Two of the key volunteers behind the development of Chamberlains Park have been named Conception Bay South’s citizens of the year.
Philip and Stephanie Gavell were honoured with the annual award on Saturday evening by the Conception Bay South Lions Club during the club’s 43rd annual charter night celebration which includes the annual Citizen of the Year event.
The Gavells, well-known in the town for their involvement in education, music, church activities and the C.B.S. Literacy Council, were nominated for the award by David Gill, Janice King and Maxine Reccord Pinhorn.
The award recognizes their tremendous efforts with Chamberlains Park Action Committee and its efforts get Chamberlains Park developed with the help of a team of dedicated community volunteers.
The park is a 16-acre piece of land donated to the Town of Conception Bay South by Irving Oil which for years operated a service station on a small portion of the land facing Route 60.
The parcel of land behind the former service station was donated to the town more than 10 years ago.
There were several attempts by community members to get the park developed and some progress was made, but it was five years ago that the Gavells and a team of other volunteers took the potential park under their wing and started to make things happen.
The park now features a wheelchair-accessible, one-kilometre walking trail which is nearing completion since the committee achieved its goal of getting a bridge erected over some marsh on the property. With the addition of the bridge and the final work on that section, the trail will soon link up to Chaytor’s Road and then the C.B.S. Highway, making it a complete loop.
Plans for the park also include a Japanese-style garden and an outdoor classroom in the centre of the property.
The committee’s work officially started in 2008 and the Gavells and other volunteers spent their first two years obtaining business and charitable status so that they could operate as a non-profit organization. The non-profit status enables the group to obtain funding from a variety of government, foundations, businesses and private individuals.
You can learn more about the committee and Chamberlains Park by visiting their Facebook page at Chamberlains Park - Interest Group.
Conception Bay South Youth Volunteer
With the Lions Club recognizing the town’s top volunteer, several years ago the Town of C.B.S. introduced a similar award for our youth. Nominations for the 2013 Youth Volunteer of the Year are being accepted until March 14.
The nominees and the winner will be recognized at the town’s annual volunteer reception on April 10, during Volunteer Week. For information visit the town’s website at www.conceptionbaysouth.ca.
The Town of C.B.S. is just one of the many towns, volunteer groups and organizations in the province and the country that recognize and celebrate volunteers during Volunteer Week, April 6-12.
The week, organized in Newfoundland and Labrador by the Community Sector Council, is celebrated in a variety of ways from afternoon teas for volunteers to more formal events with presentation of awards.
The honorary chairperson of this year’s Newfoundland and Labrador Volunteer Week is Dr. Andrew Furey of St. John’s.
Furey is the co-founder and president of Team Broken Earth and has completed 10 volunteer medical missions to Port au Prince, Haiti, since the earthquake in January 2010.
If your organization is interested in participating in Volunteer Week to recognize your volunteers you can learn more online from the volunteer week section of the Community Sector Council’s website at communitysector.nl.ca.
Joan Butler is a lifelong resident of Kelligrews,
Conception Bay South. She can be reached
by email at email@example.com.