Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
May 21, 2024
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Senior Life

I went to a really important event last evening. An important event calls for a black suit so I put the suit on. But it was a celebration so I decided to wear a sparkly top. There must be 1,000 silver sequins sewn onto this top. As I drove to Belleville, the sun hit my sequins and reflected spots all over the inside of my car. I had to try not to look at them because this was a very distracting thing going on. As it turned out, the event was a sparkling, spectacular celebration of volunteers. 

Each year the Government of Ontario invites not for profits to nominate 6 volunteers to be recognized for long and active service (consecutive years). There was a standing ovation for the 97 year old man who has given 55 years to the Lions Club in Trenton. I reconnected with Barry Flanigan who was recognized by two groups – 55 years with the Legion and 50 years with the Lions.

(From Left) Debbie MacDonald Moynes, MPP Todd Smith, Carole Thimidis, Doreen Clarke, and Barbara Proctor at the 2024 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards event held In Belleville May 1. (Supplied Photo)

The atmosphere in the room was infused with happiness and gratitude. The audience was encouraged to applaud (and also hoot and holler) for all volunteers who crossed the stage and received their pin and a handshake or hug from MPP Todd Smith. The Community Care board chair, Barbara Proctor, accompanied me to the event and we both had red hands from clapping so much. How could we not, though, when so many have given so much to their community. There were people recognized for their volunteer work by Kin Clubs, Kinettes, Kiwanis, the Nurse Practitioner Clinic, Loyalist College, Gateway CHC, Cogeco TV, food banks, IODE, and the list goes on. 

Prince Edward Community Care submitted the names of six people for recognition. If we could, we’d submit the names of all 400 people who help us help seniors live at home. Ralph Hall for 30 years; Manson Slik for 25 years; Helen Williams for 25 years; Carole Thimidis for 20 years; Don Creighton for 20 years and Doreen Clarke for 20 years. Carole and Doreen were at the celebration with big smiles and wonderment at the years that so quickly went by.

We are grateful to all volunteers who give their time to any organization to make their community, country and the world a better place. Thank you isn’t enough to say. Maybe my sparkly outfit conveyed just how important what you do is for the people who reap the benefits of the time you give. Every moment matters. 

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 19 edition of The Picton Gazette
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