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Morinville fĂŞtes its volunteers

The Community Cultural Centre in Morinville was the scene of a rare event on Friday night during the town’s 26th volunteer appreciation ceremony.

The Community Cultural Centre in Morinville was the scene of a rare event on Friday night during the town’s 26th volunteer appreciation ceremony.

Apart from highlighting all of the fine people who give their time and energy for free, the town’s volunteer awards ceremony ended on a high note times two, as the Volunteer of the Year Award was won by two people.

In front of a crowd of approximately 350, Frank Volmer and Irene Grant tied for the prize for the first time in the town’s history.

Family and Community Support Services co-ordinator Amy Dribnenky explained that competition was fierce and the members of the awards committee were at an impasse over the debate between the two. The debate, she said, was hindered by the sheer volume of applications.

“To be honest, we had such a large number of nominations for all the categories this year,” she admitted, before elaborating on the specifics of the tie. “All of the nominations were really good. What it came down to was the committee just couldn’t come to a decision. We weighed the pros and cons of each one.”

She praised them both for their dedication and drive toward giving back to Morinville through various charities and community organizations.

The tie wasn’t the only first for the event. Two new categories were introduced including the Community Spirit Award and the youth category, the latter of which, many felt, was a long overdue addition to the proceedings.

Dribnenky said that the youths sure made their presence known, solidifying their place at the awards.

“We had a really good turnout of youth volunteers. That was very exciting, just for them to know that they were welcomed and included. Actually that was one of the recurring comments in the comment cards after the event. It was nice to see the youth there and represented.”

Because of its immediate acceptance, the youth volunteer category will remain on the slate of awards from now on.

In addition to Grant and Volmer’s tie for Volunteer of the Year, there were nine other awards presented to the following winners:

• Serge Froment, Leader of the Year;

• Lil Boddes, Legacy Award;

• Higher Grounds Espresso Bar, Municipal Sustainability Plan Award;

• Stephen Dafoe, Partnership Award;

• Lucie Roy, Silent Hero Award;

• Travis Loseth, Youth Volunteer of the Year Award;

• Rick and Joanne Hughes, Citizen of the Year Award;

• Therese Gervais, Heritage Award; and

• Dennis McCammon, Community Spirit Award.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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