Volunteers Honoured During Unsung Hero Awards Presentation

Eight individuals, and a community service organization have been recognized with 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 sports, supporting Legion activities, training newcomers and immigrants, working to address community concerns, as well as creating awareness and support for community members experiencing domestic violence and people living with physical disabilities.

The awards were presented during a virtual noon time ceremony at Fredericton City Hall attended by Mayor Kate Rogers and members of City Council.

“I cannot thank volunteers enough for all their hard work and dedication,” said Mayor Kate Rogers. “They have put in their time and effort to make our community a better place making them well deserving of this recognition.”

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

Leanne Wiens has been involved in training new immigrants with kitchen confidence through her organization LJW Catering. As a community builder and entrepreneur, she helps families and individuals build skills and abilities to ready individuals for the workforce creating a stronger, more diverse community.

Jamie Ryan has contributed to the community through his volunteer efforts, specifically benefiting women and children facing domestic or intimate partner violence, people living with physical disabilities and local food banks. Jamie has organized fundraisers for the John Wood Foundation, volunteered with his kids’ sports team as an assistant coach or as a coach, and encourages people through social media to support important causes. In his free time, you will find him working with local organizations as a volunteer to help them achieve their goals.

John-Ryan Morrison has impacted the lives of young athletes acting as a coach, mentor, advocate and friend. He has built a first-class collegiate program that recruits high-caliber young men to an Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association (ACAA) contender, where he impresses “community-first” culture and values to young athletes. For the past two decades, he also served as a mentor for young soccer players dedicating many volunteer hours on his free time to coach youth teams and training camps. John is the co-founder of the Wanderers Development Group and the Wanderers Friendship Cup, a program that has enhanced communities as well as opportunities for young soccer players on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Josh Paul began his volunteer journey in 2014 and has quickly become a role model for many. Josh has supported the SPCA, supports a scholarship at NBCC and raises funds for school breakfasts in the community. He led the United Way fundraising campaign during the pandemic and has not let anything get in the way of his goal. As a member of Saint Mary’s First Nation, he has become an excellent role model helping foster positive relations between our Nations.  He is a well deserving recipient of this award for putting others before himself.

Angela Orfei is an entrepreneur who started a children’s clothing and toy business from her home and eventually grew into a location on Main Street. Angela became the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for the Fulton Heights after the neighborhood started experiencing many thefts, and vandalism from homes. She set up the organization and created a Facebook page where residents could report suspicious behaviour and any crimes in the area and created another Facebook page to bring the community in the neighborhood together.  As a mother of two boys, she volunteers at their school in the library and helping out with fundraising activities. Because of her volunteer efforts, and passion to help the community Angela is very deserving of the Unsung Hero Award.

Julie Comeau is the founder of Real Life Survivor, a non-profit organization that helps keep awareness of those experiencing difficulties to never suffer in silence. She has inspired many to share their stories and overcome life challenges. Her organization reaches out to celebrities and regular people to find stories to share.

Barb Steever-Banks has volunteered with the Legion and Ladies Auxiliary for 20 years serving in positions as Sergeant-At-Arms, 1st & 2nd Vice President of Ladies Auxiliary, President and Past President. She has worked on the social Committee, the Ceremonial Committee, and assisted with membership. Barb has been active volunteer in the Poppy Campaign, and the Color Party.

Darold Hersey joined the Royal Canadian Legion in 1988 becoming an exemplary Branch Member. He has served as a Flag Bearer for the Federal Membership Meeting and a Color Guard Member during memorial ceremonies such as Remembrance Day. As a devoted Poppy Volunteer, Darold is always willing to lend a hand and help deliver the annual Poppy Campaign by manning a table at Kings Place Mall. He also maintains the Afghanistan War Memorial to honor Veterans.

Wostawea Groomers have been an important part of the city for many years, especially these last few years because of the increased use of the trails and the increased interest in cross country skiing during the pandemic. Their team of groomers work tirelessly maintaining trail conditions for their members to enjoy during the cross-country skiing season. For going above and beyond to support our community through their volunteer efforts and encouraging locals to participate in recreation and sport, the City is pleased to give this award to these exceptional volunteers.