2012 Hearts of the Community Volunteer Awards

by admin on February 20, 2012

One of Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula’s charms is that it truly is a close-knit community that cares, and this was on display this past weekend at the Hearts of the Comunity Volunteer Awards. Hosted each year by Beacon Community Services, the awards provide recognition to the dozens and dozens of volunteers who help make Sidney such a wonderful place to live.

While the Peninsula News Review has devoted almost an entire issue to telling the stories of the folks who won awards this year (and Beacon Community Services also provides the names of runners-up, plus recipients from past years), we thought we would do a little blog post to let other around the world know more about the great people that make up our community. So, here is a little more about the winners of this year’s awards:

Roberta Hower accepted the community service by a group award on behalf of 63 volunteer drivers of Beacon Community Services. The drivers offer door-to-door service for people not easily able to get to doctor appointments, do banking or go shopping, or just enjoy Sidney’s great natural surroundings.

The team of volunteers who organize the Sendial service through Thrifty Foods received the service to seniors award. The Sendial team receives more than 100 orders a week for groceries. Often family members set clients up – whether they are in assisted living or their own homes – with the program that costs $5 added to the grocery bill. Thrifty’s drivers who make the deliveries will often put away the heavy stuff like kitty litter. That’s just one way the Thrifty’s staff help aid the Sendial program.

Lori Orr received the award for service to children and families. Lori has done everything from organizing support for parents of the first quadruplets born on Vancouver Island (the family resides in Sidney), to organizing a fundraiser for a sick toddler. “I believe in holding the door … look somebody in the eye and say hi. You could totally change somebody’s day,” she says.

Kaley Ram, a student at Parkland secondary school, received a trophy and the $1,000 Ardena Simpson scholarship as part of winning the outstanding youth volunteer award. Through her work with student council, as co-chair, she’s helped run spirit assemblies, benefits and fundraisers. It’s a trait she started just down McDonald Park Road at North Saanich middle school.

The overall service to the community award winner is Judy Beinder.

Judy Beinder holds her eight-year volunteer position with Sidney Sendial program at Thrifty Foods, she’s done voluntary peer counselling for five years, and three year stints with Best Babies and Woodwynn Farm. She offered her home for a garage sale to raise funds for scholarships through the Canadian Federation of University Women Saanich Peninsula and served as president for the group for two years.

Finally, Jeannette Hughes was honoured with the lifetime service award for decades of volunteering on the Saanich Peninsula despite living with multiple sclerosis. Hughes has volunteered tirelessly to help make Sidney more accessible to people living with disabilities, and one of her proudest accomplishments has been to make Sidney sidewalks and curbs easier to navigate for people living with disability issues.