County honours six people, one group for volunteer work

County council took a break from its usual deli­berations on April 24 to salute people who enhance their com­munities.

This is the third year that the county has worked with the Volunteer Centre of Guelph and Wellington to honour indi­viduals or groups from each of the municipalities.

Councillor Lou Maieron, who is liaison with the centre, said the program is growing nicely, and his work gets easier each year.

The theme of Volunteer Week this year is Volunteers. From Compassion to Action. The mayors of each muni­cipality introduced their local winners.

Centre Wellington Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj said Bev­erley Cairns is a founding mem­ber of the Elora Arts Council and has served continually on that board since 1985. She published a book documenting the artistic activities of the com­munity, called Profiles. She has been active in numerous other community organizations, in­clud­ing the Elora Environ­mental Action Group, the heritage committee, and the citizen’s coalition.

Guelph-Eramosa and May­or Chris White saluted Darryl Nichol, a former Eramosa reeve. White said helping in the community is second nature to Nichol.

He was a charter member of the Rockwood Lions Club, been involved in local Sports, service clubs, and church groups. He was a fundraiser for a new blood glucose testing device for the pediatric clinic in Guelph General Hospital, and collects and delivers hospital equipment to the Dominican Republic.

Florence Peer was the hon­oured recipient from Puslinch Township. Mayor Brad Whit­combe said she helped keep the Badenoch one room school, and has been active in the Badenoch Women’s Institute and local 4-H club. Peer is also a member of the Puslinch com­munity centre board, and the Aberfoyle Agricultural Society, and nominators estimated that she gives 600 hours of her time every year to volunteer work.

Warden John Green intro­duced the Mapleton Township winner by stating “If you’ve ever been to a ball game in Mapleton, she’s probably been there.”

He said Hetty Meulenbelt is instrumental in the lives of youth in the Moorefield and Rothsay area. For 30 years, she was involved with the Moore­field Athletic Associ­ation as a coach, team manager, scorekeeper, and treasurer. She is also a longtime contributor to the Mapleton parks, culture, and recreation committee.

As well as Sports, Meulen­belt has various roles in the Rothsay United Church, where she had been a Sunday school teacher, Sunday school super­intendent, youth group leader, and served as the church treas­ur­er for many years.

Minto honoured the Pal­mer­ston Lions Club for its achievements.Mayor David Anderson said the club has raised over $1-million for community projects since its inception.

The club, represented by David Wilson and Bob Emerson, saved the town and community thous­ands of hours of work with projects like the Norgan The­atre and the Palmerston Lions CN Park.

Erin Mayor Rod Finnie intro­duced his town’s winner, Gayle Lawr, and noted, “Vol-un­teers really do make a com­munity.”

He said Lawr has been volun­teering with the East Wellington Advisory Group for over ten years, and while with that group, she worked in many different areas, including the reception desk. She also volun­teers for the Belfountain ceme­tery as secretary and treasurer.

Wellington North honoured Raymond Tout. Mayor Mike Broomhead said Tout is sought for his skills and willingness to help.

Tout volun­teers with the Mount Forest Lions Club, where he has held various positions, a volunteer on the township’s economic de­velopment committee since 2001, and has been a member of the local chamber of com­merce for over a decade, and is chairman of the Mount Forest Fireworks Festival.