‘Citizen of the Year’ a tireless volunteer

Joyce Gosselin is a mighty busy woman.
The 57-year-old Fort Frances native was named “Citizen of the Year” Monday night, and not even that honour can slow her down.
On Tuesday, she went right back to her daily routine, working out at the gym and volunteering her time at the bowling alley. All this, in between calls of congratulations from family and friends.
“I feel like a celebrity,” Gosselin said in an interview at her home yesterday. “They even made an announcement at the bowling alley.”
It’s been a banner year for this athlete and volunteer.
In February of this year she participated in the 2004 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games where she qualified for competition in showshoeing at the world games in Nagano, Japan.
In October, she won the Female Athlete of the Year award from Special Olympics Ontario.
“When I won that award, I said to myself, ‘All I have to do now is win ‘Citizen of the Year’ from Fort Frances,’” she laughed. “But I didn’t really think I’d get it.”
Gosselin was nominated in three separate letters, all praising the contributions she makes to various charitable organizations in town, from selling raffle tickets for the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, to biking and walking for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Terry Fox Run, and the Canadian Cancer Society.
She donates her time at the local soup kitchen and at the Christmas Community Dinner, participates in the OPP Special Olympics Torch Run, and has coached children’s baseball.
She has raised thousands of dollars for various charities through fundraising in addition to giving her time.
She also rings bells for the Salvation Army kettle campaign at Christmas time, and has been known to offer her services at various events on a moment’s notice, if needed.
“I’ll go and help if they need it, if there’s any need for help,” she said.
While she offers her services to many causes, there are two that are close to her heart.
“The ones that are really, really important to me are the Special Olympics Torch Run and the Terry Fox Run,” she noted. “Terry Fox because he ran all that way for us and he had cancer.”
Gosselin admitted she may have to slow down with some of her volunteering for the next few months, as she is spending more and more time training for the competition in Japan.
“I am hoping and praying to come back with a medal. I want that real bad,” she admitted.
To the citizens of Fort Frances, she’s already gold.

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