Par­adise’s cit­i­zen of the year de­vel­oped val­ues in St. Lawrence

Tara Lynch cred­its her sense of com­mu­nity to grow­ing up on Burin Penin­sula

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY MAR­TINE BLUE PAR­ADISE, N.L.

Tara Lynch could prob­a­bly use a vol­un­teer to carry the scroll list­ing all her vol­un­teer ac­tiv­i­ties.

Orig­i­nally from St. Lawrence, she chairs the school coun­cil at Ecole Holy Fam­ily in Par­adise and was in­volved in the Santa Claus Break­fast, the Jin­gle Hop, and Fam­ily Fun Night. She was in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing the Kids Eat Smart Break­fast pro­gram to the school and reg­u­larly vol­un­teers for it. Lynch started a basketball pro­gram on Sun­days for Grade 3 - 6 stu­dents.

She is the novice co-or­di­na­tor of the Par­adise Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion and the di­rec­tor of pub­lic­ity for the Mount Pear­lPar­adise Fig­ure Skat­ing As­so­ci­a­tion. Tara vol­un­teers at her church, Holy Fam­ily Parish and is also on a com­mit­tee for the Ro­tary Par­adise youth com­mu­nity cen­ter.

All that and she is the mother of two young kids and works full­time as the events man­ager at Mile One Cen­tre.

On April 18, Lynch was rec­og­nized as the Town of Par­adise’s Cit­i­zen of the Year. Lynch said win­ning the award was “pretty ex­cit­ing,” but she added, “get­ting nom­i­nated was enough for me.”

Lynch aligns her ef­forts with her kid’s ex­tracur­ric­u­lar sched­ule. “I made the de­ci­sion to get in­volved in the ac­tiv­i­ties my kids were in­volved with and I just want to give back to the com­mu­nity.”

Glenn Sturge, pres­i­dent of the Mount Pearl-Par­adise Fig­ure Skat­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, said Lynch is “in­valu­able and al­ways takes on much more than she signs up for. She helps out with ev­ery­thing. She’s there on week­ends, she’s there night times, al­ways with a smile on her face. She’s just amaz­ing and I’m so glad she’s on our side, if we could have 6 to 7 more Tara Lynches the world would be a bet­ter place.”

Al­though she now calls Par­adise home, Lynch was born and raised in St. Lawrence. She at­tested that’s where she de­vel­oped her val­ues.

“Com­ing from a small com­mu­nity, I vol­un­teered in ev­ery­thing I could vol­un­teer in. I was in­volved with the church and the sea cadets and a lot of other events. A big part of why I do what I do now is my kids aren’t from a small com­mu­nity so I want to in­still that sense of com­mu­nity in them. I fig­ure the eas­i­est way is to get off my butt and get out there and vol­un­teer and be a pos­i­tive role model for them. I want to give them a sense of pride in where they are from.”

Lynch is grateful and hon­ored by the recog­ni­tion but in­di­cated that ev­ery­one wins when folks vol­un­teer their time and skills.

“I’m a big ad­vo­cate for get­ting peo­ple in­volved and ask­ing for peo­ple to give back to their com­mu­nity. It helps not-for-profit pro­gram­ming, it helps all the kids by giv­ing them a pos­i­tive role model and it cuts the costs of not-for-profit ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Take mi­nor hockey for ex­am­ple, our as­so­ci­a­tion is solely run by vol­un­teers and if we didn’t have vol­un­teers giv­ing their time, the fees would be much, much more and there wouldn’t be mi­nor hockey. It would be pri­vate hockey for profit and peo­ple wouldn’t be able to af­ford to par­tic­i­pate then.”

A big part of why I do what I do now is my kids aren’t from a small com­mu­nity, so I want to in­still that sense of com­mu­nity in them.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Tara Lynch ac­cepts her award as the Town of Par­adise’s Cit­i­zen of the Year.

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