Volunteers at both of Ponoka’s hospitals were treated to an afternoon tea complete with cake and cookies for their dedication to helping the community.
The event was organized by volunteer co-ordinators Janice Mackie, from the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury and Leanne Brusegard, from the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre, Friday, April 17 at the Drop-in Centre.
Mackie told attendees that there were two specific awards being handed out that day to individuals or groups who went over and above the call of duty. She said that even though certain individuals received the award, all the volunteers were being recognized with the afternoon tea. “You are appreciated,” stated Mackie.
Rita Scott Volunteer Award
This year’s recipient of the Rita Scott Volunteer Award is a group called the Kountry Krafters. It was presented by Rita’s son Ray, who said his mother was always volunteering her time.
He presented the award to the entire group: Linda Cunningham, Eileen Lee, Verna Arnold, Helen Hagemann and Shirley Campbell who was unable to attend.
Ray said he started the award to keep his mother’s memory alive and intended it for individuals or groups. The Kountry Krafters volunteered more than 22,000 hours in the last 27 years and made many donations to groups such as women’s shelters and Ronald McDonald House.
Morna Chorney Heart and Soul Award
Presenting this year’s Morna Chorney Heart and Soul award was Chorney’s grandson Carlen Cire.
While many of her family members were in attendance, he presented the award to Betty Cook for volunteering many years to benefit associations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and tax clinics to name just a few.
“For well over 40 years, this volunteer has worn a whole lot of hats. As with most volunteers this person does not believe in hours kept, or recognition, only whether or not important needs were filled,” said Cire.
Cook has recorded 1,641 hours of service with Family and Community Support Services and more than 1,350 hours with Alberta Health Services, added Cire.
Mackie told attendees that volunteers don’t look for recognition but she added that events such as the recognition tea are important reminders of the work they do. She encouraged them to look for those volunteers who deserve the recognition and to nominate them for next year.
“We want to make sure that each year our important recognition goes on,” said Mackie.
The musical group Freda’s Fiddlers was also given certificates of appreciation. After 10 years of playing music at different events, the group is retiring. “We can’t tell you how much this has meant,” said Mackie.
Central Zone volunteer stats:
• There are 2,746 registered volunteers in the central zone, along with 180 community groups and 28 auxiliaries.
• Volunteers, community groups and auxiliaries contributed more than 158,576 hours of service in 2014.
• There are 15,007 volunteers, auxiliary members and community groups.
• In the past year, volunteers collectively logged just short of one million hours.