Barb Schlegel possessed the rare ability to make everyone she met feel like they were the most important person in the room. She genuinely cared for people; she wanted to know their stories and discover their passions, and she gave of herself freely as a volunteer in many capacities.
The kindness and dedication she shared with others in life is something all who knew her carry forward in her memory, and it’s fitting that an award was created in Barb’s honour to recognize the exceptional contributions our volunteers make in our Villages every day.
As the Villages celebrate hundreds of kind hearts during Volunteer Appreciation Week, 18 volunteers have been recognized with the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award. In their dedication and in their own unique way, they naturally emulate the way Barb treated others and they make their Village community better simply with their presence.
Our award recipient “treats everyone at WP like extended family,” says one of the nomination ballots from the Village of Winston Park. “You can see him here almost every day bringing smiles and laughter to everyone. They truly love his programs and he is so dedicated!”
Almost all of the nominations carried the same type of sentiment.
“Her dedication to the team and residents, her loyal commitment and her passion to serve others is admirable,” reads a message about the Humber Heights recipient. “She is a kind-hearted individual who puts a smile on our residents’ faces while forming truly authentic relationships in our Humber Heights Community.”
At several of the Villages, we see volunteers who were first introduced to the Village as family members before they quickly settled into a deeper role, and the gratitude is felt by both residents and the teams.
“When (she) visits, the residents’ faces light up, as she truly gives of her time to be fully present and engaging with the residents,” says the Erin Mills Lodge team of their award recipient. “Whether she is helping a team member with a program, or doing a sing-along with a resident one-on-one, (she) is a true inspiration to look up to.”
The social model of living the Villages aspire to create every day becomes possible because relationships are at the core of Village Life; our volunteers are a central part of the successes we are so proud of. It is an honour to share a little about the first recipients of the award created in memory of Barb Schlegel, who in her life was a humble inspiration to many.
Recipients of the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award
*Posted here as they are recognized at their Village.
Meet Barb Brokloff, recipient of the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award for her outstanding service at the Village of Wentworth Heights in Hamilton. Barb's caring heart and sense of humor make her more than a volunteer - she's a friend to residents and team members alike. She's been volunteering for almost five years, helping with grocery shuttles, recreation programs, outings, Christmas wrapping, 1:1 visits with residents and more. Barb's also a fantastic baker and likes to spoil everyone with her cookies and squares. She's truly a ray of sunshine who lights up the room and makes everyone feel special. Thank you, Barb, for all you do!
We're thrilled to recognize Chris Lehman, a newer volunteer at Coleman Care Centre, for his outstanding service in the dietary department. Every Tuesday, Chris brings a contagious enthusiasm to his work, washing and setting tables, helping with meal prep, and even folding towels. He's always eager to lend a hand and brightens everyone's day with his talk of monster trucks. Thank you, Chris, for your dedication to our residents and your positive attitude!
Meet Noreen, an exceptional volunteer at Erin Mills Lodge who brings joy to residents and team members with her kindness and selflessness. From assisting with programs to one-on-one, sing-alongs and even buying a resident's favorite war movie, Noreen goes above and beyond to connect with our residents. Thank you, Noreen, for being an inspiration and for making a difference in our Village!
We are so grateful for Brittney Robinet, a dedicated volunteer at The Village of Aspen Lake since 2017, logging over 2055 volunteer hours to date. Brittney provides companionship to our residents and advocates on their behalf. She has a unique perspective on facing challenges & obstacles in everyday life as a person living with cerebral palsy, and she tries to assist our residents with their physical challenges using the knowledge she has gained from her own experience. Brittney is more than a volunteer, she is truly an inspiration to our entire village community. Thank you, Brittney, for all that you do!
We are thrilled to announce that Ferne Allard has been selected as the recipient of the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award, becoming the first volunteer from The Village of Glendale Crossing to receive this prestigious honor. Since February 2017, Ferne has been a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer who has contributed in so many ways to the Village community. Her talents and skills are endless, and her caring and compassionate personality has left a lasting impact on residents, staff, and other volunteers. Congratulations, Ferne, on this well-deserved recognition!
We are thrilled to announce that Jim Fazekas has been selected as the recipient of the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award at The Village at St. Clair long-term care! Jim has been a dedicated volunteer since November of 2017 and has brought so much joy to our residents. Every Wednesday, Jim opens the General Store, where he is known as the "Popcorn man." With his infectious smile and quick wit, Jim builds authentic relationships with each resident he interacts with. During the pandemic, Jim went above and beyond to show his support for our community, riding his bike alongside our Village to offer his prayers. We are grateful for his tireless commitment to our community and the impact he has made on the lives of our residents.
