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The Rotary Club of Dryden gathered last week for their annual Paul Harris Fellow Awards to honour club members and those in the community who are making a difference.
This year’s Paul Harris Fellow Awards were given to club members James Kroeker, Margaret Saville, Sally Sipos, Peter Keen and John Borst. The community honorees this year were Michelle Teeple, Mike Sveinson, Terry Ollerhead and Dennis Smyk.
Teeple was recognized for her over 20 years of service in the OPP and her more recent work with the Dryden/Igance Area Impaired Reduction Strategy (DAIRS) program, which educates about the risks of impaired driving.
“It takes a community to combat impaired driving and the conversation has to start young and coming from different places not just the policing side of things,” said Teeple.
“So, I think it’s rewarding that other people have recognized that a community effort to try and reduce this could be the turning point, not just the place talking about it but members from the hospital, parents, teachers, Firefly, there are different agencies and councilors that are involved with this group so I’m accepting this award on behalf of the entire group.”
Sveinson was recognized for his work as president of the Dryden GM Ice Dogs and his efforts to get his team out in the community giving back and volunteering their time as much as possible.
Sveinson credited the team behind him for the award and Rotary for helping the club as well. “They have been a major player behind the scenes for the Ice Dogs especially with the Dudley Hewitt Cup last year and I am really attracted to their motto service before self, that is what we are trying to achieve with the Ice Dogs and everything that you do in a volunteer capacity within the community that’s the simple way to sum it up.”
Ollerhead was recognized for his work in Haiti with the Thomassique Project which helped to build a sanctuary and a well within the town. An important part of the project is getting the kids educated; tuition must be paid to go to school in Haiti, and the Dryden group pays tuition for as many orphan/poor as they can raise funds for, 22 children in 2018.
Not in attendance but honoured was Dennis Smyk for a lifetime of volunteering and helping to make his home of Ignace a better place. He and his wife Jackie run started the Ignace Driftwood newspaper in 1971 and they have put out an issue every week since. He is also known as a regional archeologist who has explored and reported on pre-historic sites from the Turtle River and White Otter area all the way to Lac Seul and beyond.
The evening also recognized local youth achieving excellence in the Royal Conservatory of Music program: Junior Student Danielle Henderson, Intermediate Ethan Cook and senior student Sarah Urquhart. Henderson also received the Rena Fotheringham award.
The evening was closed with a colour dance by Monica Walsh.