Heidi Grzesina / News in Port Colborne
The City of Port Colborne celebrated its volunteers April 16, 2015 in a Volunteer Appreciation Gala at the Italian Canadian Cultural Centre. Photo by Heidi Grzesina
The City of Port Colborne joined the rest of Ontario to celebrate Volunteer Week by honouring their volunteers at a Mardi Gras themed Volunteer Appreciation Gala held at the Italian Canadian Cultural Centre April 16, 2015.
All across the province, more than 9,000 volunteers have been honoured with a huge thank you from their respective communities – volunteers are the glue that hold our society together and no where is that more true than in Port Colborne.
The generosity of Port Colborne’s residents is often said to be unmatched, appearing to lead the percentage of participation per capita substantially.
The multi-generational crowd listened to music by SeaScape while enjoying a pasta and meatball dinner, tossed salad and a dessert that had everyone’s senses swirling with delight.
Mayor John Maloney greeted attendees before leaving for a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority meeting leaving Counc. Dave Elliott and Counc. John Mayne to lead the festivities and hand out the awards for service. Also in attendance were City of Port Colborne CAO Robert Heil, Counc. Barbara Butters, Counc. Angie Desmarais, Counc. Bea Kenny and Harry Hakim, manager of community services. City staff joined Jennifer Bowman, programmer and volunteer co-ordinator, and worked tirelessly to make this event a standout thank you to Port’s volunteers.
Gazing across the room, the effort was clearly appreciated – anyone of the volunteers gathered would tell you they receive more than they give, that sentiment echoed by volunteers across the province.
As Gail Todd of Something Else said of Lila Sebastiany when Todd was awarded the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award: “She’s been a volunteer at the museum, in the room with Bonnie Johnston and the gang, for more than 25 years. Imagine! She’s 91. That kind of community spirit and commitment is what inspires me. We can all make a difference; make our community better, one small step, gesture, and effort at a time.”
National Volunteer Week ran from April 12 to April 18 this year and provincially, awards included the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteer, the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards and the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism.