By John Francis
Every year, the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula offers an opportunity for organizations to congratulate and thank their volunteers. This year’s event took place at the April 23 Council Meeting. Mayor Milt McIver presented each recipient with a certificate, acknowledging their service and thanking them on behalf of the municipality.
The first presenter was Ron Wheeler, speaking on behalf of the Friends of Cabot Head Lightstation. He thanked Ina Toxopeus for her exceptional service to FOCH. She was one of the founders of FOCH and has been on the board continuously ever since. She has carried a particularly heavy load during the last couple of years when the lightstation has been closed for environmental cleanup. “She’s been trying to retire for four years now,” Wheeler said.
Sheila Peacock, speaking on behalf of Tobermory United Church, celebrated two groups of volunteers at Recognition Day. The first group was the Thrift Shop volunteers (photo above), including co-chairs Bert Vancook, Dave Robertson and Jennifer Dewey.
The Thrift Shop raises more than $30,000 every year, offering goods that are, as volunteer Ron Williams assures everyone, “fully guaranteed — 30 seconds or 30 feet, whichever comes first”. Some of the Thrift Shop revenue goes to support the church but much of it goes to the outreach program for the community at large. The outreach program funds Christmas baskets, Easter baskets and emergency money for groceries, prescriptions, hydro bills and so much more.
April Patry of the Bruce Peninsula Health Services Foundation thanked the Lion’s Head Hospital Auxiliary for their impressive fundraising efforts. The LHHA contributed $107,000, which included fulfilling their $100,000 commitment to the MRI fund a year ahead of schedule. Patry stated that “The Lion’s Head Hospital Auxiliary is an incredible group who, through hard work, vision, determination, collaboration and compassion, worked together to achieve amazing results that have a huge impact on the quality of health care that is available to all of us on the Bruce Peninsula.”
Noreen Steinacher (left) of The Meeting Place in Tobermory offered praise for two of TMP’s hardest-working volunteers. Betty Dean (centre) has been a long-term volunteer, especially with the SOAR after school program. Chantal Dufour (missing from photo) moved to Tobermory a few years ago and jumped in to the life of the community with both feet. She has been a “phenomenal volunteer” at TMP, most recently, she organized the Sharing Dance Seniors program.
Nancy Forgrave (left), representing Bruce Peninsula Hospice, came out to thank and honour Janet Arnold (centre) for her service. Since joining the group in 2012, Janet has used her professional training as a nurse and counsellor to great effect; she is passionate about mental health and bereavement support.
Glenda Clark paid tribute to Beth Breen for her dedication to the Tobermory Truth and Reconciliation Group. Beth’s hard work, dedication and attention to detail have made for very productive meetings where all points of view are valued.