At the opening ceremonies for Volunteer Week 2004, as many as 40 individuals and groups, 10 corporations and 6 media representatives were honoured for the work they achieve as volunteers and for their efforts to promote volunteerism in this province.
Hosted by the Community Services Council Newfoundland and Labrador, this year’s event took place at The Fairmont Newfoundland in St. John’s. Dave Salter of Rogers Television’s Out of the Fog provided a familiar and welcoming face as the Master of Ceremonies. Kevin Breen, president of the CSC’s Board of Directors, gave opening remarks with the CEO, Penelope M. Rowe, closing the evening.
A night of celebration
The celebratory mood of the event was heightened by three outstanding volunteer performances. To start the evening off with a bang, an upbeat performance was given by seven of the St. John’s Maple Leaf Dancers, compliments of the Sorenson School of Dance.
Local volunteer band Síochána got people’s hands clapping and toes tapping later in the evening with several lively music sets. The melodious voices of the Holy Spirit Choral Class, with conductor Gwen Carroll, was enjoyed by all during the closing reception.
What it’s all about - thanking volunteers!
In recognition of their dedication to volunteering, all individual and group volunteers received a beautiful, hand-painted wooden house with a poem about volunteers.
"We weren’t expecting all this, it’s great," said Don Duffie. Don and his wife, Su Cleyle, were two of the volunteers recognized on Sunday. Don and Su started volunteering at the St. John’s YMCA-YWCA in 1998. For the past five years they have volunteered there as fitness instructors. Su is also a member of the Y’s Board of Directors. The couple and their two young children posed with friendly smiles when they cut the cake during the reception.
Eva Coffey was an example of one of the many volunteers recognized that evening. Someone who demonstrates a big capacity for giving, for more than 50 years now Eva has been an outspoken volunteer with numerous groups and causes with the local church, the district, the region and the province. Eva’s widespread experiences include serving on boards, organizing fundraisers and sponsoring programs and events.
And the award goes to...
Corporate and media award nominees were presented with a nomination certificate, while award winners in these categories received a plaque. This year, two winners each were chosen from the corporate and media categories.
Winners of the Corporate Community Investment Award were Party Perfect and Kent Home Improvement Warehouse. Party Perfect has consistently shown a keen interest in community involvement by sponsoring a number of community events and making annual donations. Kent Home Improvement Warehouse provides donations to voluntary groups. Kent also provides space in the store for promotional booths and materials for voluntary, community-based organizations, and hosts workshops.
Winners of the Media Friends of Volunteerism Award were Lisa Gushue of NTV / OZ FM and Stirling Communications International. Lisa has been helping for several years with fundraising initiatives. She volunteers for various fundraising events and, although very busy, she is always there to offer advice or support. Stirling Communications International encourages volunteerism and promotes the work of many volunteer organizations through NTV’s Weather Hit and Evening Newshour.
Michael Devine, one of the CSC’s very own volunteers who was also recognized at the celebration, neatly summed up the evening, "It was a really great time."