Kindness in Action: The Barb Schlegel Volunteer Awards 2024

Barb Schlegel visiting with residentsIn the spirit of Barb Schlegel, whose genuine warmth and boundless generosity left an indelible mark on everyone she encountered, our Villages continue to be enriched by the selfless dedication of our volunteers. This year, as we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week, we honour the 2024 recipients of the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award, each embodying Barb's remarkable legacy in their unique way.

From the vibrant streets of Toronto to the serene landscapes of Guelph, our volunteers bring an unparalleled depth of kindness and commitment to our communities. One volunteer, with their culinary magic, transforms simple ingredients into treats that spark joy and nostalgia among our residents, creating moments of shared delight and connection. Another, through the gentle strum of a guitar, weaves melodies that transport residents to times of joy and youth, proving that music is a universal language that speaks directly to the heart.

In Windsor, a volunteer affectionately known as "Blue" has become the linchpin of our General Store, not just managing its day-to-day operations but turning it into a hub of laughter and camaraderie. Meanwhile, in Mississauga, the compassionate efforts of a volunteer who leads with empathy and patience illustrate the profound impact of simply listening and being present for those in need.

Our communities have also been graced by a volunteer who, with a background in nursing, brings an informed yet tender touch to her interactions, offering not just care but companionship and a listening ear to stories of yesteryear. Another volunteer’s dedication to fostering meaningful discussions around philosophy and life’s big questions has created a sanctuary for thought and reflection, enriching the minds and spirits of our residents.

The story of each volunteer is a thread in the rich tapestry of our Village life, where the social model of living is not just an aspiration but a reality, nurtured by the relationships at its core. Whether it’s through leading a reading group that brings together the wisdom of ages, or crafting hand-made cards that carry messages of love and friendship, each volunteer’s contribution is a testament to the power of giving.

As we celebrate the kindness, dedication, and passion of our volunteers, we are reminded of Barb Schlegel's enduring influence. She believed in the importance of every individual story and the strength of community connections. In their own unique ways, our 2024 award recipients not only emulate Barb’s exceptional way of treating others but also reinforce the sense of belonging and togetherness that defines our Villages. It is with immense pride and gratitude that we share a little about these extraordinary individuals, whose presence makes our community better every day.

Volunteer Appreciation Week 2024

Recipients of the Barb Schlegel Volunteer Award 2024

*Posted here as they are recognized at their Village.

Graca Volunteer AwardGraca Franco - Fairview, Toronto

Graca Franco has been a beacon of spiritual warmth and joy at Fairview Village, Toronto, for over five years. Her dedication to uplifting residents through song and prayer showcases her deep compassion and commitment. Graca's ability to bring smiles and a sense of comfort to everyone she interacts with makes her an indispensable part of our community.

Jane Volunteer AwardJane MacKenzie - The Village of Tansley Woods, Burlington

Jane MacKenzie’s infectious positivity and versatility make her a beloved volunteer at The Village of Tansley Woods in Burlington. Whether she is organizing activities or offering a helping hand, Jane's bright demeanor and eagerness to assist wherever needed are truly inspiring.

Rae Piche Volunteer AwardRae Piche - The Village of Glendale Crossing, London

Rae Piche is celebrated for her dedicated volunteer service every Saturday at The Village of Glendale Crossing in London. With over 140 hours of engagement, Rae's support for the recreation department and her gentle, patient interactions enhance the quality of life for residents. Her positive attitude and commitment have made her an essential and cherished member of the community.

Diana Volunteer AwardsDiana Perrotta - The Village of Riverside Glen, Guelph

Diana Perrotta brings a bright warmth to The Village of Riverside Glen in Guelph with her cheerful demeanor and helpful nature. Always ready to assist residents, family, and team members, Diana's kindness and positive attitude significantly enhance the community spirit. Her dedication makes her a beloved and invaluable member of the Village.

Barbara Lupu Volunteer AwardBarbara Lupu - The Village of Humber Heights

Barbara Lupu brings a unique blend of professional skills and personal warmth to her volunteer role at The Village of Humber Heights in Etobicoke. Her background as a Nurse Practitioner enriches her interactions, making her an invaluable asset in both healthcare initiatives and daily community life.

Lois - Volunteer Award RecipientLois Scrace - The Village of Sandalwood Park

Lois Scrace's dedication to The Village of Sandalwood Park in Brampton shines through her meaningful visits and participation in outings and special events. Her infectious smile and laughter create a joyful and welcoming atmosphere, greatly appreciated by both residents and staff. Lois's long-standing involvement in the Village as a family member and volunteer is a testament to her deep commitment to the community.

