April 14th, 2018 by

Celebrating dedication to community

Part of the crowd celebrating volunteerism at the Travelodge April 14, 2018. (Photo: John Spitters/Quinte News)

A community couldn’t function without them.  These people are the very backbone of society.

The people being described are community volunteers.

Saturday, Volunteer Information Quinte honoured several volunteers during its annual National Volunteer Week Celebration Breakfast.

About 150 people joined in the celebration at the Travelodge even though the area was under a freezing rain warning.

Several nominees for awards were recognized just prior to the main awards ceremony.

The Maurice Rollins Community Leadership Award for Youth was created to recognize young people who are visionary leaders in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.

The winner was Kyle Ellis who began volunteering at a very young age.  He has volunteered with youth at Pegasus Cheer and Springbrook Ball League.  He also lends a helping hand at several events put on at the Royal Canadian Legion in Stirling-Rawdon.

Kylie will receive a Bursary of $2,000.

The runner-up for the Youth Leadership award was Jonathan Southward.  He has volunteered for seven years and has helped many organizations, including 30 hour Famine, Safe Streets Campaign, and MP Neil Ellis’ Youth Board.

Jonathan Southward accepts the runner-up award for Youth Leadership from Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher. The winner, Kylie Ellis, was not present.(Photo: John Spitters/Quinte News)

The Investors Group Business Volunteer Award went to someone familiar to many in the Quinte region, Maurice Rollins.  The award is given to a local business professional who invests time, skill and resources helping make the community a better place.

Darrell Smith of Investors Group said “In every letter of support we received for the recognition of Maurice Rollins we saw wording like humble, community minded, humanitarian, remarkable, and philanthropist. His support, both financially and as a volunteer, has spanned over seven decades”.

From left: Darrell Smith of Investors Group introduces Business Person Volunteer Award winner Maurice Rollins. (Photo: John Spitters/Quinte News)

From left: Hastings Prince Edward MPP Todd Smith, Mayor of Prince Edward County Robert Quaiff, Maurice Rollins, Mayor of Quinte West Jim Harrison, Mayor of Belleville Taso Christopher, and Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis. (Photo: John Spitters/Quinte News)

The final award presented was the Ruth Burrows Volunteer Award.

Longtime volunteer and former Belleville council member Selma Bochnek was the winner.

She has been volunteering since 1965.  She has spent years helping Belleville General Hospital, Quinte Health Care, and is now a BGH Auxiliary member.  Bochnek has volunteered with Christmas Sharing, Belleville Waterfront and Ethnic Festival, Canada Day and was an original founder of Volunteer Information Quinte.

While accepting the Ruth Burrows Volunteer Award, Bochnek said she was just doing what she wanted to do and loved every moment of her volunteer life.  Turning to the crowd, she said “Thank you so much for your work in the community. I feel honoured to be in the presence of so many wonderful volunteers.”

From left: Ruth Burrows Volunteer Award winner Selma Bochnek with the Executive Director of Volunteer Information Quinte Brenda Snider.(Photo: John Spitters/Quinte News)