2017 Smart and Caring Community Volunteers
- Volunteering started for Theresa, back when her kids were starting in hockey and ringette 35 years ago.
- She served on the executive of Keewatin ringette and on a number of committees for both hockey and ringette – from fundraising, tournaments, year-end banquets etc.
- She has been a 30+ years has been a church volunteer as a reader, at Saint Louis Parish in Keewatin.
- Since retiring from Pinecrest Home in 2015, Theresa co-organizes Notre Dame Funeral Luncheons/assists at funeral luncheons at St. Louis Parish, as a member of the CWL.
- She has been a leader for canvassers in Keewatin for the Canadian Cancer Society in the past.
- Theresa has been a Grief Facilitator for 21 years – her husband Larry died in 1995 and she identified a need in the community, that was not been addressed. She facilitates at least one group each year, which means a great deal to her
- She has been a member of the Kenora Community Palliative Committee for a number of years and this started when she was working and has continued on now, as a volunteer in her retirement.
- For the past 10 years she has been a member of the organizational committee for “Voices for Hospices” concert – to raise funds and awareness of Palliative and Hospice Care in Kenora.
- In the past year, she has begun volunteering with the Kenora/Rainy River District Regional Palliative Volunteer Program.
- She is a member of the relatively new coalition for Pregnancy & Infant Loss (PAIL) – helping to bring awareness and education to our community.
- In retirement, Theresa has begun a new career as a Meals on Wheels volunteer.
Since arriving in the Kenora area in the early seventies, Jack Martin has enjoyed a long and varied volunteer career.
In 1979, Jack was the co-founder and player of the Kenora Keewatin Old Timer Hockey League, where he enjoyed playing hockey with the boys at lunch hour and evenings until the year of 2006. Jack then began his coaching career with the Kenora Minor Hockey League from 1984-1994.
Jack was the founder of the circus program from 2005 until 2012. He began recruiting youth in Reddit and as the program grew, he brought it to Kenora, starting in 2009. Jack has been involved in many community building opportunities as a resident of Reddit. From 1981-present, he has been a member of the Reddit volunteer fire team. He was also a member of the Reddit emergency response group from 2002 to 2007. He served as a volunteer chair for the Reddit local services board from 1953 to 1990 and again from 2008 to 2015 (also during that time, Jack worked extensively on the water treatment project for Reddit).
Since 2015, he has returned as a member of the local services board. Jack founded the immensely successful triple play program in Kenora in 1994 and has since remained an active volunteer with the group. He was the chair of the interagency committee of the Kenora trading area from 1995 to 1999 and a member of the committee until 2015. He was a co-chair of the Kenora Community Foundation steering committee from 2003 to 2004 and a member of the Community Foundation marketing committee from 2004 to 2009. Jack states that “You’ll never have enough money so if you don’t have strong volunteers you’ll be up the creek. Volunteers bring richness to our communities”.
Mark has been an active Rotarian for 30 + years. During that time he was in the role of President and was integral in organizing 2 District Conferences in Minaki and Kenora, which showcased Kenora to many of our Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario Rotarian Neighbours.
Mark is a dedicated community resident always there to take a leadership role to support Kenora’s interests. After he took hotel management in Thunder Bay, he made the decision to come back to Kenora because of the quality of life here. He is proud to have stayed and made a living with his two kids, and has been proud to an active volunteer.
Mark was essential in Kenora’s ability to host both the Allan Cup in and Hockey Day in Canada. He also was a lead volunteer for the Preliminary 1999 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship before they went to Winnipeg. He has been involved with Kenora Centennial in 1982, RCMP Musical Ride 3 times, and numerous other sporting events that have been brought to town.
Mark has been a board member for multiple community based organizations, such as Kenora Hydro Commission, Kenora Police Services Board, Lake of the Woods Business Incentive Corporation, and has been involved with the Kenora Bass International Tournament for 13 years.
Lucia Melnick has been fearless in promoting arts and culture in the Kenora and Lake of the Woods region for over 30 years.
Since the mid 1980’s, Lucia has been the driving force behind the creation of the Harbour front Concert series, a weekly complementary musical performance held at the Kenora harbour front each Thursday evening.
Lucia has also championed the musical careers of dozens of local youth, including First Nation’s individuals from neighbouring communities. Lucia was also responsible for bringing the Winnipeg symphony to Kenora for their yearly successful musical concerts. She has spent numerous hours in the planning and research phases in order to secure talent for the summer musical summer concerts at the Kenora harbour front.
At the advanced age of 90 years old, she can still be found organizing each Thursday night concert as well as enjoying the musical performances.
Lucia ensured that her Thursday night concert series, also reached out to the region, by bringing concerts to the Sioux narrows area each summer. She is also busy a lining up musical talents for a variety of seasonal festivals in the Kenora and Lake of the Woods region.
Lucia cares deeply about the musical scene in our region and has done much to promote musical talent and to ensure a legacy of musical performances today and into the future.
Scouter Olean is an amazing person to have around. She has been a dedicated Scouter for many years, and has held a long list of roles through the years that shows her dedication to the Scouting program. Her history in Scouting dates back to 1978 as a new Leader, and her roles have included Beaver, Cub, and Scout Leader. She has received many “certificates of commendation” as well as “Medal of Merit” for her many good deeds undertaken in Scouting. She received the Silver Acorn award in 2007 for her especially distinguished service to Scouting. In 2011 she received the Silver Wolf award – for service of the most exceptional character to Scouting of national importance. It is the highest award a Leader in Scouting can achieve.
Olean has also been a mentor to many youth and her fellow Scouters. She is responsible for chatting up countless youth to enter the Scouting program, and has also been responsible for pulling, dragging, or coercing more adults into becoming Scouting Leaders (in the best way possible). Many Scouters and youth are in the program today because of Olean and her recruitment skills.
She has held various other local roles throughout her tenure such as within the Council or National Office as Deputy Assistant. This year, she is Group Commissioner for the 1st Keewatin Group (which she re-started just 2 years ago after the first group was inactive for many years) as well as being the Training Coordinator for not only the Kenora Area but for all of Northern Ontario. Olean is always around to help out. She is a true Scouter and a true leader.
Dean spends a great deal of time supporting the various needs of our community in a very quiet and unassuming manner. He provides a significant, and continuous caring presence to all students in the Saint Thomas Aquinas High School Family. He is regularly called upon to be the Master of Ceremonies at a variety of school and community related events. He also plays a lead role in promoting social justice initiatives at school and in the greater community.
Dean can be counted on to deliver whatever task is asked of him. For the past number of years, he has been a dock hand and boat monitor for KBI. He has performed bartending and security details at the yearly Harbourfest Events. He participates in the various Sunday ministries at his home parish of Notre Dame Church in Kenora. He is part of the planning committee for Agape Table as well as a weekly presence serving meals to the hungry.
He is the regular announcer of all Kenora Thistles AAA Midget home games. He has also recently taken on a new duty as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Dean is a caring individual and truly enjoys working with all members of our community.