By Michelle Poirier
On May 23, the Town of Georgina recognized some of the many volunteers in this community during the 2022 Volunteer Award of Merit ceremony held at the ROC.
One of the Organization Award of Merit recipients was The High Street Events Committee for their work on Whoville on High Street, which took place on November 26, 2022, and included tree lighting, Grinch-themed games and prizes, and other fun events.
“I can’t stress enough how committed they are to the community and Sutton and to making it all better,” Dale Genge, Georgina Ward 4 Councillor, said while presenting the award.
“The High Street Events Committee, in partnership with the Sutton Business Improvement Association (BIA), has been working diligently to bring Georgina together by organizing and implementing events in the Sutton business area.”
Dale Hache, Sutton BIA Chair, spoke on behalf of the committee and thanked everyone while accepting the award.
“We couldn’t do it without every single one of you. The bottom line is that we wouldn’t be here without the community and the help from everyone coming to these events,” Hache said during the acceptance speech.
Hache said Whoville on High Street came to be after they received a grant from the Georgina Economic Development and Tourism Division, and he suggested a wintertime event.
“It was a lot of work and learning, but the bottom line is that it was needed. We only expected upwards of 500 people, and we had over 3,000. It just blew us out of the water, showing us that it’s needed in this town,” Hache said.
Whoville on High Street will return this year, and Hache said the sky’s the limit on who can attend.
“We hope that we can let everyone in the community join our events, regardless of how many people it becomes, but we’re going to be ready for it, no matter what,” he said.
Former Ward 5 Councillor David Harding was named the 2022 Citizen of the Year during the awards ceremony.
“[This award] is to acknowledge someone who has given of their time and skills over many years for our community,” Mayor Margaret Quirk said while announcing the award.
“This person has dedicated countless hours to his community, protecting it, being an active member of local organizations, and ensuring that Ward 5 had a voice and that its citizens had improved infrastructure and facilities.”
Some of Harding’s volunteer work includes being a volunteer firefighter from 1971 to 2016, a member of the Pefferlaw Area Ratepayers for five years, an active member of the Pefferlaw Lions Club for 35 years, and a supporter of the Newmarket and area Special Olympics.
Harding said he was grateful for the award and did not know it was coming.
Recipients of the Individual Award of Merit included Lindsay Damecour, John Davidson, Iain Donnell, Kendra Mullings, Zaheeda Rahim, Rachel Ridgeway, Nancy Serrick, and Ann Winacott.
Preston Fowler and Elena Rinne received the Youth Award of Merit.
The Organization Award of Merit was given to the Georgina Community Food Pantry, Georgina Pins and Needles, and The Gathering Place, while the Business Award of Merit was presented to Naturally Enchanted, Team Metherall, and LaRue’s Haulage.
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