Volunteers spread smiles for miles across the Avon region

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on May 2, 2014
Windsor volunteers 1

Published on 02 May 2014

About 50 volunteers were honoured at the Municipality of West Hants and Town of Windsor Joint Volunteer Awards Banquet April 10. Pictured are, from left: back row: Noah Weigers, Nicole Leary, Wayne Redden, Arnold Whitehead, Mike Myers, Jamie Leary, Lorraine Vassalo, Stewart Creaser, Dan White, Kathy Monroe, Kevin Byrne, Linda Byrne, Joseph Bahri, Jeff Cross, Jerry Cleveland, Charles Trenholm, Dale Evans and Gary McLean; middle row: Leslie Porter, Cathy Creighton, Kevin Walsh, Stacey Walsh, Marlyn Pemberton, Wendy Brown, Sharon Ullock, Gloria Fogarty, Shannon Porter, Tena Moyles, Amber Harvey, Kimm Kent and Pat McLean; and front row: Maggie Weigers, Acadia Bunin, Candace Kimball, Pat Gould-Thorpe, Alicia Wile, Paul Long, Jackie Allison, Anne DeBaie and Rianna Robinson.

Photos by

Windsor volunteers 2

Published on 02 May 2014

<p>Pat and Gary McLean, the owners of McLean’s Petro Canada, received the Business Community Appreciation Award from the Municipality of West Hants. The McLeans were described as generous business owners who have sponsored a long list of local non-profit groups over the years they’ve been operating the Petro Canada in Brooklyn. Warden Richard Dauphinee presented the award.&nbsp;</p>

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Windsor volunteers 3

Published on 02 May 2014

<p>Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley presented Jeff Cross, the store manager of Sobeys in Windsor, with a Business Community Appreciation Award. Sobeys is continually supporting organizations and individuals in the Avon Region. Sobeys staff members often participate in local parades and festivals, or complete random acts of kindness within the community — and Cross is no exception. He’s paddled a giant pumpkin across Lake Pisiquid in the annual regatta, attempted the Slush Cup challenge at Ski Martock and shaved his head for cancer research.&nbsp;</p>

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Windsor volunteers 4

Published on 02 May 2014

<p>Chris Fry presents Patricia Gould-Thorpe with the Judy Fry Memorial Volunteer Award. Gould-Thorpe began volunteering at the age of 10 years, when she picked up some knitting needles and started making baby booties for the Red Cross.&nbsp;</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill

Windsor volunteers 5

Published on 02 May 2014

<p>Deputy Warden Gary Cochrane presented Alicia Wile with the West Hants Provincial Representative Volunteer Award. Wile was nominated by the South West Hants Fire Society.</p>

Photos by Ashley Thompson

Windsor volunteers 6

Published on 02 May 2014

<p>Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley presented Wendy Brown, branch manager at Scotiabank in Windsor and her colleague, Sharon Ullock, with a Business Community Appreciation Award. The Windsor Scotiabank donated more than $80,000 to community groups and organizations in 2013 and 2014.</p>

Photos by Ashley Thompson

It’s hard to imagine what Windsor and West Hants would be without volunteers.

Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley shared this sentiment at the Municipality of the District of West Hants and Town of Windsor Joint Volunteer Awards Banquet in Brooklyn April 10.

The work of volunteers, Beazley said, is felt throughout the communities.

“Where would we be without you?”

Warden Richard Dauphinee said volunteers devote their own spare time to helping others and inspiring positive change.

“They are truly great people who sacrifice themselves to bring the highest benefits to their communities without asking for profit,” he said.

About 50 volunteers were recognized at the banquet, which was hosted in the Brooklyn Civic Centre.


Alicia Wile

Alicia Wile was selected as the 2014 West Hants Provincial Representative Volunteer. Wile, who was nominated by the South West Hants Fire Society, has been actively involved with the organization for eight years.

In addition to serving on the executive, Wile has cleaned the fire hall, organized dances and dinner theatres, and offered to lend a hand with multiple fundraising events.

Wile also finds time to volunteer with the Avon View West Hants Band Parents’ Association and Hants County Runners fitness group.


Pat Gould-Thorpe

The Town of Windsor selected Pat Gould-Thorpe as their provincial representative and Judy Fry Memorial Volunteer Award recipient.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Gould-Thorpe a lifelong volunteer. She started knitting baby booties for the Red Cross at the age of 10 and held her first executive position with a community group at 12.

“When her small country church lost its organist, she learned to play the organ,” said VanEssa Roberts, recreation director for the Town of Windsor, in reading Gould-Thorpe’s bio.

Gould-Thorpe has volunteered with a number of groups, including: local churches, schools, guiding groups, the Federation of Agriculture, Provincial Library Council, Maritime Municipal Training and Development Board, Family and Children’s Services of Hants County, the West Hants Learning Network, Hants County Arts Council, the Windsor Rotary Club, the United Church hand bell choir and Windsor’s Communities in Bloom’s chapter.

“A firm believer in lifelong learning, she pursues knowledge about environment, health, technology and culture in seeking to improve quality of life for her family and community,” said Roberts.


McLean’s Petro Canada in Brooklyn

The Municipality of West Hants selected McLean’s Petro Canada owners Pat and Gary McLean as the recipients of the Business Community Appreciation Award.

The award recognizes businesses that go above and beyond to support non-profit groups or causes.

The McLeans have supported several local schools, fire departments, agricultural groups, community events and festivals since taking over the service station in 1998.

“Their motto is give back to the people who support them, which is what they have done endlessly over the years,” said Kathy Kehoe, recreation director for the Municipality of West Hants.


Scotiabank, Sobeys in Windsor

The Town of Windsor presented Business Community Appreciation Awards to Scotiabank and Sobeys.

Scotiabank employees often donate their time to help out with community events that raise money for non-profit causes, and the Community Fundraising Program matches funds the employees collect for local causes.

In 2013-14 alone, Scotiabank Windsor has donated more than $80,000 to various community groups and organizations. 

Roberts said Sobeys in Windsor has “touched nearly every group or organization in the region.”

Staff participates in parades and festivals, raises awareness of numerous non-profit causes and completes random acts of kindness.

“They have taken flowers to hospital patients, helped make meals at Harvest House, or have visited residents at the Elms,” said Roberts.

Store manager Jeff Cross has shaved his head for cancer research, paddled a giant pumpkin across Lake Pisiquid in the regatta and attempted the annual Slush Cup challenge at Ski Martock.

Roberts says one woman who collapsed in Sobeys learned just how helpful the staff at the local grocery store can be.

“Jeff followed up on her condition and the Sobeys team came to the rescue by supplying Christmas to her and her family,” Roberts said.


A few final thoughts

Rev. Bill Gibson, master of ceremonies for the volunteer banquet, summed it up best after calling for one final round of applause for the award recipients.

“Volunteering and action are not always fun things, they may not always be at the most convenient time or easy to do, but there are also golden moments and, above it all, the sun shines and you volunteers represent the sun for our communities,” said Gibson.

Gibson left banquet attendees with one simple request.

“If you see somebody without a smile tomorrow or the next day, why don’t you give them one of yours?”