Volunteers Honoured During Unsung Hero Awards Presentation

Five individuals, one couple and a community service organization have been recognized with Unsung Unsung Hero Awards by the City of Fredericton for freely giving countless hours of their time to serve others in the community.

Among other things, the recipients were recognized for promoting participation in sport, supporting Legion activities, working to address food insecurities in the community, as well as creating awareness and support for community members with varying health needs.

The awards were presented during a noon time ceremony at Fredericton City Hall attended by Mayor Mike O’Brien and members of City Council.

“I can’t say enough about the importance of the work done by volunteers,” said Coun. Henri Mallet, chair of the City’s Community Services Committee. “It is their unselfish contribution and dedication to others that makes Fredericton a more caring community.”

Unsung Hero Awards are targeted at individuals who work behind the scenes so that others may enjoy community based recreational/leisure activities whether they are sports, clubs, service organizations or cultural activities.

For more information on the Unsung Hero Awards visit the City’s website at www.fredericton.ca/awards.

About the Recipients

Christine Little has been volunteering with various organizations in the city for several years, primarily working as a lead organizer for the Fredericton Marathon, and serving as a Director-at-Large for the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival.  Christine puts in countless hours of her free time to help drive both these events to continued success year after year.  Her outstanding dedication and community involvement make her a very worthy and deserving candidate for an Unsung Hero Award.

Ivan (Bucky) Rodgers is always available to lend a helping hand followed by a smile and great attitude. Bucky served for 25 years in the Canadian Armed Forces with the Canadian Patricia Light Infantry.  Bucky has been a member and volunteer at the Legion for 25 years, and is responsible for helping to coordinate special events such as the Remembrance Day parade and more.  The City is pleased to give this award to an excellent example of someone who gives back to his community and legion members.

Anne Pugh has been a very active ten-year member of the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary. She tackles each job with a positive attitude and never hesitates to step in and give an honest opinion.  Anne is the Chairperson for the Wednesday Early Bird Bingo, looks after the Ladies Auxiliary Annual Poppy Campaign, volunteers with the “Run for the Cure” breast cancer fundraising event, and also gives her time to several other community fundraising events.

Donna Gorham is truly someone that puts others before herself. After being diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS in 1993, her first career as an engineering technologist ended, and Donna began volunteering her time in the community.  She has volunteered at the MS walk for the past 22 years and has held various positions in the organization such as treasurer, secretary, and co-chair. Donna also helps out with refurbishing desktops for ‘Computers for Schools’, the Fredericton Region Museum and the York-Sunbury Historical Society.

Don and Colleen Fitzgerald are the founders of the Mike Fitz Memorial basketball games between Leo Hayes and Fredericton High school. The proceeds from this event go to a scholarship for graduating students that are going on to post-secondary education.  The couple is also actively involved in many other community efforts.  If there is a cause in the City, or an initiative that needs attention, Don and Colleen are quick to volunteer. Because of their volunteer efforts, they are very deserving of the Unsung Hero Award.                                                                                                                                                          

Mark Paquette is a teacher at Bliss Carmen Middle School. In addition to being in the classroom, he is the athletic director and coordinates several intramural programs that enable 650 students to be involved in sport.  When he isn't in the classroom teaching, Mark is coaching several sport teams at Bliss Carmen Middle School including basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Mark is an educator that goes above and beyond every day.

The Fredericton Community Kitchen has 800 registered volunteers, 200 of which are actively working hard to address hunger in Fredericton. These volunteers play an essential part in our community and participate as kitchen site helpers, in the Student Hunger Program, and with fundraising and hosting promotional events. It truly is heartwarming to see the sense of fellowship that exists among the volunteer crew. The City thanks these exceptional volunteers for their excellent work.