Giving freely of their time and talents to support causes and activities that they are passionate about is the hallmark of volunteers. In Queens, volunteers are responsible for many programs, services and events that the whole community enjoys, and the community is a much more vibrant community because of the work they do.
Elaine Frail, of North Brookfield, and Nicole Van Dyk, of West Caledonia, were selected by ballot at the Feb. 25 Region of Queens Municipality’s Council meeting to be the community’s Volunteers of the Year. They will representing the Region of Queens at the Provincial Volunteer Awards in Halifax on April 7, 2014.
“Volunteers contribute significantly to our community,” said Mayor Christopher Clarke. “We are so fortunate to have so many volunteers who make the community stronger by giving their time. All who were nominated are deserving of recognition for the difference they make in Queens County.”
Among other contributions to her community, Elaine Frail volunteers much of her time at the North Queens Nursing Home and in her Church, and has held a number of executive positions and served on numerous committees with each. Frail also has been active in the North Queens School, as a literacy mentor, a substitute librarian, and assisting with school concerts.
As she is nearing the conclusion of her senior year in high school, Nicole Van Dyk has a strong sense of community and a track record for helping others that would be expected from someone who had been volunteering for much longer. Van Dyk has been very active in her school, serving on Student Council and class representative, as well as contributing time to many school committees, campaigns and participating in a large number of leadership conferences. She has been active as a sports coach and official, been involved in the local 4 H club and been active in community events such as the Canada Day Celebrations, Santa Claus Parade and as a waitress at church suppers. She also is a Duke of Edinburgh Program participant, and a Youth Volunteer on the local Medical Centre Board.
Also nominated for their volunteer efforts were three volunteers and a volunteer organization.
Gordon O’Hearn, of Milton, who serves as a Deacon of his local church, is a member of the local Crime Prevention organization, is active in the Queens County Food Bank, a member of the Masonic fraternity and a member of the Order of the Eastern Star (and has served in leadership roles in each), as well as 15 years involvement volunteering with young army cadets.
Anaclet (Cala) D’Entremont, of Liverpool has been a volunteer with the Queens County Food Bank for more than 10 years, holding several positions, including Vice Chair and Pick-Up Driver, volunteers with his church, serves in his local cemetery association, is active in the Queens County Association of Churches, and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
George (Georgie) Uhlman, of West Caledonia, was an active volunteer firefighter for many years; has been involved in the Queens County Fair exhibition committee; provided daily maintenance of the community skating rink; coordinates 4H events through the year; is active in the Horse and Pony Club; a member of the community Board of Trade/Chamber of Commerce; involved with youth; named Woodlot Owner of the Year, regionally and provincially; and organizes wagon rides through the community at Halloween, during Fall Fest and during Christmas events in North Queens.
Also nominated was the Host Committee of the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships, which includes Donna Hatt, Greg Thorburne, Paul Faye, Bob Wilkinson, Melissa Robinson, and staff person Heather Kelly, from throughout Queens/Lunenburg. Members put in a successful bid to host the 2014 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, worked with the community and business to develop partnerships to build community support, engagement and build anticipation and excitement ; and recruited and trained a group of 298 volunteers who were involved in every aspect of the event; and promoted the event to more than 2,000 spectators who attended.
There are over 250 community organizations in Queens County and thousands of volunteers who range in age from youth to nearly 100 years old. Community groups are contacted each year to nominate those individuals or groups they feel are representative of the volunteers of Queens … hardworking, dedicated, and committed to their work. Those nominated exemplify the spirit of volunteerism.
The Representative Volunteer Award, coordinated by Recreation Nova Scotia, is an award presented to an individual or group once in their lifetime. Each year, over 70 volunteers are recognized for the work they and others in the province contribute to the quality of life of Nova Scotians.