Local volunteers honoured with Impact Award

Caring Program award winner Freda Millar and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.
At left, Special Event award winner Marlene O’Brien.
The Volunteer Action Centre of Kitchener Waterloo & Area will present 14 local citizens, organizations and businesses with its Volunteer Impact Award, honouring the time and talents they contribute to the local community.

The awards will be presented on Thursday, April 19 at the Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener.

Canada’s National Volunteer Week is being held April 15 – 21. In Waterloo Region, 48 percent of the population over the age of 15 volunteers.

The 2018 winners are:

Caring Program Award - Freda Millar
Over the years Freda Millar has delivered over 7,000 meals for Community Support Connections Meals on Wheels and more. The ‘and more’ tends to speak to Freda’s volunteer efforts. Freda treats each and every person that she meets like they are her family and does everything in her power to make them laugh and to make them feel important and special.

Mentorship Award - Jill Strome

The success of the partnership between Langs and W. G. Davis school is much to be credited to the leadership and organizational direction of Strome. She is well versed with Langs mission, vision, values and is a big advocate and supporter of the programs and services. This semester alone, 19 student volunteers have volunteered 5440 hours to support the Early Years programs of Langs thanks to Jill Strome.

Organizational Support Award - Barbara Duncan

With the Fairview Senior’s Community and the Cambridge Library Barb Duncan works tirelessly to maintain and support their book exchange program. Whether researching book requests or organizing book sales, Barb is the driving force behind this library program for seniors.

Outstanding Youth Award - Chloe Jang

Chloe Jang is motivated to serve her community and she gives back with energy and enthusiasm. A third-year biomedical student at the University of Waterloo, she volunteers with:
• University Gates Seniors Residence
• Grand River Hospital Asso-ciation Supporting Children’s Education Nurturing and Development (ASCEND)
• Margaret Avenue Public School
• New Canadian Ukulele Youth Band
• Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre

Special Event Award - Marlene O’Brien

No task is off limits for Marlene O’Brien. If it needs to get done she will give it 100%. House of Friendship staff rely on the ‘Marlene Effect’ to provide support and creative problem solving for the Community Potato Lunch, The Golf Tournament and the Friendship Dinner.

Neighbour Award - Yvonne Hilker

Several scrap books attest that Yvonne Hilker epitomizes a Good Neighbour. At 86 years young she is currently volunteering in eight different roles in her senior’s complex.From friendly visiting to bingo calling she is inspiring others with her humor and commitment. She also volunteers with Golden Years Nursing Home and the Alzheimer Society.

Neighbour Award - Mamaye Yimegnuhal
The entire Sunnydale community would agree that Mamaye Yimegnuhal is an integral part of the community. She goes above and beyond in all of her work and is truly committed to being a “Good Neighbour”. She is an advocate for those who are not able to advocate for themselves and strives to create a community that is welcoming for everyone.

Multicultural Award - Community Coalition on Refugee and Immigrant Concerns
Waterloo Region is an inclusive, welcoming community and CCORIC contributes to this spirit of diversity and inclusion. A volunteer-based grassroots group composed of representatives from local immigrant and refugee serving agencies, faith group members, immigrants and refugees, and community members, CCORIC has held forums on mental health, the need for trained interpreters in healthcare settings, family reunification, and the need for timely accreditation of internationally trained professionals.

Board of Directors Award - Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation

Each year, the Board of Directors of the Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation sets a growth target, and for the past eight years they have not only reached their targets, but they have surpassed them. But what is even more notable, commendable and inspiring is that, as individuals, the Board Members of the Foundation invest a huge amount of time in the community on behalf of the Foundation. They are truly the community champions.

Committee Award - Professional Advisory Committee
​Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region is fortunate to have a Professional Advisory Committee which provides guidance and expertise on program development and delivery. The skills and commitment of this advisory assists in decision making about program direction that have clearly led stronger programs supporting more families in our communities.

Group Engagement Award - Menno S. Martin Contractor Ltd.

Putting people first is not just a catch phrase for Menno S. Martin Contractor Ltd., it’s a way of life. From supporting staff to donate funds and time to giving each employee $75 to conduct random acts of kindness, Menno S. Martin acts its values. In 2017 they also built fencing to provide private outdoor spaces for people transitioning out of House of Friendship addiction treatment programs.

Leadership Award - Chuck Snider

Among his many roles as Chair of the Cambridge Memorial Hospital Volunteer Association, Chuck Snider has provided leadership for the operation of three businesses; The Red Poppy Gift Shop (on- site gift shop), The Recovery Room (a thrift shop located in downtown Galt) and the ever-popular on-site Tim Hortons. In addition, he has been a key player in fundraising and board restructuring, and has also made time for regular volunteer shifts in the Diagnostic Imaging Department.

Volunteer Manager Award - Janine Armstrong

In Janine Armstrong’s term as Manager of Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region she has positively impacted thousands of individuals. Her ability to engage not only the conventional volunteer base, but to promote inclusiveness is inspiring. She has created numerous strong community partnerships with co-op students, community service individuals, retirees, individuals with disabilities, and teams. Recently, Janine was featured in a newspaper article for her role in integrating inmates from Grand Valley Institution for Women into a volunteer program and she will soon be working closely with McMaster students to create supports for volunteers with accessibility issues.

Volunteer Impact Award - Trevor Bauman
Thanks to Trevor Bauman’s behind the scenes support, over 4000 Christmas food hampers get delivered to people in need in the Waterloo Region each year. At one of the busiest times of the year, he takes more than a week’s vacation from his full-time job in order to volunteer with House of Friendship. For 36 years Trevor has been involved with the Christmas Hamper program, and for 26 years his leadership has been invaluable.