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HELPERS: Event volunteer group celebrated with 'sweet' party at Leisure Centre

The Volunteer Appreciation event was an opportunity to formally recognize and thank the volunteers for their efforts in helping out at town events

In honour of National Volunteer Week, on Wednesday night local volunteers, Mayor Rob Keffer and members of council gathered at the Leisure Centre for a 'sweet' appreciation event hosted by the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury.

The Volunteer Appreciation event was an opportunity to formally recognize and thank the group of volunteers who help out at town-run events and included treats from local bakery Sweet B’s, refreshments, and certificate presentations. 

The town's Event Volunteer Program was established in 2017, with group members assisting at various community events in Bradford West Gwillimbury, such as Canada Day, Carrot Fest, and the Santa Claus Parade. 

Volunteers in the program assist with a variety of tasks during events including event set-up and take-down, crafts, attendance tracking, information distribution and event survey collection. 

"We are a growing town with lots of events," said Mayor Keffer. "We couldn't put them on without all the volunteers. We still have that small-town feeling because of the volunteers that come out and help, so thanks so much."

Bethany Kuboniwa, leisure events and marketing supervisor, said the appreciation event is something the town has wanted to host since 2020 but was unable to until now due to pandemic restrictions. 

"We are excited to get this event off the ground and hopefully grow," she said. “Volunteers play an important role and contribute to the success of our community events, and we want to take a moment to celebrate and thank them."

Volunteer Julia Pethick just joined the program this year. 

"It seemed like a great opportunity to help out," she said. 

Pethick helped control the washroom lineups at this year's Pumpkin Fest and hopes to help out at more events this summer. 

Angelina Ith has been volunteering with the town for the past four years. She first started helping out at the library before joining the events team. 

"I like helping people out," she said. "At the beginning, it was to get my (community) hours for high school but then I just continued doing it."

Ith says one day she would like to work in the non-profit sector, noting that she also helps with Newmarket's Coldest Night of the Year fundraising event every year. 

Volunteers Praveena Prabhakaran and Apisha Satheeshkumar said they both enjoy donating their time to help out at local events. 

"Being involved, being in the community felt so great," said Satheehshkumar. "You get to interact with people and make new friends, it's fun."

"Being in a small town, you get to help out and people know you," added Prabhakaran.

Coun. Gary Lamb encouraged the young volunteers of the group to hang on to their certificates, to use on future job applications. 

"Volunteerism is going a long way into a successful career ahead, and I firmly believe that," he said. 

The following volunteers were recognized at Wednesday's event:

  • Marcio Marques
  • Delakson Baskaran
  • Apisha Satheeshkumar
  • Praveena Prabhakaran
  • Edward Chung
  • Maryanjali Muralykrishnan
  • Darlene Brunetta
  • Angelina Ith
  • Dillon McDowell
  • Vanessa Del Monaco
  • Sarah Matthews
  • Amanda Hoffman
  • Arthur Xu
  • Melissa Hann
  • Denyse Ashworth
  • Chiharu Usui
  • Julia Pethick
  • Chris Albrecht
  • Neda Babak
  • Sophia Carvalhais
  • Agatha Carvalhais
  • Kayla Sorrell
  • Evan Chase
  • Andrew Chase
  • Sujata Malik

For more information on the Event Volunteer Program, visit here

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Natasha Philpott

About the Author: Natasha Philpott

Natasha is the Editor for BradfordToday and InnisfilToday. She graduated from the Media Studies program at The University of Guelph-Humber. She lives in Bradford with her husband, two boys and two cats.
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