Published in The BANAR February 2003
by Rainer Bloess
The second annual Blackburn Hamlet volunteer recognition evening was held at the Blackburn Community Hall on January 11. Community Builder Awards were given to three very deserving recipients and plaques and certificates of recognition to volunteers whose dedication and generosity continue to support so many worthwhile programs and services in our local community.
The Community Builder Award recipients were:
Gord Hawley is the treasurer of the Blackburn Community Association, a member of the Recreation and Parks Board and is this year’s Fun Fair chairman. He initiated and runs the youth dances that are a part of the very successful Blackburn Hamlet Youth Association which he started in the spring of 1998.
Over the many years that Bill Smith has lived in the Hamlet he has organized and has been the “behind the scenes guy” for many events. He served on the BCA Executive as the Civic Affairs rep and has worked with the Fun Fairs, Community Clean-up Days, Fun Run, NCC garden plots and Save the Greenbelt projects. Bill has also inspired groups of kids to pick up garbage along Innes Road on numerous occasions and is one of the gardeners who likes to tend the flowers in front of the Blackburn signs.
The late Virginia Valenzuela’s award was accepted by her husband, Joe and children Maya, Kalisa and Sienna. Virginia is best known for her memorable candy floss that she and her family served up at the Blackburn Fun Fair. She was also a member of the Glen Ogilvie School Council and parent volunteer at school activities, a Cancer Society canvasser and organizer of Bank of Montreal and other local fundraisers.
The BCA and I wish to express our sincere appreciation to the many residents who have helped to make this community special. We were pleased to present the Certificates of Recognition to the following people: Robert Shepherd, Sr., Robert Shepherd, Jr., Anne Gray, Suzanne Leroux, Ruth Torok, Al and Shirley Haggerty, Bev Hobbs, Ray du Plessis, Paul van Bruinessen, Karen Gaudreau, Roy VanKoughnett and Mark McAvoy. Kevin McGuire, Firma French, Michel Haddad, Scott Shepherd, Denise Abbott, Tina Loye and Bill and Lucie Durning who were not present also received Certificates of Recognition.
Blackburn Hamlet continues to boast a high level of volunteer involvement in community programs and services but “many hands make light work” and the time and talents of new volunteers are always appreciated. If you haven’t yet become involved as a local volunteer, I encourage you to take that first step and invest a few hours in an activity that interests you. Your contribution will help to keep our community vibrant, unified and prosperous.