Volunteers honoured in Smiths Falls

May 18, 2018 by
Mayor Shawn Pankow and Bill Widenmaier

Mayor Shawn Pankow and Bill Widenmaier

It was a full house at the Smiths Falls Volunteer Appreciation held at the Station Theatre on Thursday, May 17th.

“He or she who serves always benefits more than those who are served,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow, before introducing the surprise guest speaker – Ottawa Senator defenseman Mark Borowiecki a former Smiths Falls Bears player.

“My years in Smiths Falls were the best years of my life,” said Borowiecki.

This year’s recipient of the Municipal Volunteer Award was former educator and school principal Bill Widenmaier, who has served as both Chair and Vice of the Library Board since 2007, as well as serving on the town’s Committee of Adjustment and  Planning Advisory Board.

“Bill also served four consecutive terms on town council from 1992 to 2003 and was highly regarded and respected for his insights, informed opinions and more importantly for his happy-go-lucky attitude,” said Pankow.

The recipient of the Charles Gilhuly Award for 2018 is Katie Hoffman, Chair of Friends of the Library.

Mayor Pankow and Katie Hoffman

Mayor Pankow and Katie Hoffman

“She became very involved in a variety of causes, including organizing lunch programs at local schools, serving with the hospital auxiliary and Pre-Natal Clinic and serving as a board member of Open Doors,” said Pankow.

Hoffman is also an organizer and participant in the Duncan J. Schoular children’s breakfast program, a regular volunteer at the Station Theater, organizer and host for the theatre’s International Film Nights, and member of the Hospital Auxiliary’s baby blanket quilting group.

This year’s Brooke and Brittany Henderson Award went to the Upper Canada Minor Hockey Peewee House B Champions – the Smiths Falls Peewee Bears, for inspiring the whole town with their good deeds. The team started out volunteering with the Salvation Army last Christmas and competing for the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup, and they didn’t stop there.  They challenged residents to do their own good deeds and continued volunteering and raising funds to send 33 children to camp this summer with the Salvation Army.

“You’ve taken the platform sports has given you and used it well. You make me proud to have worn yellow and black,” Borowiecki told the team.

Mayor Shawn Pankow, Ottawa Senator Mark Borowiecki, and the Smiths Falls Peewee Bears

Mayor Shawn Pankow, Ottawa Senator Mark Borowiecki, and the Smiths Falls Peewee Bears