Arthur 2nd Look: Volunteers ‘heroes’ to school community

ARTHUR – While volunteers might be modest, they are indeed heroes to the local community.

On May 29, a group of five volunteers representing Arthur 2nd Look attended the Upper Grand District School Board’s (UGDSB) Everyday Heroes awards ceremony in Guelph.

The awards recognize the inspiration of staff, community members and volunteers involved in local schools.

The selection committee chose 11 finalists from a total of 29 nominees.

Criteria for the awards include performance at a high level at all times, a significant school or system-related achievement, a specific innovation or achievement of significant value or importance to the system, or a unique circumstance worthy of recognition.

Arthur 2nd Look is a small, 100% volunteer run thrift store that supports Arthur Public School and the school community, among other groups in the village.

Over the last few years, Arthur Public School has received thousands of dollars in donations to assist with purchasing additional education materials for students, fund special activities, reduce the cost of field trips for students, transport teams and more.

“Because of their efforts they have assisted in making Arthur Public School an absolutely amazing place to learn and work,” stated award nominators.

Mary Slater of Arthur 2nd Look stated the current incarnation of the local thrift store, which operates with 35 volunteers, opened in 2013.

For nearly four decades before that, the local thrift shop raised funds strictly for Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus, Slater added.

When that association ended, volunteers decided to continue supporting the local community.

In the past five years, Slater estimates nearly $175,000 was raised to support schools and other groups, as well as local hospitals.

In nominating 2nd Look, Jacklyn Winter, vice president of Arthur Public School’s parent council, wrote, “Each year this wonderful business donates their yearly profits directly back into our community.

“Over the last few years our school has been blessed with thousands of dollars,  donations  for school events and assisted our school with school activities and promotion.”

She added, “Because of their efforts they have assisted in making Arthur Public School an absolutely amazing place to learn and work.”

Winter said school council officials “would like to see this award given to 2nd Look because they are always going above and beyond for everyone else in out community (our school included) and we want them to be recognized for all the good they do.”

Arthur Public School principal Amanda Leathem echoed those sentiments.

“Over my four years here at Arthur Public School the donations received from 2nd Look … have directly benefited students, helping reduce the cost of trips, allowing for transportation of teams and subsidizing school wide student events,” said Leathem.

She added the efforts of store volunteers “have indeed made a difference to the students of Arthur Public School, indeed making them heroes to us.”

Arthur Public School Parent Council secretary treasurer Candice Morrison  said the Arthur 2nd Look volunteers “not only help out our school but do a lot within our community, as well and help bridge gaps between groups, schools and businesses.

“This helps make all of these places, especially us feel part of the community.”