The Dorothy Whittick Memorial Award usually goes to someone who has set a high standard of volunteerism and dedication to the Seniors Resource Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador.
This year, four deserving people were nominated — so the centre decided to recognize them all.
The winners are Father William Browne, a former member of the board of directors and a long-serving committee member and entertainer at centre events; Marion Davis, a longtime volunteer and fundraiser; Cathy Kleinwort, who formed the Baccalieu Trail Advisory Committee for the centre’s satellite office in Spaniard’s Bay and serves on several local volunteer committees; and Bert Reid, a volunteer with the Friendly Visiting Program, which pairs volunteers with lonely seniors who have limited socialization.
The awards were handed out Thursday evening in the E.B. Foran room at City Hall at the centre’s annual party for its volunteers and supporters.
Visiting officials — including St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe, MP Jack Harris, and MHA Dave Denine, cabinet minister responsible for the volunteer and non-profit sector — paid tribute to the work of volunteers at the centre and around the province, which benefits from 35 million hours of volunteering annually.
“The work that you do is invaluable. We could not hope to pay for all the things that you do in your communities, and in your different sectors of your communities,” said Denine.
“Just look at your communities that you represent. Look at the things that would not be done because of you,” he said.
“Look at the people who would not have a smile on their face because of the things you do. And just look at your community and your province as a whole. And let me tell you, it would be a very sad place.”