Teen’s effort doesn’t go unrecognized

Pictured standing in front of the Hannah Warren and Amber Venema Leo memorial benches, 17 year-old Loklyn Blanchette is awarded a certificate of thanks from South Dundas mayor Jason Broad. (The Leader/Comfort photo)

MORRISBURG – Just over a month ago an act of vandalism which defaced memorial benches dedicated to the memory of Leos Hannah Warren and Amber Venema had the community in an uproar.

Hundreds of people spoke out against the disrespectful mischief by two teenage boys on bikes who were seen carrying out the act, but only one person quickly and quietly took action to solve the problem.

When 17 year-old Loklyn Blanchette saw what had been done by those teenagers he went right to the benches and cleaned off the white spray-painted graffiti.

“We got a phone call about it and before we could even have our staff get out there to clean it up the next day, Loklyn had already cleaned it up,” said South Dundas director of parks, recreation and facilities David Jansen. “To see that Loklyn had gone and cleaned it up on his own, it was fantastic.”

Asked by The Leader why he chose to take such quick action to clean up the graffiti, Loklyn said: “I didn’t have anything to do, so I thought is would be nice to go clean it.”

“Congratulations Loklyn. You’ve set an example for the community,” said South Dundas chief administrative officer Tim Mills. “Thank you for setting an example.”

South Dundas mayor Jason Broad led a certificate presentation event held August 23 at the Morrisburg Waterfront with local officials and Loklyn’s proud family in attendance.

“We wanted to recognize Loklyn’s true community spirit,” said Broad. “Thanks for recognizing that what was done was inappropriate and cleaning it up. That’s really important and we thank you.”

“We highly appreciate the initiative that you selflessly provided to our local park and your sincere desire to make South Dundas a great place to live,” added Broad upon presenting Loklyn with a certificate of thanks and gifts of Playhouse tickets and Docksyde ice cream vouchers.

Trish Morrow, chair of the Morrisburg Waterfront Committee was also on hand to thank Loklyn for standing up against vandalism.

Loklyn is a Seaway District High School student.

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