By Mac Christie News Editor Friday, December 29, 2023 Flamborough Connects delivers more joy than
‘What makes our community great’: Flamborough Connects celebrates senior, youth volunteers
Flamborough Connects celebrated youth and senior volunteers across the community at the Flamborough Volunteer Appreciation event on June 15 at the Waterdown branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Colleen Stinson, Flamborough Connects’ executive director, said the event is an “amazing opportunity to recognize and honour the outstanding volunteers we have across Flamborough.”
“Flamborough is a unique community and volunteering is at the core of Flamborough,” she said, adding that numerous organizations in the community rely on volunteers to deliver events and programming. “Volunteering is at the heart of what makes our community great.”
Here’s who took home the awards:
MARGARET ROBERTSON, SENIOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Robertson was nominated by Ryan Bridge on behalf of the Rotary Club of Flamborough AM. A founding member of the club in 2000, Bridge said Robertson has been involved with Waterdown’s Oh Canada Ribfest, Oktoberfest, Food4Kids luncheons, the Santa Claus Parade, Lobsterfest, Food With Grace, the Waterdown BIA, the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce, Information Flamborough and many others.
“Margaret’s work for our community has been lifelong and very, very broad.”
For her part, Robertson said, she loves the community.
“I feel very privileged to be recognized by the community, because I love this town so much,” she said. “Volunteering just doesn’t seem to be work — it’s something we all enjoy doing.”
BILL HETHERINGTON, SENIOR LOYALTY AWARD
Hetherington, a career EMS provider, was nominated by the Food With Grace Waterdown Food Bank, where he has volunteered for four years. Food With Grace’s Kayla Stinson said he picks up donations weekly, weighs the donations and sorts them for storage — as well as delivering excess food to food bank partners in the region.
“Bill is known for his warm smile and concern for shoppers who come to Food With Grace.”
For his part, Hetherington said, he is “honoured and grateful” to be recognized, adding that he likes helping the community and working with Food With Grace.
“It’s more of a social event than a job,” he said.
PAULA RESTIVO, SENIOR IMPACT AWARD
Restivo, a retired nurse, was also nominated by Food With Grace, where, Tracey Adomeit said, Restivo stays updated with safe food handling practices and manages the weekly inventory of food, as well as guiding fellow volunteers and promoting environmental efforts at the food bank. She noted that Restivo often devotes 30 to 35 hours per week to the food bank.
“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Paula for her outstanding contributions to the community,” she said.
For her part, Restivo said, it was “fabulous” to be recognized.
“It was very heartwarming for me,” she said. “I volunteer because it’s something I can give back to the community.”
STELLA DUNCAN, YOUTH MOVER AND SHAKER AWARD
Nominated by Food With Grace, Cindy Allen said that Duncan began volunteering for her 40 volunteer hours and wanted to continue making a difference. She oversees a group of youth volunteers at the food bank, and has also been involved in ArtsFest, Village Theatre Waterdown and the Teen Review Board with the Hamilton Public Library.
“If you want something accomplished, just call Stella,” Allen said.
For her part, Duncan said, it is satisfying to be able to do something for the community.
“There’s no way to feel more like you’re part of a community,” she said. “I really appreciate (being recognized).”
LEO LI, YOUTH COMPASSION AWARD
Li, nominated by Food With Grace, began volunteering at the food bank as a high school student to complete his 40 volunteer hours and continued to volunteer after they were complete. Nicola Zhang said Li sorts and stores food, as well as carrying groceries from some of the seniors who visit Food With Grace, and has also been involved with Waterdown’s Oh Canada Ribfest.
“Leo’s many volunteer contributions have a ripple effect through Flamborough,” she said.
For his part, Li said, he loves working with Food With Grace.
“It’s a great way to spend my time,” he said.
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