“You’re the epitome of what’s good in this world.”
West Hants Warden Abraham Zebian praised local volunteers who spend countless hours, year in and year out, working to make this region the best it can be.
It was a sentiment expressed by all levels of government during the annual Windsor-West Hants Volunteer Awards banquet April 26.
More than 40 individuals and community groups were celebrated.
“When I hear of people like Kathy Johnston, owner of Fitness Junkies, inspiring women of all ages and sizes to become active, that’s inspiring to me,” said Zebian. “When I look at people like Mrs. Rita Porter, who has dedicated endless numbers of years of service, that makes me proud to say Hants County is my home.”
Porter was selected to be West Hants’ provincial volunteer for 2017, while Johnston-Isenor re- The jointly-presented Outstanding Community Service Award for 2017 went to the Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank. West Hants Warden Abraham Zebian and Windsor Mayor Anna Allen presented the award to volunteers Evelyn Oatman, Doreen Eagles and Cindy Loane, the food bank’s co-ordinator. ceived the municipality’s business recognition award.
Eighty-five-year-old Porter has been a volunteer in West Hants for more than 53 years. From canvassing and knitting for charities, to helping with local breakfasts and events, Porter gives freely of her time. She’s been a canvasser for the Canadian Cancer Society for more than 25 years and has spent several years helping with Heart and Stroke Foundation. She’s also been a volunteer with the Ardoise Community Hall for more than 25 years, and over the years, has also donated her time for with the Hants Senior Games Association, St. Croix Pastoral charge and the Avon Pony Club.
Johnston-Isenor founded Fit- ness Junkies a few years ago and has been helping people incorporate activity into their lives since relocating to the area about 10 years ago. Through her organization, she’s helped numerous charities and groups, including the Family Resource Centre.
Windsor’s provincial representative for 2017 — and the recipient of the Judy Fry Award — was businessman Jeff Redden. He was selected for his tireless enthusiasm in helping his community prosper. His business, Windsor Home Hardware, was named the business of the year.
Redden, who returned to the family business in 1993 to work with his father, Clarence, continually assists individuals, local community events and organizations. He advocates for the betterment of the region, whether through beautification — like his involvement with Communities in Bloom and the Windsor Tree Canopy project — or through improving the health of the community by supporting such groups as Christmas Angels, and the Hants Community Hospital Auxiliary.
VanEssa Roberts, the town’s director of community development, tourism and recreation, helped organize the volunteer appreciation event. When presenting Windsor Home Hardware with the Business Community Appreciation Award, she said it is more that just a store.
“One thing that people notice when you walk into Windsor Home Hardware is you feel like you are walking into your home,” said Roberts. “Staff know your name; staff are family and they treat customers like friends.”
She then reminded people of employee Mike Brown, who, shortly after Christmas, took on the role of Doc McStuffins and fixed a broken penguin flashlight, which brightened a little girl’s day.