Marlyne Crawford recognized for volunteer spirit
Miner and News
Thursday, November 3, 2016 9:45:27 EDT PM
Donald Crawford was the invisible unsung hero of the night during the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation’s fall granting ceremony.
He wasn’t in attendance when his wife Marlyne Crawford picked up top honours for the annual Smart and Caring Community Award. However, when the 66 year old accepted the honour, she pointed out she would share the award with her husband, who prefers to stay out of the spotlight.
“Half of the award goes to my husband because he was at home when I was out doing my volunteering, especially when I was out of town,” said Crawford about her 45 years of service in Kenora. “I knew I could do the community work I loved because I knew he could look after the children, especially when they were small. I knew the kids would be safe. He was my mainstay for being able to go out and do all my volunteering.”
Crawford was one of 11 long-time volunteers in the Kenora region who were recognized for their dedication and service during the Wednesday, Nov. 2 ceremony at the Clarion Lakeside Inn, and was one of three finalists from the nominees for the top honour. Crawford received the most support in an online vote in October. Her competitors for the online vote were Peter Kirby and Ruth Girard.
Crawford is best known to members of the Knox United Church for her tireless work in almost all capacities, especially in the kitchen where she served up meals and teas for many years. She’s also a member in support of the Dragon Tamers, and was involved with Scouts Canada and bowling.
“If my kids got involved, I got involved. I wasn’t a mom who dropped my kids off and left,” said Crawford.
Youngest son Wayne Crawford accompanied his mom to the ceremony and was proud others saw her the same way he did.
“She’s my hero; my inspiration,” he said.
Darlene MacGillivray, executive director for the Community Foundation, said it’s an honour for her to celebrate all of the recipients of the Smart and Caring award.
“To me they’re all winners because again they’re heartfelt in what they’re doing and they’re so passionate about it — you read their biographies and they’ve been going 38 years, 28 years, 14 years, not months or weeks, but years,” said MacGillivray. “These are people who are devoting their lives to their passion and they’re making a better place for all of us.”
The other nominees were: Irene McCuaig, Angela Kuchma, Heather Hammett, Debbie Everley, Gordon Day-Janz, Julie Hammill, Len Mark, and Ron Noseworthy.
MacGillivray said it was easy to see why community residents singled out Crawford this year.
“When you read her biography to see everything she’s done, it’s just terrific,” said MacGillivray.