We are thrilled to announce that Shari Farrugia has been nominated for the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award at The Village of Sandalwood Park! Shari joined the Sandalwood Park family at the beginning of the pandemic and has been an outstanding volunteer ever since. From screening and swabbing to supporting our BSO program, taking residents to appointments, and helping with special events, Shari has been there every step of the way. We are grateful for her dedication and kindness and consider ourselves lucky to have her as part of our Village Family.
Congratulations to Kevin Bradshaw for receiving the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award! Kevin started volunteering at Winston Park just 6 months ago, and in that short time, he has made a huge impact on the Village. From starting a weekly men's club to reviving the Winston Park Choir, Kevin has shown dedication and kindness to all the residents and team members. He truly emulates the essence of the award, developing authentic relationships with everyone he meets. Thank you, Kevin, for being a bright light in the Village!
Congratulations to Marguerite Davies for being nominated for the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award! Marguerite has been volunteering as a spiritual care and recreation volunteer at The Village of Arbour Trails for 9 years, supporting spiritual programmings such as hymn sings, bible study, Chapel Services, and spiritual care 1:1 visits. Her dedication to the village, residents, and team is truly inspiring, and she has continued to support them throughout the pandemic. We are thrilled to have such a bright light like Marguerite as part of our Village family!
Maynard Nursing Home in Toronto is proud to honour Gloria Regalado with the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award. Gloria's dedication to the Rosary and Prayer program every Monday morning for over 20 years has had a significant impact on our residents' lives. Her ability to intuitively understand their needs and share their feelings in a positive light has made her an invaluable part of our community. Gloria always prioritizes the residents of Maynard and continues to learn from each one. We are grateful to have such a selfless and compassionate volunteer like Gloria.
Donna Graham is a dedicated volunteer at The Village Of Tansley Woods for many years. Donna is always working at the General Store, providing friendly and warm customer service to all the residents. She takes the time to assist them with their purchases and engage in friendly conversations. We are fortunate to have Donna as part of our team. Congratulations on receiving the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award!
Congratulations to Carol Watson, our Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award recipient from The Village of Riverside Glen! Carol has made strong connections with residents through dining support, recreation activities, and special events. Her grace and empathy are truly inspiring, and we feel blessed to have her as part of our village community.
We are thrilled to announce Christine Anderson as the winner of the Annual Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award. Christine has been a dedicated volunteer at The Village of Erin Meadows since 2010, providing emotional support and care for our residents. She does countless things including dining assistance, tea socials, concerts, and special arts/crafts with the recreation team. Christine's dedication to making the lives of our residents and team better is truly inspiring. Thank you, Christine, for everything you do!
We are thrilled to announce Gilberta Cordeiro as our Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award recipient from Fairview Nursing Home! Gilberta is a true gem at our village, leading a prayer and singing group in Portuguese that has been a source of comfort and joy for our residents. Her kindness, compassion, and warm welcome to everyone in the group have been appreciated by all, regardless of their language or faith. Gilberta has also played a crucial role in encouraging some residents to participate, and her group was the first to come back post-COVID. We are so grateful for her dedication and commitment to making our community a better place!
Gabi is a well-deserving volunteer for the Barb Schlegel Award and we strongly believe she resembles the significance of this award. Gabi’s dedication to the team and residents, her loyal commitment, and her passion to serve others are admirable. She is a kind-hearted individual who puts a smile on our resident’s faces while forming truly authentic relationships in our Humber Heights Community. Gabi is always willing to help in any way she can and is often described as “an angel in disguise” by our residents. We are so grateful for her dedication and are excited to honour her with the very first Barb Schlegel Award here at The Village of Humber Heights.
Is always willing to provide an extra hand and help while she is here. Jayne goes above and beyond her volunteer role every day without being asked. Thank you, Jayne, for being you! Jayne is amazing! She talks, assists with eating, dances, tells stories, and listens! It is clear she cares and she brightens the resident’s days! She always takes the time to stop and have meaningful conversations with our team and residents. Always so kind when chatting! Jayne is an excellent, compassionate volunteer. She makes the residents happy!
We are thrilled to announce that Abbie Cavasin from The Village at University Gates is the recipient of the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award. Abbie has been a dedicated volunteer for over 3 years, bringing beauty and joy to our residents and team through her love of horticulture. She takes care of both inside and outside plants, involves residents in gardening, and still finds time to chat with everyone she meets. Abbie's outgoing, quirky, funny, and compassionate nature inspires everyone around her. Thank you, Abbie, for all that you do!
We are thrilled to announce Kathy Baker as the recipient of this year's Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award! Kathy has been a volunteer for 6 years and has made a significant impact at The Village of Taunton Mills. Her dedication to building authentic relationships with residents and her creativity in decorating the Town Square Gazebo has brought joy and comfort to many. Kathy embodies Schlegel's Mission, Vision, and Values and we are grateful for all that she does. Congratulations, Kathy!