Volunteers recognized for community contributions

A volunteer gala and awards evening was held at the Community Centre last Friday.

To wrap up National Volunteer Week a volunteer gala and awards evening was held at the Community Centre last Friday.

After dinner, volunteers were entertained by comedian Johnny Bagpipes who had the audience laughing and out of breath.

There were three different awards presented — the Healthy Communities Initiative Cup, the 2014 Volunteer of the Year and the Distinguished Volunteer Service.

Denise Bignold and Bob Osmond presented the Kraft Hockeyville committee, who were all dressed in their unique jerseys, with the 2014 Healthy Communities Initiative Cup award.

The committee brought the whole town together through the Sylvan Lake Hockeyville 2014 page, which gave new, rapid and current updates on what was going on. The committee inspired people to vote, and would show people how to vote if they needed assistance. The committee gave the whole town bragging rights.

The committee was honoured to receive the award as Sylvan Lake was named Kraft Hockeyville for 2014.

“Hockeyville did something very special for this community. It’s something that we will never forget and we will always be Kraft Hockeyville 2014,” committee member Kelly Edgecombe said.

Karen Miller, the master of ceremonies, announced Ashten Fenwick as the winner of the Town Council Award, 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

Fenwick received several nominations for this award for her dedication to helping seniors and her neighbours.

She was the first volunteer of the Town of Sylvan Lake’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Friendly Visitor Program. She plays cards and visits with a gentleman once a week and brings a smile to his face.

A nomination described how “Ashten is truly making a difference in the quality of life for one of our residents and we appreciate her dedication.”

Fenwick, a Snow Angel, volunteered to clear the snow for seniors, but also cleared the snow for her neighbours too. No matter how cold or snowy the weather is, she will gear up in her winter wear and do the job, even if she has to wear goggles.

Another nomination read that Ashten goes above and beyond caring for our seniors. She looks out for her neighbours and is a great asset to our community. Without Ashten’s help these seniors would not be able to live in their homes. Ashten is a very caring and compassionate person that loves helping seniors in need of assistance.

“Thank you so much. I really appreciate everything that everyone else does in the community,” Fenwick said in awe of receiving the award. “I absolutely love what I do.”

Miller announced Donna Ellerby as the recipient for the Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service.

Ellerby has been on the board of directors for the Sylvan Lake and Area Community Partners’ Association for 13 years, four of those years as the chair, Miller said.

Ellerby was described to be much more than just a figurehead. She leads fundraising events to ensure the different programs run through the association are kept in place because she knows how much they benefit the community. She also volunteers at the events herself.

“It’s an honour to work with Community Partners,” Ellerby said. “We have wonderful staff who work so hard and give so much of themselves.”

She said it was nice for Community Partners to be recognized because sometimes they fly under the radar.

“We’ve been around so long that people sometimes think that we’re just there to give out food, furniture, kids clothing or whatever,” Ellerby said. “It’s nice to tell everyone what actually happens at Community Partners and what the staff actually do. I appreciate them so much and they work so hard. It’s a privilege to be able to work with them. I have loved all the time I have been with them.”