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Wellings honours volunteers for outstanding work in the County

Jean Algar, Don Roberts, Esther Prinzen and Lisa Zachariah received the Wellings Volunteer Recognition Awards for 2017.

Prince Edward County volunteers were honoured on Wednesday for outstanding work in the community.

The Wellings of Picton opened the doors of its new adult lifestyle community located behind H.J. McFarland Home on Hwy 49 to host the second annual Volunteer Recognition Awards luncheon.

“We would like to applaud the efforts of all 10 volunteers nominated today,” said Rachel Henry, of Wellings, who hosted the event with co-chair Natalie Tommy, VP of Marketing with the parent Nautical Lands Group. “Their accomplishments are really and truly inspiring.”

Winners were awarded $1,000 each to distribute to charities of their choice. Judges were last year’s winners, Fran Renoy, Carlyn Moulton and John Mather.

Lisa Zachariah was presented the Wellings County Caring Award for her work raising money for numerous causes, including children and teens and their families fighting cancer, as well as a family evacuated from the fires at Fort McMurray last spring. From this work she created ‘Bags of Hope’ for patients and their families travelling to hospitals for treatment, and for the homeless. She fills the bags with supplies such as a cozy blanket, snacks, notebook and pen, or colouring book and pencil crayons, baby wipes, gum, water, and gas gift cards.

The County’s Jean Algar received the Wellings County Community Builder Award for her work with Hospice Prince Edward and other organizations.
Algar was inducted into the June Callwood Circle of Outstanding Volunteers in 2015. She has worked with Hospice Prince Edward’s community visiting and residential program for more than 20 years. She also volunteers at the Downes Avenue residence and its various fundraising events. Algar is also a volunteer with the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary assisting with the coffee cart and offering comfort in the endoscopy and dialysis clinics. She also participates in the many fundraisers for the hospital, as well as the Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day, the Picton Santa Claus parade, County Marathon and is an active member of her church.

Don Roberts was this year’s recipient of the Wellings Life Long Achievement Award for his work volunteering with numerous projects in the County. He has tutored at after school programs at Pinecrest and Queen Elizabeth public school and volunteered at the Reaching for Rainbows program at St. Andrews Church. He has also given years to the children’s drama camp at Mount Tabor and has evaluated silver and jewelry for the County Road Show at Macaulay Heritage Park, loaned servers and antiques and served at the Summer Garden Party. During the Christmas season he sings with Josephine Sarjeant at various locations entertaining seniors. He has also performed as a guid for walking tours at Glenwood Cemetery, volunteered with the Loyalist Humane Society, Picton Food Bank and participates in monthly church services at local nursing homes.

Esther Prinzen is the recipient of the first Wellings Exceptional Youth Award. The 17-year-old Gd. 12 student at PECI has accumulated more than 391 volunteer hours and continues to volunteer at Emmanuel Baptist Church. She has worked with First Nations children at a reserve near Parry Sound and at a camp for children in the County, along with pre-school and elementary programs at the church.

“She quietly does whatever needs to be done and is constantly looking for someone who needs help,” said Rachel Henry upon presenting the award. “Esther is constantly cheerful, always patient, completely kind-hearted and proves that the little things add up to a lot. She inspires others to do her best since she is always giving her best. She volunteers because she loves to help and that is a rare and beautiful thing.”

Henry also noted the achievements of all this year’s nominees:

Wellings County Caring Award Nominees:

Vicky Verner, who bag-by-bag and can-by-can, helps pets in the County from going hungry through her PEC Pet Food Bank.

Marilyn Hackett for being the “extraordinaire gramma-like volunteer for the Prince Edward Family Health Team, making the day for 18-25 mothers who drop in weekly at the Wellington United Church. She also volunteers with the Shriners community activities.

And Kate Brookfield for her work organizing the annual Wellington on the Lake golf tournament raising money to help send local children to camp. She is also instrumental in applying for grants to assist in purchasing a new Ontario Telemedicine Network System to bring psychiatric services to the County.

Wellings County Community Builder Award Nominess:

Sherrie Brown, who has been a volunteer and mentor with children and youth at 4H for more than 20 years. She also helps with the 4H milkshake booth and has served on the board of directors in several executive positions. She has also raised money for the Loyalist Humane Society, has been a Sunday School teacher and board member at Friendship United Church.

Larry Spencer, for his work with the Baxter Arts Centre. The former community planner organized fundraising and implementation of many improvements to the old Baxter Canning Company cafeteria including a new roof, renovated kitchen and washrooms, heating and air conditioning, insulated walls and wooden floor. He has been a director and secretary, and more recently, president of the organization.

Wellings Life-Long Achievement Award
Mat Smith, the longest serving member of PEFAC, serving for more than 12 years as treasurer. He was said to be instrumental in saving the fitness and acquatic centre from closure. Today it has more than 1,000 members.

“The contributions of volunteers is a fundamental part of any community,” said Brenda Snider, of Volunteer Information Quinte, who was the afternoon’s guest speaker. “It is important to bring together volunteers to thank them because without them, we wouldn’t have these many organizations.”

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