• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Soulanges citizens and organizations receive Canada 150 Community Service Awards


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

The 20 proud recipients of the Canada 150 Community Service Award during a ceremony at Maison Trestler in Vaudreuil-Dorion last Thursday, November 30.

Twenty Vaudreuil-Soulanges citizens and organizations were recognized for their volunteerism and contributions to the region by Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Peter Schiefke during the Canada 150 Community Service Awards ceremony at Maison Trestler last Thursday evening, November 30.

The awards were created to recognize the positive contributions volunteers have made to their communities throughout Canada and to celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday. “This distinction is a national tribute to the devotion and hard work of these recipients, each of whom is committed to the growth and well-being of their community and its citizens,” said Schiefke.

Award winners

Four Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented. The recipients were Daniel Bertolino for Heritage, Monique Bourbonnais for Community Engagement, Elwood Quinn for Science, Technology and Innovation, and Maxine Bredt for Military and Veteran Support.

Gurinder Johal, Assane Badji, Benoît Bourassa, Ruth Pelletier, Pierre Séguin, Claudia Chebin and Maxine Perra each received the Community Engagement Award. Lise Chartier, Lorraine Messier and Michel Vallée, Vaudreuil-Dorion Director of Culture and Recreation, were presented with the Heritage Award.

Jim Beauchamp received the Sport and Active Living Award; Margaret McEwen, the Military and Veterans Support Award; Julie Hamel, the Excellence in Teaching Award; Mei-Lin Yee, the Diversity, Inclusion and Human Rights Award.

The Sparkes of Hope not-for-profit organization that provides an education to impoverished Haitian children of Puerto Plato in the Dominican Republic was awarded the Diversion, Inclusion and Human Rights Award on behalf of co-founders Jane, age 14, and Isabel Szollosy, 15.

The Le Nichoir wild bird conservation centre which provides care and treatment of injured birds to release them back to their natural habitat was awarded the Environment Stewardship Award on behalf of founder and President, Lindsay D’Aoust.

Recipients overwhelmed

At age 98, Bredt, who still volunteers her time to help veterans at the Ste. Anne’s Hospital, said she was pleased to be recognized. “Actually I’m quite overwhelmed. I didn’t expect this and I’m very thrilled to be a part of it. I’m very happy to be here. It’s a real highlight in my life. I’m still a volunteer at the veteran’s hospital. I go now and play cribbage. That’s about all I can do now,” Bredt told Your Local Journal.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Soulanges Liberal MP Peter Schiefke stands with 98-year-old Hudson resident Maxine Bredt, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Military and Veteran Support.

After receiving a diagnosis of terminal stage IV breast cancer diagnosis in 2009, Yee is now cancer free and dedicates her time to raising awareness and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, and Hope and Cope. She also uses her background as a lawyer to ensure the protection of patient’s employment rights during their own battles against cancer.

Yee said it was “wonderful” to have received the Canada 150 Community Service Award. “You do these things in your life and you don’t actually do it because you expect to get recognized. You do it because you want to make a difference. When you are recognized by the people in your community, it’s such a heart-warming feeling. I’m so thrilled tonight,” said Yee.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Soulanges Liberal MP Peter Schiefke stands with Mei-Lin Yee, recipient of the Diversity, Inclusion and Human Rights Award.

‘Incredible people’

Schiefke said he was proud to have been able to share the occasion with so many special people. “It’s an incredibly positive night. It’s very rare you have an opportunity to have 20 incredible people from your community all gathered in one place. The people that won the award tonight are truly the top that our community has to offer and I’m really glad and excited to be here,” said Schiefke.

“We have a lot of incredible people who are helping to contribute to the growth and strengthening of our community. What was phenomenal was hearing all of the stories of the nominees. I’ve learned about people I’ve never met before and what they’ve been doing literally for decades to contribute to our community in their own way. This was one of the top aspects for me of the entire ceremony,” Schiefke added.

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