District teens saluted for their longtime community work

Peggy Revell

He may be young, but 14-year-old Lyle Dolph has been recognized for his years of volunteer service by being nominated for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award.
“It’s always nice to recognize a young person, such as Lyle Dolph, who through his work with seniors, and hockey and bass, exemplifies the best of youth in Fort Frances,” said Fort Frances Times publisher Jim Cumming, who helped to puts Dolph’s nomination forward.
Created in 1981, the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award is co-ordinated by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association, with support from TD Canada Trust, to recognize exceptional youth from across the province who have made contributions to their communities.
While Dolph was not among the 12 winners announced on Friday, the work he’s done throughout the years—and throughout the
community—is greatly appreciated.
“He does our ‘puck chuck,’ he does our 50/50, he’s just an outstanding young man,” said Josie Patrick, events co-ordinator for the Fort Frances Junior Sabres, who also helped nominate Dolph for the award.
“He just helps people within the community . . . he’s just an outstanding young man who contributes to the community,” she lauded.
Patrick noted it’s really surprising that someone as young as Dolph had been so involved with volunteerism—and for so long.
For years Dolph has been a volunteer with the annual community Christmas dinner, as well as the Terry Fox Run. He also has been a part of the “Friendly Visiting” program at Rainycrest.
Dolph also has been a regular volunteer ringing the bells for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle campaign since 2005.
In the past, he also had assisted with the community barbecue hosted by local MPP Howard Hampton, was a member of the Kiwanis Builders Club at Robert Moore School which raised $3,000 for the CT Scanner at La Verendrye Hospital, was a member of the Robert Moore School “Mathletes” competing in Thunder Bay, and also a member of the OPP Junior Constable program.
And, as previously mentioned, has been an ongoing volunteer with the Fort Frances Junior Sabres since 2007.
He has worked the docks during the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, assisted in delivering meals with the Meals on Wheels program, volunteers with Little Bowlers to teach young children how to bowl, and has taken part in the “Polar Plunge” every year on New Year’s Day to raise money for different community groups.
As a former carrier for the Fort Frances Times, Dolph even was known to help out the elderly on his route by cleaning their stairs and walkways during the winter months.
For his efforts, Dolph was recognized by the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau as the Volunteer of the Year, and also as youth volunteer at the FFCBC.
Also nominated for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award this year was Deidre Wilson, 16, of Rainy River.
Like Dolph, Wilson has a long list of activities she has been involved with, such as chairing the “Brick By Brick” campaign at Rainy River High School that raised more than $13,000 to build a school in Sierra Leone and raising awareness about the Attawapiskat First Nation children who were without a good school.
She’s also done peer counselling for the Northwestern Youth Alliance, was a member of the Healthy Community Coalition and a volunteer for Smoke-Free Ontario, and sits as the student trustee on the Rainy River District School Board.