General News

King’s volunteers shine in the spotlight

May 4, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons
Editor

King’s tireless volunteer workforce is quite remarkable.
Those altruistic citizens really came through for their fellow residents during the pandemic.
Roughly two dozen of King’s volunteers were honoured at the Volunteer Night celebration. It was a fitting way to mark the return to filling the council chambers at the municipal centre.
“Our volunteers selflessly donate thousands of hours for all kinds of causes. Without them King Township would be a very different place,” said Mayor Steve Pellegrini as he welcomed a crowd into the council chambers for the first time since the pandemic.
“The pandemic brought out the best in King’s residents and businesses. Right from the beginning we had people checking in on the most vulnerable in our community, delivering things like food and medication to those who couldn’t leave their homes.”
He pointed out that once vaccines became available, we were able to co-ordinate the single largest volunteer event in King’s history with the four-month-long vaccination clinic at the Trisan Centre last summer.
“Words don’t seem adequate to describe the immense sense of pride I felt each day at the clinic when I saw the dozens of volunteers who freely gave of their time in service of others.
“They worked long hours without complaint, both inside and outside the Trisan Centre, in rain and blistering heat, many times having to deal with challenging people. Despite those challenges, they did it to serve a greater good – they did it to make our community safer.”
Those efforts resulted in more than 77,000 shots being administered.
The mayor also noted that according to a survey completed by Statistics Canada, 93 per cent of volunteers say they are motivated by their desire to contribute to their community.
Councillors took turns thanking their constituents for their valued contributions.
Councillor Jordan Cescolini noted their spirt can’t be dampened and their efforts helped form many special community bonds.
Councillor David Boyd said the theme this year for national Volunteer Week was “empathy in action,” which is well represented here.
“It connects people in ideas and action and helps create bonds forged in common goals and aspirations,” he said.
Volunteerism, empathy in action, came in many different forms – a neighbour shopping for groceries, volunteers at the Food Bank, our fire department, he noted.
“Volunteering can make you feel empowered and valued. More importantly, it can make others feel safe.”
Councillor Jakob Schneider said their generosity and hard work are noticed every day.
Councillor Bill Cober noted the community connections formed through volunteering are priceless. “All of you have gone that extra mile to make that connection,” which serves as an example to others, he remarked.
Councillor Debbie Schaefer pointed out that among volunteers she’s spoken with, they’re humble about their accomplishments, sharing the limelight with all those who support local efforts. It’s that humility she finds special.
Councillor Avia Eek said our volunteers have provided a bright spot during the past two years with their wilingness to give.
“The last two years have been brutal for everyone, from how we conducted our personal lives, to how our livelihoods were impacted.
“A bright spot in all of this is the knowledge that there are those in our community of communities who continue to act in a selfless manner for the betterment of our lives. “
Eek said in order to a volunteer, it takes generosity, understanding, empathy, compassion, patience and dedication.
Sharing a line for Dr. Seuss, Eek said: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – The Lorax

Citizen of the Year

King presented Michelle Frauley with the Citizen of the Year award.
She was recognized for her dedication, generosity and time to given to the community as a caregiver, volunteer, resident and business owner.
In 2013, the experienced nurse founded Hospall Private Homecare for residents of King and surrounding areas and in 2016 she received an award from the International Nurses Association as a world-wide leader in health care for her overall achievements with Hospall and in her prior position at King City Medical Associates. During the pandemic, she took on a leadership role at our partner led King Township Vaccination Clinic. It was her personal goal to make the clinic and municipality a true success story and she did just that! She provided exceptional support, guidance and encouragement and was a mentor to the community volunteers, the doctors and nurses that she worked alongside with.
She helped everyone achieve success while safeguarding the community all at the same time. She brought the success of the Clinic to another level. Her achievements are truly admirable and will never be forgotten. She has left a legacy about being true to your convictions and doing the right thing all the time!
In her remarks, Frauley encouraged her fellow recipients to stop and smell the roses. “Sometimes were are so focused on getting to the next thing that we don’t realize how precious life is we forget to enjoy important moments,” she said.
She quoted Mother Teresa – “I can things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can go great things.”
Frauley extended her personal thanks to King Fire Chief Jim Wall for his leadership in the community and “for always believing in me and encouraging me to flourish.
“It is humbling to know that our township supports me in the way that it does.
“This is a very exciting time ahead for our Township and all our lives coming out of this pandemic. As a community we are stronger, and its a wonderful time to rejoice and live our lives to the fullest.”

