** Editor’s note: As 2012 marks the year of the Peninsula News Review’s 100th anniversary covering the life and times of the Saanich Peninsula, we have crafted this news article in the approximate style as what might have appeared in our first issue of the Sidney Review, published Dec. 13, 1912.
The Hearts of the Community Awards ceremony was held at the Mary Winspear Centre on Thursday, Feb. 16. Speeches describing the outstanding volunteer activities of members of the Peninsula community were made by Ms. Sue Hodgson, director with Beacon Community Services, and Ms. Erin Cardone, the editor of the Peninsula News Review. The speakers were introduced by a cry created by Mr. Kenny Podmore, Sidney Town Crier, adorned in full regalia, preceded by a formal entrance by the kilted piper, Mr. Jim Ahara.
Performances of fantastic entertainment were given by Stelly’s secondary school students included numbers from their latest production called the Pajama Game.
Therefore, speakers described the outstanding contributions of each of the 24 nominated persons and groups who had been named for an award, before a crowd of more than 250 attendees.
Finally, clear glass trophies and gift certificates were given to the award winners, who include:
• the volunteer drivers of Beacon Community Services, earning the community service by a group award, accepted by Ms. Roberta Hower.
• the team of volunteers who organize the Sendial service through Thrifty Foods, for the service to seniors award, accepted by team captain, Ms. Sandy McCallum.
• Ms. Lori Orr, who received the award for service to children and families. She became emotional on the stage in a touching moment, inciting tears from many in the audience.
• Ms. Kaley Ram, a student of Parkland secondary school , who was presented with a trophy and the Ardena Simpson scholarship of $1,000, for winning the outstanding youth volunteer award.
• overall service to the community award winner Ms. Judy Beinder.
• and finally, Ms. Jeannette Hughes, who was honoured with the lifetime service award for decades of volunteering on the Saanich Peninsula despite being affected by multiple sclerosis. Bringing many in the audience to tears, including hostess Ms. Cardone, was Ms. Hughes’ long list of accomplishments and selfless contributions, especially to other people with disabilities.
Following the awards ceremony was a lunch of finger sandwiches and other refreshments courtesy of the grades 11 and 12 foods classes from Parkland.
It was a mostly lighthearted affair full of meaning and appreciation for the hard work the volunteers contribute to life on the Peninsula.