It was nearly a packed crowd at the Lighthouse Restaurant at the Grand River Raceway as breakfast was served to recognize the many volunteers of the Victoria Park Seniors Centre in Fergus.
Singled out were the efforts of Barb McCaw a volunteer bus trip coordinator for the past 20 years.
Kathryn Morgan, supervisor of seniors services, thanked the agricultural society and the raceway for putting on such a great venue and great breakfast for the volunteers.
Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong was unable to attend, but provided a certificate recognizing the efforts of the local volunteers.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the community, who help make Centre Wellington such a wonderful place to live,” Chong wrote.
Stan Fleming, chair of the Victoria Seniors Centre advisory committee, offered a few words to the audience.
He said the reason people were at the event is “we are all volunteers at the Victoria Park Seniors Centre.”
He thanked local mayors and councils – first, the mayor and council of Fergus before amalgamation, and then to the four subsequent mayors and councils of Centre Wellington Township – for their support over the years.
“We now have a building and centre, the size of which is the envy of other centres,” said Fleming.
Noting Morgan earlier mentioned the volunteers hours represented about seven full-time staff, Fleming contended “if you think about it, seven full-time staff couldn’t do what the 170-plus volunteers at the centre do. They could not spread themselves out that far.”
He offered congratulations to the volunteers for another year’s service.
“Barb McCaw … over the years you’ve done a lot of trips. I’m asking you to make one more trip … up here (to the podium),” Fleming said.
McCaw quipped, “I can’t appear to find my way. I might be lost.”
Fleming asked those gathered “how many of you have enjoyed day trips with Barb? And the week in the summer.”
He said “for 20 years, Barb has been our volunteer for trips. She organized, escorted, looked after all the little obstacles and on your behalf; we’d like to give her something to remember us by.”
McCaw was presented with a landscape A.J. Casson print.
McCaw said, “You’ve never found me at a loss for words. But it was unexpected. Many of you have helped out at the centre for as long as I have.
“I told Kathy when I had to retire … when I get better … I hope to return in some capacity. To all of you who have travelled with me, it has been enjoyed. Our cruises to Alaska and Hawaii are highlights of my life. Thank you, it means so much.”
Following the presentation, those in the crowd listened to guest speaker Judy Suke, who stressed the need to always have a sense of humour.
Her message was “Let laughter lighten the load.”