Special Awards

Special Recognition Award is an award given to one or more citizens or an organization for a special contribution made to the community in whole or in part.
Bill Jones was honoured for his efforts within the community by attending the Dufferin Marsh Nature Connection on a daily basis to shovel, clean and flood the ice, which helped maintain and enhance the community skating, hockey and recreation activities at the Dufferin Marsh over the winters of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
His generosity and time to the community as a long-time resident of King is truly admirable!
Catherine Flear was praised for her involvement and dedication as a regular volunteer at the King Township Vaccination Clinic, active volunteer with Hope House Community Hospice (formerly) Hospice King-Aurora, active member of Concerned Citizens of King Township and Climate Action King. She also served on the Tree Focus Group and currently serves on the Heritage Advisory Committee.
Dorita Peer was honoured for her dedication to the arts. She initiated a writer’s group called WriteNow!@King, is a volunteer and director of Arts Society King (ASK) for over four years. Through ASK, she spearheaded “King’s Feet Underground Sound and Literacy Festival, King’s Autumn Reflections En Plein Air, White Shots Winter Photo Contest” and “Timeless Tales Writing Contest.”
Geoff Simpson lends his talents in computer software and graphic design to the King Township Food Bank. He’s also the group’s webmaster. As part of Concerned Citizens of King Township (CCKT), he oversees the group’s website posting relevant information and sending out communications to the CCKT membership, assists with food deliveries at the Food Bank, volunteer with Arts Society King (ASK), and volunteered regularly at the King Township Vaccination Clinic
Schomberg Village Association and Charles Cooper were showcased for the outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life within the village and surrounding area by working and supporting like-minded groups and individuals who strive to enhance and enrich our shared community. The group also comes together to organize and run A Main Street Christmas, which draws over 6,000 people and is attended by 98% of the Schomberg community and surrounding areas. In 2020 and 2021 the event could not occur due to the pandemic and the Schomberg Village Association brilliantly adapted it to be a drive-thru Farmer’s Parade of Lights keeping the tradition and spirits alive and uniting the community when we needed it most!
Nobleton’s Alf Budweth was honoured for his continued contributions to the Nobleton Tree Lighting. He’s also a strong supporter of Nobleton Victoria Day and A Main Street Christmas. Each year, the Nobleton Feed Mill puts together a float for the event. A volunteer with King Fire & Emergency Services for the past 30 years, Budweth will be recognized for this achievement at the King Fire Appreciation Dinner later this fall.
Jennifer Eaglesham was honoured for her outstanding effort and continued commitment to the Nobleton Tree Lighting. Year after year, she continues to impress with her flare and craftiness in creating the stage and the décor for the event. Member of the King Heritage Advisory Committee and Member of the St. Mary’s Parent Council in Nobleton.
Latif (Jim) Kassam, past-president of the Nobleton Lions, was praised for spearheading the Nobleton Lions Charity Golf Tournament, which has been a tradition for 10 years. It’s the club’s number one fundraising event. Kassam is the recipient of the Helen Keller award for outstanding service to his community; recipient of the Melvin Jones Award – the highest form of recognition from the Lions Clubs world-wide recognizing outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an award that is named after its founder Melvin Jones.
Ian McClelland and King City Lions Club, drew well deserved praise. Through the pandemic, the King City Lions Club remained active in the community and maintained regular meetings virtually. In 2021, a large garbage litter collection was organized and each member walked 1¼ miles in the ditch along Weston Road. During the Christmas period of 2021 and 2022, the Lions delivered 100 poinsettias, and organized a special Christmas carolling event at King City Lodge.
In 2021, 156 delicious roast beef dinners were packed in pouches for curbside pickup. The Club, in partnership with the Nobleton and Schomberg Lions Clubs, collected food valued at $10,000. The three Lions Clubs provided the King Township Food Bank with tote bags featuring the names of the three Clubs for users when picking up their food.
Earl Groombridge and the Nobleton Lions Club were also praised. The Nobleton Lions Club remained active in the community and maintained regular meetings virtually. President Earl and Lion Member Ek assisted in organizing a large clean up of Tasca Park last spring along with many members of the club. In 2020, Brookdale Treeland Nurseries donated wreaths and Christmas planters for seniors in the community and the Lions played an instrumental role in the distribution of the items.
The Nobleton Lions Club, with special mention to Earl, Bob & Manny, has helped to make the Nobleton Tree Lighting one of the Township’s most cherished events. The Lions have continued their efforts for the King Township Food Bank and was among the three Clubs who recently hosted the Lions Easter Egg Hunt, the Nobleton Lions upcoming events include Victoria Day and the Lions Club Golf Tournament.
Gord Dobson and the Schomberg Lions Club were honoured for their incredible support of the King Township Vaccination Clinic. They volunteer for the Parade of Lights and continue to support of the community’s events, activities and programs during such a difficult time.
A Special Recognition Award for a Non-Resident was given to Ann Del Favero for her effort and time with the Nobleton Tennis Club. As past president for 10 years, her success in increasing the membership beyond expectation, working to get the tennis courts resurfaced and involved in the construction of a clubhouse for our community tennis club which will benefit the Club for years to come is truly admired.

