February 12, 2019; Liverpool, NS: The effect that volunteers have in a community is far reaching, impacting many areas of community life, much like how ripples spread outward when a stone is thrown into a body of water. Two volunteers were selected to be Volunteers of the Year by Region of Queens Council at the February 12, 2019 Council meeting. Lauren Amirault and Raya Stewart, both of Liverpool, NS, were drawn from a pool of 16 nominations recognizing the hard work and dedication of 17 individuals nominated over the past year through the Ripple Effect Volunteer Initiative; one of the nominations received was for a couple who does much of their volunteer work together.
“The Ripple Effect Volunteer initiative program is in place to allow community members to recognize and show their appreciation for the volunteers who have made an impact in their lives. Volunteers in Queens County do much to enhance our community, providing needed services, recreational opportunities, social connections and more,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “We are pleased that Raya and Lauren will be honoured for their volunteer work and represent Region of Queens Volunteers at the Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony on April 1, 2019.”
The Ripple Effect Volunteer Initiative is a program launched in the fall of 2015 to showcase the efforts of volunteers in Queens County. Nominations may be submitted throughout the year by members of the community; the nominees biographies and photographs are posted on the Region of Queens website, Facebook and Twitter pages, enabling the community to learn about the volunteer work of their friends and neighbors.
From those nominees, Council chooses two Volunteers of the Year for the Region of Queens who will receive an award at the Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony held the week prior to Volunteer Week in April. The Province of Nova Scotia’s Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony honours approximately 70 volunteers from across Nova Scotia each year for their commitment and dedication to community life. The Provincial Volunteer Award is a once in a lifetime award. The ceremony is being held on April 1, 2019, in Halifax. National Volunteer Week takes places April 7 - 13, 2019.
From February 2018 through to January 31, 2019, 16 nominations were received for the Ripple Effect, representing 17 individuals. Those nominated were Lauren Amirault of Liverpool, Katharina Cochrane of Liverpool, Larry Cochrane of Liverpool, Alex Doggett of Hunts Point, Debra Hansen of Hunts Point, Karleigh Huskins of Brooklyn, Faye Levy of Brooklyn, Dan MacLaren of Brooklyn, Barbara Ross of Liverpool, Bob Sanford of Liverpool, Raya Stewart of Liverpool, Chuck Taylor and Deborah Sponagle-Taylor of Liverpool, Lorraine ‘Cookie’ Trainor of Liverpool, Kathy Veinot of East Port Medway, Cathy Williams of Port Mouton, and Colleen Wolfe of Liverpool.
“Each of the volunteers who were nominated play very important roles in our community, and all of their contributions are valued. It is challenging to select just two as Volunteers of the Year; how can anyone determine the value of one act of volunteerism over another? In the interest of being fair, we draw two names randomly,” said Dagley. “We are very fortunate in Queens to have many dedicated volunteers – the nominees this year are a great example of the passionate, energetic and skilled volunteers in Queens, however we know there are even more who deserve recognition. Residents are encouraged to thank those who make Queens a great place to live - make a Ripple Effect nomination!”
Photos and biographies of Ripple Effect nominees, along with a downloadable nomination form are posted on the Region of Queens Municipality’s website http://www.regionofqueens.com/municipal-services/recreation/volunteering/overview . Due to the high volume of nominations received on or near the deadline for nominations, nominations for the 2019 award are being added online as biographical information is finalized.