Sunday, April 29, 2012

Volunteers Key to Town's Success

Last week was National Volunteer Week in Canada. Here’s a snapshot of just one week of volunteers in action in Pelham. Pelham Cares: Congratulations to the members of Pelham Cares for being awarded a June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism in Ontario last Friday! The Hon. Charles Sousa, Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, recognized eleven individuals and seven groups for their “…superlative volunteer contributions to their communities and to the province of Ontario.” As the nominee for Pelham Cares, it was my pleasure and honour to witness the awards during a special ceremony in Toronto. As you know, for nearly 30 years, Pelham Cares has supported Pelham and the surrounding area through a variety of community support services. They provide food and supplies to low-income or single parent families, fund sports leagues for kids and offer a volunteer driver service. Again, congratulations on this Provincial honour! Pelham Art Festival: Last Wednesday, the Pelham Art Festival committee held a special event to thank the many committed and creative volunteers who have arranged and organized the Festival for the last 26 years. Not only do they put together the best Art Festival in Niagara, they have also donated more than $345,000 to the Pelham Public Library! Thank you! Please plan on attending the Festival on May 11, 12 and 13 at the Pelham Arena. Fonthill & District Kinsmen: Thanks to the Kinsmen for organizing the Annual Home Show in the Pelham Arena. The show this year not only highlighted businesses, products, and services that serve Pelham residents, they also raise significant funds for Pelham Cares! Other Groups and Volunteers: During last week, I also had the honour of participating in special appreciation lunches for volunteers with the Woodlands of Sunset and Rapelje Lodge Regional Homes, and with the March of Dimes. Thank you to those volunteers who build gardens, pour coffee, organize events, and visit and pray with residents and clients. In addition, the volunteers with the Fonthill Lions & Lioness organized their Annual Agricultural Night to honour and thank the agricultural community for their importance and impact in Pelham. I was also reminded on this Saturday’s Community Clean-up when I saw volunteers from the Church of Christ in Fenwick picking up garbage along the portion of Welland Road that they have “adopted”. And, some Town-related committees – including the Heritage Committee, the Summerfest Planning Committee, members of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council – met to help move the Town forward in specific areas. And so, thank you to the hundreds and hundreds of volunteers in Pelham; you form the foundation of our vibrant and caring community. Because of your hard work and dedication, your vision for an improved Town is being realized!