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Bruce Dowdell takes the stage as VIQ Volunteer of the Year

At the Volunteer of the Year award presentation, from left, are: Doug Peterson Vice-Chair VIQ Board of Directors, Bruce Dowell, Brenda Snider Executive Director VIQ and Rene Aubertine Chair VIQ Board Of Directors.

“Mr. Milford” Bruce Dowdell was honoured as Volunteer and Information Hastings Prince Edward’s Ruth Burrows Volunteer of the Year on the weekend.

The South Marysburgh resident was “described as often the first to arrive and the last to leave, and his selfless, tireless and good-natured commitment to his community is an inspiration to all.”

The award was presented Friday as part of  the association’s annual Dancing with the Stars fundraising event at the CAA Arena, Belleville. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding and exceptional contribution to the community.

Dowdell and his partner Lenie were week-ending and working on their soon to be full-time home in Milford in 1998 when they heard the strains of “The Sound of Music” emanating from the nearby Mount Tabor Playhouse. Then chair of the Marysburgh Mummers theatre group, Monica Alyea invited Bruce to help out, having learned about his little theatre, professional lighting background and skills as a builder and carpenter, critical to ensure sets were completed for the theatre.

Since, he continued to dedicate his time to the Mummers as well as the Milford Fair Board and the South Marysburgh Recreation Committee – along with the many events and activities associated – including Easter parades, egg hunts, fall fairs and charity events.

“He is quietly involved; always willing to share a story or two along with way. Volunteers are the lifeblood to the theatre and no one contributes as much as him.”

He has been involved in 140 shows and never stepped on stage until his cameo appearance this spring in Two on the Aisle, Three in a Van, where he received a huge round of applause.

Most recently he became chair of the South Marysburgh Facilities Association for the second time.

“Not everyone wants to take a leadership role, not everyone wants to mop a floor, fix a leaking toilet or listen to complaints or be happy behind the scenes, but this individual does it all with a smile as he loves his community,” stated one of the nominators.

Volunteer and Information HPE (aka Volunteer and Information Quinte, VIQ) was established in 1966 and has grown into a multi-purpose agency focusing on volunteer recruitment and agency assistance, as well as a local information centre for human and social services and data provider for 211 Ontario. Its programs assist with recruitment, referral, retention, and recognition for volunteers with more than 275 agencies throughout Hastings and Prince Edward counties.

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  1. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Bruce is the unofficial Mayor of Milford.
    Congratulations Bruce on this well-deserved recognition.

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