Community contributors commended – Sherbrooke Record

Community contributors commended – Sherbrooke Record

Lennoxville holds annual awards ceremony

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

The Lennoxville Awards Ceremony of 2024, held April 18 in Lennoxville’s Community Hall, celebrated individuals who have dedicated themselves to the betterment of their community through various acts of civics, volunteerism, and cultural contribution.

Around 50 local residents attended the event, presided over by City Councillor and Borough President Claude Charron, which featured light refreshments and live soft jazz music.

“Every gesture counts,” said Sherbrooke Mayor Évelyne Beaudin in a recorded video message preceding the ceremony, “on behalf of the city council, I say thank you!”

Borough Councillor Jennifer Garfat thanked everyone for attending and promised a more extensive ceremony next year. Charron commented that the annual event has been disrupted since 2020 by the pandemic. “We have to reset everything, we have a real challenge tonight,” he said.

“It’s nice to remember we have guardian angels here,” said Borough Councillor Guillaume Lirette-Gélinas, “we can never thank you enough.”

Below are the stories of the remarkable individuals and groups that were honoured this year for their outstanding achievements.

Citizenship and Volunteerism: Marisa Hoy

Marisa Hoy has been a cornerstone of volunteerism in Lennoxville, notably through her long-standing commitment to the 1st Lennoxville Scouting Group. Since joining in 2019, Marisa has played pivotal roles, from a volunteer leader for the Beaver Colony to the Group Commissioner overseeing all scouting sections.

Even during the challenging times of the pandemic, Hoy’s efforts kept scouting vibrant and engaging through virtual activities, maintaining strong group participation. Her leadership was integral during the return to in-person events, such as the provincial scout camp in 2022.

Recognizing her decade-long service to scouting and previous volunteer work with the Girl Guides, Marisa has also been previously honoured with Scouts Canada’s Medal of Good Service and the Long Service Medal. Her unwavering dedication exemplifies the spirit of community service and leadership.

“There’s not a lot of outside stuff for [kids] to do,” said Hoy after receiving her award, “that’s why I’m doing it, to help the little kids learn new skills.”

Citizenship and Volunteerism: Elaine Lebourveau

Elaine Lebourveau’s exceptional dedication to supporting seniors in Lennoxville and her involvement with Lennoxville & District Community Aid has been invaluable, providing escort-transport for seniors and delivering Meals-on-Wheels.

Lebourveau’s impact extends to her active participation at Hope Community Church, where she organizes and serves at the monthly Seniors’ Luncheon. This event is more than a meal; it is a crucial social lifeline for many seniors.

Elaine’s continuous efforts to bring comfort and joy to the elderly exemplify the profound impact one individual can have on the well-being of an entire community.

Citizenship and Volunteerism: George Martel

George Martel has made significant contributions to Lennoxville as a volunteer firefighter for over 50 years, deeply involving himself in various community events through the Lennoxville Firefighter Association.

His service extends beyond firefighting; he has also been a dedicated member of the local Army, Navy, Air Force unit for over a decade, managing renovations and serving on the board of directors.

In addition to these roles, Martel participates in the Meals on Wheels program, delivering meals and offering companionship to those in need. This multifaceted volunteer work showcases his commitment to improving community life and supporting his neighbors in meaningful ways.

Arts and Culture: Eight Misbehavin’

Since their inception in 2014, Eight Misbehavin’ have become a beloved part of the Lennoxville community, offering free Christmas concerts at Uplands. These concerts not only showcase their musical talents but also raise funds for community projects.

Their performances are characterized by a joyous atmosphere, with sing-alongs and festive gatherings that include specialties like mulled wine, creating memorable experiences for all attendees. Their contribution to the cultural fabric of Lennoxville celebrates the spirit of community and the arts.

Eight Misbehavin’s current core members are Sarah Heath, Stephanie Fournier, Jennifer Cianca, Fannie Gaudette, Daniel Miller, William Crooks, Jamie Crooks, and Tim Doherty. Former members include Melinda Enns and Sam Crooks.

“It’s a group of people that just love to sing,” said Doherty after receiving the award on behalf of the group, “it’s a nice thing to do at Christmas time.”

Youth Engagement: Fiona McMaster, Maille Baker, and Catherine Lampron

Fiona McMaster, Maille Baker, and Catherine Lampron were honored for their exceptional leadership in organizing the Bishop’s University Fashion Show, which raised over $28,000 for the Dixville Foundation.

Their efforts not only showcased the creative talents of over 100 student volunteers but also significantly supported individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. The fashion show, featuring two sold-out performances, highlighted the positive impact that motivated youth can have on their community.

Their ongoing commitment to the Dixville Foundation and plans to revive the ‘Best Buddies’ program underscore their dedication to fostering meaningful community ties and support systems.

“We just want to thank you all for letting us be a part of your community for the last four years,” said Lampron said after the three received their award.

Donald Patrick Award: David Wright

David “Skip” Wright is celebrated with the 2024 Donald Patrick Award for his extensive involvement in various community projects and organizations. Since taking the reins of The Townships Sun in 2000, Dave has been a fixture in local media and environmental initiatives.

His roles have included everything from editing and publishing to volunteering at the North Hatley Legion and mentoring at Bishop’s Dobson-Lagassé Entrepreneurship Centre. His ongoing presidency at the St-Francis Valley Naturalists’ Club and his involvement in the MADA initiative for Hatley Township highlight his commitment to environmental stewardship and community well-being.

Wright’s broad range of activities and his positive influence on the community embody the spirit of the Donald Patrick Award.

“It’s true what the other speakers have been saying,” said Wright after accepting his award, “we need the young ones to come in… and we’re doing it.”

After the award presentations, prizes were given out to attendees by random draw and those gathered socialized and enjoyed refreshments.

A booklet including the text from the awards night and every historical recipient will be available at the Lennoxville borough office some time next week.

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