| Jun 22, 2006

Feature Article - June 22, 2006

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Feature Article - June 22, 2006

SouthFrontenaccelebratesVolunteers of the Year

The serious business of running a township was put aside for an hour this week as friends and family, young and old, came together to honour four people who have spent years volunteering within South Frontenac.

The four recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award for 2006 are: from Bedford, George Jones, from Portland , Brad Heyman, from Loughborough, Marni Pederson, and from Storrington, Sharon Freeman.

(The following are excerpts from the citations that were read by members of South Frontenac Council as they presented the honourees with commemorative plaques on Tuesday night)

George Jones George Jones was part of the 1980 Canadian Olympic team, but his own Olympic dream was thwarted when Canada boycotted the 1980 Olympics. Undaunted George has been working to develop his sport, canoe/kayak, in Kingston and South Frontenac for over 20 years.


In 1997 he founded the Sydenham Lake Canoe Club, and for the past ten years has been coaching local kids for free. The success of the Sydenham Lake Canoe Club has been a tribute to George’s hard work and infectious enthusiasm for the sport. He eats, drinks, and breathes the sport of canoe/kayak. And his Olympic dream may not be over after all. One of these days, a canoeist or kayaker from the Sydenham Club, might just make it to the Olympics, thanks, in great part, to George Jones.

Brad Heymans Brad Heymans is busy with hockey throughout the fall and winter, and in the spring and summer he is busy with soccer. He has been coaching soccer for the Central Frontenac Soccer Association (located in South Frontenac) since the mid 1980’s, and had been coaching hockey at the North Frontenac Arena since the late 1980’s. For the past eight years he has been on the executive of the North Frontenac Minor Hockey Association, and has been the president of the association for three years. Through his efforts and leadership, the executive has increased to 18 members, and player and coach participation has also increased. He brings a passion for fair play to all of his sporting endeavors.

Marni Pederson - Marni Pederson has been a co-owner of the Desert Lake Family Resort for many years. She has also been Girl Guide Leader for 30 years, during which time she has worn many hats in the guiding movement. When Marni had a son, she kept up with girl guides but worked in the scouting movement as well.

She also has organised a cancer fundraiser each summer at Desert Lake Family resort, raising thousands of dollars in honour of her mother, who was a victim of cancer.

In addition to all her other volunteering activities, Marni is an active board member with St. Paul’s United Church in Harrowsmith, and attends each and every Sunday to carry out her duties as Sunday School superintendent.

The old clich“if you need a volunteer, ask the busiest person”, aptly applies to Marni Pederson.

Sharon Freeman Sharon excels in the Shoulder to the Wheel department. She puts her shoulder to the wheel and the wheel moves and the job gets done.

That’s how a backyard party at the home she shares with her husband Will turned into the Battersea Pumpkin Festival, which is now 11 years old.

That’s how the Pumpkin Pie Live Music Festival, now in its seventh season bringing people together for six shows a year, came about.

That’s how the Feast of fields, the wildly successful local organic food festival came about.

In each case Sharon Freeman worked alongside others to make a good idea into a great reality.

Sharon has also been an active volunteer at Storrington Public School for eight years.

Sharon Freeman instinctively acts in such a way that anybody in the vicinity can catch a spark from her creative fire. That is the essence of community service.

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