It’s been a busy year for the Dundas County Hospice at Williamsburg as they settled into and completed the renovations at the home purchased last spring.
And they couldn’t have gotten it all done without the assistance of volunteers who supply hundreds of hours each year to provide the love and care that Hospice has come to be associated with.
Wednesday, April 20, at the J.W. McIntosh Senior Support Centre in Williamsburg, Dundas County Hospice hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Night which included the naming of this year’s recipients of the Diane Annable Memorial Award for Volunteer Service.
A dedicated volunteer, Diane passed away in February 2014, and last year her husband Gary and son Thomas introduced the award in her memory. The first recipient was volunteer Sandra Jennings.
Gary and Thomas were on hand Wednesday night to present the Volunteer Appreciation Memorial to co-recipients, Ross Bennett and Bob Pitruniak.
“This year’s volunteer of the year is truly passionate about giving back,” said Lynn Gee (Hospice Program Assistant) who made the presentation to Ross Bennett. In addition to his commitment to Hospice, Gee pointed out that Bennett volunteers with Meals on Wheels, WDMH, and his church.
“He has made a big impact on the lives of our clients, who truly appreciate his soft spoken, warm and often humourous personality,” said Gee.
“[Ross] is very involved with our Day Hospice Program. He finds time to regularly visit with several of our clients as well as visiting others when the need arises. [Ross] is quick to offer help when he sees some is needed.”
The co-recipient of this year’s Diane Annable Memorial was Bob Pitruniak who was not in attendance. His introduction was provided by Hospice chair, Paul Renaud.
“Bob has been a volunteer with Dundas County Hospice for as long as I can remember,” said Renaud. “He has donated 100’s and 100’s of hours.”
In the 17 years Pitruniak has been involved with Hospice, he has served in various roles. As board chair, he led the effort to purchase the house in Williamsburg last spring, and spent many hours on budgeting, dealing with real estate, legal professions and contractors. He has also committed himself to banking, bookkeeping and financial reporting activities on an ongoing basis.
The evening guest speaker, was local author Jennifer DeBruin, who has three books A Walk with Mary, Shadows in the Tree and Daughter of Conflict.
With deep ancestral roots in New France/Quebec, Upper Canada/Ontario, and colonial America, DeBruin is a very entertaining and knowledgeable speaker.
“I am very happy to be here tonight, as my roots are in SD&G,” said DeBruin, explaining she was a Lalonde of Cornwall.
“I was never a girl who sat in a room wanting to be an author one day,” said DeBruin. “My grandmother inspired me for my first book, A Walk with Mary. She was Mary Seymour of Moulinette. Her father, Bill Seymour was the blacksmith.”
“I find very much my heartstrings tied to the river. Telling the stories of women, that is where my real passion is in my books.”
DeBruin shared her passion of writing, genealogy and the history of the UEL and the Lost Villages.
About Hospice: Dundas County Hospice offers services to persons suffering from terminal or life threatening illness. It supports clients and their caregivers through all stages of their illness and offers bereavement support.
Equipment is available through a loan program to help clients maintain independence, comfort and mobility.
Paul Renaud is board chair, Bob Pitruniak is past-chair and treasurer and Arlene Nesbitt is secretary. Directors are Sandra Jennings, Betty Guy, Mary Gibson, Janet Moorhouse, Kathy Spruit and Bob Sisson.
Coming up is the annual 2.5 or 5 km Hike for Hospice fundraiser on May 1, along the St. Lawrence River in Morrisburg.
A fundraising and awareness event organized by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, 100 percent of the Hike proceeds stay in Dundas County. Registration is at the Morrisburg Beach at 9:30 a.m. and a barbecue will wrap it up at noon. Registration can be made with a donation to Dundas.
For more information please call 613-535-2215 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org