Trillium Foundation);
•Kerri Hensrud (Canadian Cancer Society—Atikokan Branch);
•Dave Homer (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Willie Jaculak (Atikokan Bass Classic Committee);
•Terry Kawulia (Township of Alberton);
•Joy Khober (Lions Club of Atikokan);
•Inno Laur (Alberton Volunteer Fire Dept.);
•Trisha Law (Fort Frances Horticultural Society);
•Harold Logue (Alberton Recreation Committee);
•Mark Makarenko (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Chuck McOrmond (Canadian Cancer Society—Atikokan Branch);
•Laurie Miller (Fort Frances Horticultural Association);
•Ann Ostby (Canadian Cancer Society—Fort Frances Branch);
•Sylvia Ostby (Canadian Cancer Society—Fort Frances Branch);
•John Pohanka (Township of Alberton);
•Shannon Riding (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
Liz Shine (Atikokan Bass Classic Committee);
Tami Stinson (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.);
•Dan Syncox (Atikokan Economic Development Corp.); and
•Lana Vos (Atikokan Ringette Association)
Several youth volunteers also were highlighted last Wednesday, including:
•Natasha Beyak (Atikokan Ringette Association);
•Sam Dunn Chambers (Fort Frances High School First Responders);
•Ray McKelvie (Fort Frances High School First Responders); and
•Tristian Spilchuk (Fort Frances High School First Responders)
Nicke Baird, executive director of NCDS and former director of the Riverside Foundation for Health Care, was the guest speaker at the ceremony.
A lifelong volunteer whose first memory was delivering “Meals on Wheels” with her grandma when she was six years old, Baird spoke on the importance of volunteerism.
Whether it’s saving beached whales on the coast of Australia, cleaning up the disaster area after Hurricane Katrina, sending care packages to P.O.W. camps in World War II, or cutting the ribbon after raising $650,000 for a new digital mammography machine here, Baird said volunteers near and far play a key role in making the world a better place.
But volunteering also benefits the individual, she added, noting that research has shown volunteering improves one’s health, with the social interaction that volunteering entail reducing heart rate and blood pressure, increasing endorphins, and boosting the immune system.
It also boosts self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of self-worth; not to mention improving the quality of one’s life and makes people happy.
“So bring your son, daughter, friend, or grandhild the next time you volunteer and help boost their self-esteem, and teach them the power of volunteering,” urged Baird.
Taylor Shouldice sang “O Canada.”
This year, Ontario Volunteer Service Awards were held in 55 ceremonies in 40 communities across the province.
More than 11,000 volunteers were saluted.

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