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Long time contribution, volunteerism saluted by Ponoka Legion

Over 40 years of service by Verna Raycraft to Ponoka Legion and Ladies Auxiliary honoured
Ponoka News publisher Judy Dick, middle, accepts a certificate of appreciation from the Ponoka Ladies Auxiliary’s Wendy Peavoy (left) and president Marlene Ferguson in recognition for the newspaper’s work and support of the auxiliary’s activities in 2017. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

A commitment to serving others without expecting anything is exactly why Verna Raycraft received a prestigious award.

Raycraft, who has volunteered as a Royal Canadian Legion member in Ponoka for the last nine years as well as being a member of the Ladies Auxiliary for more than 40 years, was honoured for her spirit with the Branch Service Medal.

“I simply wanted to share my ability with no expectation of anything. If you are privileged enough to have the ability or a talent, then I feel you should absolutely be contributing willingly in whatever way you can,” Raycraft said.

As a trained music teacher, she has always played the piano for various Legion events including Remembrance Day. Although, Raycraft is known for doing much more such as volunteering to work at the activities run by the Legion, as a social committee member and in taking the lead in the Legion’s Stampede parade float.

In fact, her ideas and talent for decorating has earned the Legion float numerous awards including the top overall float in 2016.

“Verna is kind of like the Energizer Bunny — she just keeps going and going and going,” said Legion president Barb Olsen.

Olsen added the awards ceremony comes at the perfect time for the Legion what with Remembrance Day coming up, the current poppy campaign and the push toward the Ponoka branch’s 90th anniversary next May.

“She is definitely an inspiration for the rest of the membership, the kind of commitment we need to help maintain the operation of the Legion,” she noted.

Among the other awards handed out during the evening were for members, some of whom have been with the organization for many years now. Ponoka News received a special certificate of appreciation from the Ladies Auxiliary for services to the organization.

Certificates of Merit — Devona Slater, William Kidd, Kim Cheeseman, Bing Jones; Bars & Medals — Sid Gregr, Sybil Evans, Les Squires, Deb Witvoet, Cam Kerr, Tim Graff;

Appreciation certificates — Tracey Richmire, Eldred Stamp, Charles Park, Lee Arnold, Jack Surbey, Dick Sykes, Beth Sykes, Leo Belanger, Dale Olsen, Sid Gregr, Ponoka News, No Frills, IGA.