‘Un­be­liev­able:’ Award is a bonus

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

“It’s kind of un­be­liev­able,” de­clared Van­kleek Hill Col­le­giate In­sti­tute (VCI) stu­dent Madeleine Fortin af­ter she won the pres­ti­gious Sovereign’s Medal for Vol­un­teers, which is awarded by the Gover­nor Gen­eral.

The hon­our rec­og­nizes ex­cep­tional vol­un­teer achieve­ments of Cana­di­ans from across the coun­try and pays trib­ute to their ded­i­ca­tion and ex­em­plary com­mit­ment to help­ing oth­ers.

The grade 12 stu­dent earned the hon­our for a va­ri­ety of vol­un­teer ef­forts through the VCI In­ter­act/Me to We Club and lo­cal char­i­ties. She was pre­sented with the medal by We Char­ity co­founder Craig Kiel­burger dur­ing the We Day cel­e­bra­tion in Montreal.

“I wasn’t ex­pect­ing it be­cause it’s not the rea­son I vol­un­teer, but it’s a great hon­our to be rec­og­nized,” said Madeleine.

“I couldn’t be prouder of her and her ac­com­plish­ments,” added VCI Prin­ci­pal Trevor Wheeler. “I can­not think of any­one more de­serv­ing.”

The hon­ours stu­dent, who has a 94.5 per cent av­er­age, has given an amaz­ing 232 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice through her school since Grade 9.

She helped or­ga­nize a card-writ­ing cam­paign and bake sale for the Vet­er­ans Tran­si­tion Net­work in 2015. She spear­headed a book sale in Novem­ber for Child Haven In­ter­na­tional, which raised funds for text­books for or­phans in In­dia, Bangladesh and Ti­bet. She was also a driv­ing force in three of the school’s We Scare Hunger food drives, gath­er­ing hun­dreds of non-per­ish­able items for food banks in Van­kleek Hill and Hawkes­bury.

Other char­i­ta­ble events she has been in­volved in in­clude the VCI Christ­mas Food and Cloth­ing Drive, Child Haven In­ter­na­tional’s an­nual fundrais­ing din­ner, a Din­ing in the Dark fundraiser for the Cana­dian Na­tional In­sti­tute for the Blind, and a henna tat­too fundraiser for Syr­ian refugees. She also founded a school mag­a­zine giv­ing stu­dents jour­nal­ism op­por­tu­ni­ties and has helped in past at the Cham­plain Li­brary.

This is the sec­ond award that Madeleine has re­ceived this school year. In the fall, the school pre­sented her with the VCI Ex­cel­lence in Char­ac­ter and Cit­i­zen­ship Award.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

VOL­UN­TEER HONOURED: Kiel­burger. Van­kleek Hill Col­le­giate In­sti­tute stu­dent Madeleine Fortin and Craig

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