Celebrating the helpers
By Brittany Kent and Karen Groutsche, PSP Ottawa and MFRC-NCR –
On Saturday, June 21 at the Westboro Legion, PSP Ottawa Recreation and the Military Family Resource Centre-National Capital Region (MFRC-NCR) will come together to celebrate their many volunteers. The event will include a BBQ dinner, trivia game, door prizes and cash bar, all fitting appropriately with this year’s theme: Country BBQ.
Volunteers from both PSP Recreation and the MFRC-NCR have been very busy this year. From honouring the fallen at Notre-Dame cemetery by cleaning headstones to maintaining an ice rink to keep the military community active, thousands of work hours were dedicated to making the NCR Defence Community stronger.
The ongoing dedication from MFRC-NCR volunteers reached new heights this year with three brand-new initiatives. First, the Veterans’ Headstone Spruce up Project at Notre-Dame Cemetery gathered 80 volunteers from various backgrounds who joined efforts and cleaned over 550 veterans’ headstones. One volunteer reflects on their time at the cemetery:
When I spend time taking care of a veteran’s headstones, I am reminded of how fortunate I am that my father came home… Each stone is a soldier’s story… A story of their service and sacrifice as well as the strength of their loved ones. Spending my time with this amazing group of people getting together to take part in something bigger than ourselves has been very humbling. Remembrance Day happens once a year but this experience will stay with me forever. –Anonymous volunteer
During the holiday season, WWII veterans of the Perley & Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre and their families kindly contributed by writing cards of support that were sent to deployed members.
Volunteers are everywhere surrounding Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country, but a special thanks goes to the ten military families who laid wreaths on behalf of CAF families at various local Remembrance Day ceremonies across the NCR
All of this is in addition to the regular team of volunteers including Board Directors, Warm Line Callers, Casual Care assistants, Guest Speakers, Welcome & Information Service Providers, Volunteer Services Assistants, Event Facilitators, Makeup Artists, Arts & Crafts Attendants, Remembrance Day Poets, Gift Wrapping Attendants, and Water & Cheer Station Attendants!
PSP Ottawa Recreation
PSP Recreation volunteers kept the NCR Defence Community out on the slopes, at the gym and active all year round with outdoor activities.
The National Ski Club volunteers helped over one thousand club members get the gear they needed and organized ski trips across the country. You may have seen them at the Ski Show at the EY Centre this year, eagerly looking for new members to share their passion with.
Volunteers at Uplands were responsible for the thriving Aikido lessons that are held every Wednesday and Friday, and for the ice rink where children of the community to skate and play hockey through the I Love to Skate/Play Hockey PSP Recreation program.
Lastly, on top of their tireless conservation work, the Fish and Game club always makes time for fun events such as the Kids Fishing Derby and BBQ, their Annual Banquet, Wine & Cheese Bingo, and a Potluck dinner.
If you wish to become a volunteer with the MFRC-NCR, please feel free to contact their Volunteer Coordinator at 613-998-4851 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to become a volunteer with PSP, please feel free to email them at recreation-PSP-Loisir@forces.gc.ca.
Photo: Courtesy of MFRC-NCR
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