Media Release: Smiths Falls recognizes community volunteers at Volunteer Appreciation event

June 19, 2021

Smiths Falls recognizes community volunteers at Volunteer Appreciation event

The Town of Smiths Falls is pleased to recognize members of the community who go above and beyond to contribute to the community’s well-being and make a difference in the lives of others. A virtual Volunteer Appreciation event was held on Thursday, June 17, 2021 to recognize volunteerism in Smiths Falls.

The Volunteer Appreciation event is typically held each June in Smiths Falls and while the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Smiths Falls’ Council and staff were pleased to be able to host a virtual event in 2021.

“Although COVID-19 has impacted our community, so many community organizations and individuals in Smiths Falls saw the pandemic as a call to action, one which propelled them to do even more great work in the community,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow. “We’re so pleased to recognize their hard work and commitment to others.”

The virtual event included a PICNIC Smiths Falls meal delivered to award recipients, a virtual magic show delivered by Outerbridge Clockwork Mysteries, along with the presentation of a video produced by Northwood Studio as a virtual way to recognize volunteers in the community.

At the virtual event, the Town of Smiths Falls recognized the efforts of volunteers at St. John the Evangelist, Trinity United, the Salvation Army, and St. Vincent de Paul at St. Francis. The collective efforts of Rideau Community Health Service and the Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary in coordinating to serve and deliver up to 1,000 meals weekly during the height of the pandemic were also acknowledged with appreciation.
The volunteer awards were awarded as follows:

Municipal Volunteer Award
Awarded since 1994 annually to a volunteer who serves on one or more municipal boards, commissions or committees. Recent recipients include Tony Humphrey, Bill Widenmaier, Shirley Somerville, Ken Graham, Irv Mazurkiewicz and Gary Lackey.

The 2020 Municipal Volunteer Award was given to Ron and Linda Stronski, founding members of the Smiths Falls’ Municipal Drug Strategy Committee, along with other related accomplishments.

Charles Gilhully Award
This award was donated to the Smiths Falls Recreation Committee by the Gilhully family in 1975 and is presented annually to a person like Mr. Gilhully who worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the pleasuring of bettering the quality of leisure time in Smiths Falls. Recent recipients of this award include Eileen Crosbie, Jim Pevere, Red Blair, Tom Foulkes, Karen MacPhail and Katie Hoffman.

The 2020 Charles Gilhully Award was given to Peter Au for his role in the inspiration of the formation of The Rideau Environmental Action League (REAL) in 1989. Au is a former Citizen of the Year and has been a major contributor to the Rideau Roundtable, Paddlefest and the Chinese Canadian Heritage Cultural Association.

Brooke and Brittany Henderson Award for Youth
This award was created in 2015 to recognize local youth who exhibit small town values and community pride through perseverance, commitment and dedication to attain their goals, whether it’s in sport, education, or community support. Former recipients include Brooke and Brittany Henderson, Neil Doef, the Lest We Forget Program students at SFDCI, the 2018 Smiths Falls Peewee “B” Beas, and Roslyn Craig.

The 2020 Brooke and Brittany Henderson Award for Youth goes to accomplished swimmer, Bailey Andison. Bailey was recently added to the Smiths Falls Wall of Fame and has represented Smiths Falls, Ontario, and Canada at various swimming competitions around the world and is currently participating in the Olympic trials.

Ontario Senior of the Year Award
The Ontario Senior of the Year Award is given by a municipality to recognize a senior who has contributed to their community and made their community a better place to live.

The 2020 Senior of the Year Award was given to Smiths Falls’ community icon, Gary Lackey. Lackey is a longtime school crossing guard at Brockville Street and Ross Street in Smiths Falls and his smiles and waves are a highlight for the hundreds of people he helps safely cross the street each day. He is a long-serving volunteer with a number of community organizations in Smiths Falls.

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For further information, please contact:

Shawn Pankow
Mayor
Town of Smiths Falls
77 Beckwith St N, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2B8
613-283-4124 ext. 1110
spankow@smithsfalls.ca