One of three events in Alberta this week recognizing outstanding volunteer service to seniors was held at the Golden Circle Resource Centre in Red Deer on Thursday.
The first took place in Edmonton on Wednesday with the third and final one taking place in Calgary August 10.
MLA’s are honouring 29 volunteers and 10 organizations across the province this week nominated for a 2018 Minister’s Seniors Service Award, with 11 additional nominees to be recognized for the Alice Modin Award.
Among the nominees honoured in Red Deer on Thursday, the Lending Cupboard, an organization that loans-out medical equipment and daily living aids free of charge to enhance the quality of life for its clients and help them maintain mobility, independence and their dignity.
Executive Director Dawna Morey says the nomination means a lot to those involved with the organization.
“Last year we had over 10,000 hours of volunteerism dedicated by people in our community that really are the backbone of our organization,” Morey reveals. “This award really is for them and all the work that they do. I just happen to be the leader of the organization and am so humbled and proud to be that too.”
“We’ve just completed a big move to our new facility,” adds Morey. “So we know there are going to be more and more people coming through the doors. Last year, our year ended in June and we served over 10,000 people and it’s not just Red Deer, it’s important to understand that we support the whole central Alberta region.”
She points out it was a former employee who nominated them for the award, something Morey says is very humbling.
“It’s always a good feeling when you get nominated for an award,” concedes Morey. “Whether or not you receive it in the end is sometimes not really as important as knowing that people thought of you to nominate your organization. I think it says a lot about the organization and the impact it is having on the lives of people in central Alberta.”
Another local organization nominated for a Seniors Service Award is the Lacombe and District Volunteer Link.
Chair Albert Schermers says the nomination feels great.
“There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes on,” he points out. “We’re proud of what we do. It’s just good to help others in the community that are in need, there’s a lot of people kind of shut-in or need rides or whatever, so it’s just kind of good to give-back to the community.” Among her many contributions to seniors,
“We do 2,000 hours of community service a year,” he adds. “We provide services for people in need, for example driving for medical appointments or visiting or just generally helping people out. There’s a lot of need out there and it’s good to volunteer and give back to the community if you can.”
Red Deer’s Tony Connelly Singers have also been nominated for a Seniors Service Award in the Oragnization Category. The group in fact agreed to an impromptu song performance during Thursday’s event at the Golden Circle.
Elsewhere, individual nominees recognized Thursday included Dolores Dercach of Sundre. Dercach is said to provide volunteer service to the Sundre and District Historical Society, is a longstanding advocate and active board member for the Greenwood Neighbourhood Place Society and teaches older adults to be more active through a new walking program.
Fellow Sundre resident Joyce Wicks was also recognized for her efforts in improving the lives of seniors. Wicks is described as having a passion for helping others and with more than 40 years of experience in the health services field, has been a fearless advocate for patients and their families.
Meanwhile, Bill Wulff of Drumheller has been nominated for the Alice Modin Award and was also honoured on Thursday for his dedicated efforts to seniors. Wullf is said to have served his community for more than 30 years and is willing to lend a hand and support to seniors in any way he is able. Most notably perhaps, Wulff utilized his skills in the film industry to spearhead an initiative to broadcast council meetings on the local community channel for seniors unable to attend
Winners from this year’s group of 50 Seniors Service Award nominees will be announced in Edmonton October 1.
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