About a week or so ago, Melanie called me to say that I had received a call from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration about a returned piece of mail. Apparently they still had us living in Aurora and needed our new address so as to get this letter to me. Now, I immediately wondered...Immigration? Was I being deported or something? If so...umm...to where?
Finally, after a few days of intence curiosity, the letter came in the mail. Apparently, my name was submitted by somebody in South Shore Theatre to have me recognized for my volunteerism efforts. Ten years.
The ceremony was this evening.
I originally thought there might be an issue at home with this, as I'm already out insanely late tomorrow night. But Melanie, in her wonderfulness, gave me her blessing to go out to play. The unspoken but obvious message from her though was....don't stay out to late. In other words, get yer damn pin and get the hell outta there.
When I arrived, I did recognize a few familiar faces. Bruce Morrison from South Shore was there with his wife. Anne Guy, the former Secretary of my third and final public school (Morning Glory P.S.) and the wife of my six grade teacher Bill Guy (who interestingly enough. also originally inspired to take my hand at theatre) was in the front row. Also, the Mayor of Georgina, Robert Grossi was present. Some other faces I had seen around, but not many...it was a big crowd.
The event started with the National Anthem as always. Then we had some speeches from Mike Colle (the Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), Julia Munro (MPP for York North) and others who praised the efforts of all Volunteers in Ontario.
Then they had us go up row by row to get our pins, and each of us was announced along with our years of service and the organization. Longest service by far was one lady from a Church in Ravenshoe, with 60 years of service. Wow.
I found it to be a well run event. It was amusing seeing the poor lady who had to read out the information stumble over a couple names with 20+ syllables in them, but she did incredibly well otherwise. I mean, there were over 200 people called, and I didn't see her reach for a glass of water once.
They actually had a grand total of years for just the people who showed up.
Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Seventy years total service in the room. That's amazing.
I was thinking to myself during the ceremony about volunteering and how I would like to do more. One thing I would like to do is assist organizations like the Salvation Army as a driver around Christmas time. Bringing food and presents to needy families. My grandfather did that, and I remember the warm feeling I had when I went with him one year. I would love to share that experience with Nathaniel, and teach him how important volunteering is.
Kudos go to the Ontario government for providing such an event. People who volunteer don't do it for the recognition, but we do feel really nice to be thanked for our efforts every once in awhile. I will wear my pin and hang up my certificate with pride.