Without the commitment of residents who populate the more than 200 volunteer organizations in Queens County, life in this community would be drastically different than it is today. The Region of Queens Municipality has developed a program to recognize and celebrate these contributions through “The Ripple Effect” volunteer recognition initiative.
According to Mayor Christopher Clarke, this sense of altruism and the commitment of volunteers in Queens is well-known, and “The Ripple Effect” will help to further this. “Most of us cannot remember a time when the citizens of Queens did not step up and help on a voluntary basis for projects large and small,” said Clarke. “It is Council’s intention to be more inclusive and proactive in recognizing them with “The Ripple Effect” being our vehicle to do so.”
Inspired by Liverpool resident Nykola Killam, the program will encourage people to give back to their community and, like Ms. Killam, set in motion a ripple effect that will have a positive effect in Queens. “Nykola wanted to teach kids to swim who may not otherwise have that opportunity,” said Norm Amirault, Director of Recreation and Community Facilities, “She was inspired by her late cousin Kirk MacLeod, who swam 10 miles across the Northumberland Strait to raise money for a camp for sick kids. We were touched and proud of Nykola’s efforts, which encouraged Council and staff to do more to recognize and celebrate the integral role our volunteers play in our community.”
It is also an expansion on the existing yearly Representative Volunteer selection process which, according to Clarke, was not generating the interest it once did. “For whatever reason there was a diminishing number of nominees for this honour. “The Ripple Effect” will open this process up so anyone in Queens can nominate a volunteer for recognition, and to be able to do so on a year-round basis,” said Clarke.
“The success of the initiative will be predicated on the number of nominees,” said Councillor Brian Fralic, Chair of the Recreation and Community Facilities Committee. “Our Council has a sincere desire to recognize and celebrate our Volunteers and hope residents will nominate someone. No contribution is too large or small.”
“The Ripple Effect” is being launched this week and information on the nomination process can be found on the Region of Queens website at www.regionofqueens.com, on the Region of Queens Facebook page, or by contacting the Recreation and Community Facilities Department at (902) 354-5741.