Shown in the photo from left to right are Katie, Ray, Amanda, and Eliza. The ladies represent the 24 very ambitious members of the Ponoka Kinette Club, who were the recipients of the 2017 Rita Scott Volunteer Award. The appreciation plaque and certificates are presented annually by Ray Scott on behalf of the family and in memory of his mother Rita, who donated countless hours for many years to the Volunteer Services programs at the Alberta Hospital Ponoka. Photo courtesy of AHS Volunteer Resources

Reflections: Big volunteer nominations coming due for Ponoka

There’s still time to enter the names of area residents for their strong volunteer spirit

By AHS Volunteer Resources and Mike Rainone for the News

The vibrancy of Ponoka’s volunteers is seen each and every day throughout our community. They bring their unique skills and passion to the role they play, helping others in an altruistic manner which benefits the countless clients that they faithfully serve on a year round basis at the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury and the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre.

As National Volunteer Week is quickly approaching from April 15-21 our hearts turn to our unsung heroes of the town and county of Ponoka. Alberta Health Services Volunteer Resources welcomes you to take the time to nominate one of our outstanding citizens or organizations for the Rita Scott Volunteer Award or the Morna Chorney Heart and Soul Award. Our precious and dedicated community volunteers are from all age groups and all walks of life, and their ongoing and energetic efforts to assist others always come right from the heart.

The Rita Scott Volunteer Award was established in 2003 in memory of a very dedicated volunteer Rita Scott; whose life motto was to “live one day at a time; always seeing the goodness and richness in everything around her.” As a way of thanking the community for the support given to their mom; the family of Rita Scott partnered with Volunteer Resources to develop this prestigious award. Family member Ray Scott has attended every celebration event in Ponoka to present the award to our recipients since its conception. “It is an honor to recognize Ponoka’s Volunteers each year through the award; a small token of appreciation for the invaluable service and dedication displayed by such dedicated individuals and groups.”

Last year’s recipients were the Ponoka Kinettes Club. Member Amanda Hamilton on behalf of the group shared her comments about receiving this award: “When you admire a woman who you have never met, a woman who was a pillar in the local volunteer community, and are honoured in her name, it truly warms your heart. This award validates the volunteer work the Kinettes have done and the work we continue to do and the hours we devote to our community and away from our families. Our group of 24 amazing women have given thousands of hours and substantial dollars to Ponoka. I hope we can inspire others to help our community, the way Rita Scott has inspired us.”

As well the Morna Chorney Heart and Soul Award was established in 2006 in memory of Morna Chorney; who truly poured her “heart and soul” into the volunteer work she performed at both the local and provincial and national levels. Morna wore many volunteer hats through the years and always provided her grace and passion to the work that was needing done. Morna’s family have made it of utmost importance to attend the award celebration event as a family. Grandson, Carlen Chorney is proud to continue the legacy of his Grandma’s work and for the past few years has been presenting the award to our deserving volunteers.

AHS Volunteers Resources is proud to announce that a total of 32 individuals and 12 organizations have been recipients of these two awards and will continue to shine a light on our unsung heroes of Ponoka. At the present time there are a total of close to 250 individuals and organizations graciously volunteering their time in so many kind and delightful ways to make life just a little bit better for patients at both the Centennial Centre and the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre.

For further information and award criteria please contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Leanne Brusegard at 403-704-8312, email:, or stop by the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre to pick up a nomination package. The deadline for groups or individuals to submit their nominations for both the Rita Scott and the Morna Chorney awards is Saturday, March 31. Recipients eligible for the Rita Scott Volunteer Award must be 18 years of age, a registered volunteer, or a member of a community organization within the town and county of Ponoka; while those eligible for the Morna Chorney Heart and Soul Volunteer Award must be 55 years of age, a resident of the town or county of Ponoka, and an active volunteer within the community.

The annual recipients of these coveted awards along with all the other volunteer members of these very active programs will be honoured and toasted at a delightful Volunteer Week event on Thursday, April 19th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion. Your kindly nominations for both the 2018 Rita Scott Volunteer and Morna Chorney Heart and Soul Volunteer Awards will show your ongoing support and appreciation of our vital community volunteer efforts and programs.

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