Senior Citizen
Award of Merit

The Senior Citizen Award of Merit is an award given to a senior in King to recognize and honor special contributions to the senior populations.
Carolyn Kanitz was honoured for her time and effort with the King City Seniors’ Centre as a board member. She designs and operates the Seniors’ Centre website, publishes the Seniors’ Centre newsletters, set up an email blast system to reach members quickly with updates, writes articles about the activities available at the Seniors’ Centre for the King Weekly Sentinel, organizes and runs the pancake suppers, potluck lunches and movie nights. She is presently organizing and stocking the Centre with materials that are required to run different programs. She has been and continues to be a valued member of the King City Seniors’ Centre.

Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement Award is an award to recognize outstanding citizenship within the community, with many years of dedicated service and devotion to the residents of King.
Bill Salter was recognized for his work with the Oak Ridge’s Trail Association, Concerned Citizens of King Township, the Cold Creek Stewardship. He’s treasurer and organizer of the Charles Sauriol Environmental Dinner with the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. He was also treasurer for the King Township Historical Society until 2021 and remains as an executive board member.
Dennis O’Hara was praised as a long-term resident and dairy farmer. He’s a 40+ year member and past-president of the Schomberg Agricultural Society; 40+ year member and present chair of the York Region Milk Committee; 40+ year member and past-president of the York Region Holstein Club. He initiated the idea of having a Farmers Parade of Lights over 25 years ago and has continued to organize the annual event. He spent two years as director of the York Region Federation of Agriculture and is involved with the teaching of the children’s liturgy class at St. Patrick’s Church.

Youth Award

Youth Award of Merit is an award given to a younger citizen of the Township to recognize special contributions to the Township of King.
Celina Lovisotto was recognized for her efforts in starting a non-profit organization called Bags of Promise (BOP) for homeless youth and partnering with companies such as LUSH Cosmetics and Roots Canada to provide backpacks containing hygiene products, non-perishable food items, snacks, school supplies and other necessities to youth shelters in the Kingston area.
Sofia Elisabeth Ouslis, volunteers at numerous events across King, including Christmas in King, Nobleton Tree Lighting, A Main Street Christmas Farmer’s Parade of Lights, King City Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival, Cold Creek Bee Festival, Soupfest, Raspberry Festival and various events at the King Township Public Library.



         

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