Cancer Society gives out yearly awards to volunteers who make a difference

Man and woman side by side each holding framed certificate
Katherine Lacroix accepts the Celebrating Impact in Corporate Fundraising Award on behalf of Ron Dunbar Home Inspection from Canadian Cancer Society Renfrew County Office Manager Roger Martin. Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Renfrew County Community Office’s success is due to its army of dedicated volunteers doing everything in their power to help in the fight against cancer.

In just the past year, 26 volunteers have traveled 321,000 kms to provide 2,386 safe rides to cancer-related appointments for 199 people. Sixty wigs were distributed for free to those going through treatment in Ottawa and Renfrew County and many patients and their caregivers were connected with trained volunteers through the Peer Support Program.

To thank those who made these statistics possible, a Volunteer Appreciation Night was held on Jan. 16 where the 2018 Community Impact Awards were distributed.

“I know that deep down, you likely feel you didn’t need to receive any recognition for your efforts but we simply could not ignore the fact that we cannot do it without you,” said Roger Martin, Manager at CCS. “It is because of the things you do that we are able to do what we do.”

This year’s Community Revenue Award was presented to Women Walking for Hope. This award is presented to a volunteer or group that initiates and champions a fundraising event in an innovative or unique way that results in a significant financial contribution.

“The group of women receiving this award for 2018 has successfully championed multiple fundraising events over the past seven years including an annual walk from Petawawa to Pembroke,” said Leigh Costello, CCS Fundraising Specialist. “To date, they have raised over $45,000 for the Renfrew County Wheels of Hope program.” She added. “This translates into approximately 510 trips to cancer-related appointments they have funded for local cancer patients.”

The Community Operations Award recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding efforts in support of the Society’s campaign activities and has made an impact in their area of support. Kerry White was this year’s recipient. “The gentleman receiving this award for 2018 has donated hundreds of hours since 2011 as a volunteer driver for our Wheels of Hope program as well as managing the annual Door 2 Door canvassing campaign in Renfrew each April,” said Costello. “Under his supervision, the canvassing campaign in Renfrew has brought in over $50,000 over the past couple years.”

The Community Corporate Fundraising Award recipient was Ron Dunbar Home Inspection. It recognizes an organization that has made a financial contribution to the Society and has embraced its mission by contributing a minimum of $5,000 per year.

The Community Fundraising Award recognized Kris Love. She successfully created her own annual fundraiser, a volleyball tournament called “Cancer is a Beach”. The Award recognizes an individual or group that initiates or champions an independent fundraising event that results in a significant contribution and can serve as a model for other independent event organizers.

“Over the past three years, this event has raised over $12,000 for the Society here in Renfrew County,” said Roger Martin, CCS Renfrew County Community Office Manager.

The Community Operations Award recognizes a business or group who has demonstrated outstanding effort in the support of the Society’s fundraising activities. EGM was given the 2018 award. They have not only sponsored some local CCS events but have also dedicated many hours to running the registration table at Relay for Life for almost 10 years.

Celebrating Impact in Relay for Life Award recognizes the top fundraising team. Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF)/Welch LLP received the award. They have been part of the event since 2004 and have raised almost $100,000 in 15 years.

“It is with these efforts that cancer patients are receiving the best treatment due to research as the five-year overall survival rate continues to rise,” said Martin. “With it being 63 per cent currently today compared to only 25 per cent back when we first started and even higher for some cancers such as breast cancer with 87 per cent current five-year survival rate, prostate cancer at 95 per cent and thyroid cancer at a whopping 98 per cent.”