Shawnell - Volunteer Award RecipientShawnell Marshall - Erin Mills Lodge

At Erin Mills Lodge in Mississauga, Shawnell Marshall is known for her compassionate and patient approach to volunteering. Her genuine care and ability to connect with residents on a personal level enrich their lives daily. Shawnell's dedication to the aging community she serves is both inspiring and deeply valued.

Rick - Volunteer Award RecipientRick Bolhuis - The Village of Winston Park

Rick Bolhuis has become a fixture at The Village of Winston Park in Kitchener, continuing his mother's legacy with grace and enthusiasm. His friendly visits and leadership in reading groups and the Handbell Choir enrich the lives of residents, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Rick's dedication to the Village not only honors his mother's memory but also exemplifies the spirit of giving and compassion.

Bonnie - Volunteer Award RecipientBonnie Rawson - The Village of Aspen Lake

Bonnie Rawson has transformed her role from a ceramics instructor to a multifaceted volunteer at The Village of Aspen Lake in Windsor. Known for her nurturing and joyful approach, Bonnie's ability to create an atmosphere of fun and accomplishment during her classes has left a lasting impact on the community. Even after retiring from teaching, she continues to engage residents through various activities, fostering deep and meaningful connections.

Adele Buithuis Volunteer Award RecipientAdele Buithuis - The Village of Wentworth Heights

Adele Bulthuis is known at The Village of Wentworth Heights in Hamilton for her meticulous and thoughtful approach to volunteering. From working behind the scenes in the kitchen to creating hand-crafted greeting cards that surprise and delight residents, Adele's contributions are cherished. Her consistent presence and dedication are deeply valued by everyone in the Village.

Marilyn Malton Volunteer Award RecipientMarilyn Malton - The Village at University Gates

Marilyn Malton brings intellectual stimulation and thoughtful discussion to The Village at University Gates, Waterloo, through her leadership of the "Let's Discuss/Philosophy" group. Her well-prepared sessions and engaging topics encourage residents to explore new ideas, making every discussion a unique opportunity for learning and connection.

Connie Wallace Volunteer Award RecipientConnie Wallace - Hamilton Continuing Care

Connie Wallace has dedicated over a decade to enriching the spiritual lives of residents at Hamilton Continuing Care. Her passionate leadership of the Bible Study sessions provides both comfort and spiritual nourishment, making her a cornerstone of the community.

Irene Talent Volunteer Award RecipientIrene Talent - The Village of Taunton Mills

rene Talent's heart of gold shines brightly at The Village of Taunton Mills in Whitby. Since she began volunteering, Irene has become renowned for her grace and boundless kindness. Whether she's engaging in heartfelt conversations or assisting with daily activities, Irene's presence uplifts and inspires everyone around her.

Marilyn Wax Volunteer AwardMarilyn Wax - The Village of Arbour Trails

Marilyn Wax's multi-faceted volunteerism at The Village of Arbour Trails in Guelph spans from managing the village store to celebrating resident birthdays and leading the Residents' Council. Her proactive involvement and leadership skills greatly contribute to the vibrancy and smooth operation of the community.

Nancy McMurray, Coleman Care CentreNancy McMurray - Coleman Care Centre

Nancy McMurray's serene and compassionate presence at the Coleman Care Centre in Barrie brings comfort and reassurance to residents. Her involvement in spiritual programming and her role on the palliative care committee highlight her deep commitment to providing support and solace. Nancy's authentic relationships with residents underscore her invaluable role within the community.

Juliana Affonso, volunteer award recipient from Maynard Nursing HomeJuliana Affonso - Maynard Nursing Home

Juliana Affonso enriches the lives of residents at Maynard in Toronto with her cultural sensitivity and language skills. Fluent in Portuguese and English, Juliana facilitates communication and creates bonds that cater to the unique needs of each resident. Her personalized approach and deep understanding of cultural nuances make her an essential part of the Village community.

Joanne Rogers - Volunteer Award recipient from The Village of Erin MeadowsJoanne Rogers - The Village of Erin Meadows

Joanne Rogers enhances the lives of residents at The Village of Erin Meadows in Mississauga with her delightful baking program. Each Thursday, her culinary skills and warm personality bring residents together, fostering a sense of community and joy. Joanne’s dedication to both her program and additional village events showcases her genuine love for volunteer service.

Judy Menard, Volunteer Award Recipient 2024 at The Village at St. ClairJudy Menard - The Village at St. Clair

Affectionately nicknamed "Blue," Judy Menard is a cherished member of The Village at St. Clair in Windsor. Her vibrant energy and willingness to lend a hand wherever needed have forged deep connections within the community. Judy’s commitment to making the Village store a thriving hub of activity is a testament to her passion and dedication.


View Recipients Recognized in 2023

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