They span the realms of history and music and make-believe, and they work with children, the dying and distraught.
But a unifying thread does connect the 18 individuals and organizations named to Mayor Mike Bradley’s Honour List for 2014 – a desire to make Sarnia a better place.
“The list is a tribute to the unsung people and groups in the community who make a difference,” said Bradley, who will host a reception in their honour in the coming weeks.
The recipients are:
Over the past four years Blondin has organized a golf tournament that’s raised more than $35,000 for the Huron House Boys’ Home. He then bargain-hunts for much needed sports equipment and appliances and furniture for the home, all the while sharing his infectious enthusiasm.
BLUEWATER HEALTH HOSPITAL AUXILIARY
The Auxiliary, which has ceased operations after nearly 70 years, raised an estimated $2 million to helped with the construction of the hospital’s first palliative care suite, a patient van, money for dialysis units, and $250,000 for construction of the Norman Street building. Two volunteers, Ellen Murphy and Helen Ballard, alone put in more than 50,000 volunteer hours.
Chamberlain is a tireless advocate for literacy, a supporter of local charities and agencies, and a champion for Canadian literature. Over the years she and her independent bookstore have brought numerous high profile writers to Sarnia to meet residents and enrich the community.
Chappell has spent countless hours organizing the Lanxess International Women’s Silver Stick Hockey Tournament in Sarnia. This year marks the 17th for the tournament. His dedicated volunteerism has made the event a huge international success. Chappell has also served as Chairperson of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association.
Chin has helped organize the Dancing with the Stars Gala and the Weir-Ciccarelli Charity Golf Classic, which funded Dreams for Kids for four years. She is also an animal advocate and in 2013 launched a group committed to ending puppy mills in Canada. The success of the organization, with more than 15,000 members, has led her to become part of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.
KENWICK ON THE LAKE PARK PROJECT COMMITTEE: CO-CHAIRS KEN MACHAN AND KEN STOTHERS
This dedicated group of volunteers gave new life to the historic park in Bright’s Grove, which once attracted musical stars from around the world. The group, in partnership with the city, revitalized the playground equipment and built a small band shell for summer concerts. New washrooms and refurbished tennis courts are planned for this year.
Carman Lamb is a world-class Santa Claus who volunteers his time each year to bring joy and Christmas spirit to people and organizations throughout the community, both as Santa and as St. Nicholas.
LAMBTON COUNTY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Few organizations survive 85 years; even fewer without a sponsor. But the Lambton County Music Festival organizes a celebration of local musicianship each year with volunteers, donations and interest earned on previous bequests.
MARY JO MATHER
Mather is a tireless community volunteer who assists the relatives of residents at St. Joseph’s Hospice. She takes a special interest in bringing cheer and helping the grandchildren of residents become comfortable and relaxed. She buys items for the Dancing Under the Stars Gala, a major hospice fundraiser, and volunteers for the Salvation Army Kettle Drive at Christmas.
A 17-year-old St. Patrick’s High School student, McCann volunteers with Kids Help Phone, Pathways and other organizations, quietly and without fanfare. In 2012 she raised more than $7,000 for the local Youth Suicide Prevention Committee and now sits on the provincial Children’s Mental Health Ontario Youth Action Committee.
After losing her grandfather to suicide, McKinlay worked with Shine the Light to help raise awareness and generate discussion around mental health. The recent SCITS graduate also excels at sports, especially track and field, tennis, hockey and badminton and hopes to become a family therapist.
McLean is a local history expert who has volunteered with the Sarnia Heritage Committee for the past three decades. Her community knowledge has made her a champion of celebrating the future by remembering our past.
FRED AND DOROTHY MOSS
The Mosses, who have visited more than 70 countries, are Sarnia goodwill ambassadors who freely distribute city lapel pins and “talk up” Sarnia and Canada with young people around the world. They enjoy meeting people and telling everyone they can about the city.
Pede is a St. Clair Secondary School students who has been nominated for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award, received awards from Harmony for Youth, and given more than 800 hours time to various causes including tutoring and church youth group leader.
SARNIA CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION COMMITTEE: LIZ KENNY (CHAIR), ALISON MAHON, STEVE LANE, ROB DAWSON, BILL HAZLITT, BECKY WELLINGTON-HORNER, MICHELLE SMITH, ALEX JONGSMA, PERRY JONGSMA, KEN MAATEN, PAT MAATEN, AMY BURKHART
The Committee organized hundreds of volunteers to celebrate Sarnia’s 100th anniversary as a city in 2014, starting with a downtown New Year’s Eve’s party that attracted more than 10,000 people.
The Sarnia dentist became the first private practitioner in North America to buy special equipment that allows wheelchair-bound patients to receive the same dental care that most people take for granted.
DON VAN GOOZEN
Van Goozen recently retired after 44 years of voluntary service on numerous civic committees, including parking and traffic, planning board, planning advisory and the committee of adjustment. He epitomizes Sarnia’s motto of “People Serving People.”
DR. KEN WALKER AND MRS. DEB WALKER
The Walkers have dedicated themselves to promoting and organizing the Bluewater Triathlon, elevating it into one of the top five triathlons in Canada, while raising more than $160,000 for St. John in the Wilderness Anglican Church.