Sarnia's Mayor has released a 2021 honour list which highlights the work of 13 individuals and groups.
The mayor's honour list was established in 1981 by the late mayor Marceil Saddy as a tribute to the unsung people and groups who've been instrumental in improving the quality of life or making a significant contribution to the City of Sarnia and Lambton County.
Mike Bradley said this year marks the 40th anniversary of the list, as there was no list presented in 1988.
Jane Anema is being recognized for serving the community through her role as executive director of the Sarnia Community Foundation for the past 13 years. Anema is retiring in early 2022.
Leila Boushy is being commended for decades of volunteer work. She has served as president of the Sarnia Lambton Folks Arts Multicultural Council and as a citizen officer for the IODE Sarnia Lambton Municipal Chapter. Bradley said Boushy has been a "driving force in welcoming new citizens and supporting and inspiring youth and seniors in the community."
The large group who contributed to the much needed 100th anniversary upgrades to Veterans' Park is being honoured. Bradley said without the immediate support from the individuals, businesses, and organizations, the upgrades could not have been completed in such a quick time frame.
Brenda Dunn is being recognized for her work as a leader of the 23rd Sarnia Beaver Colony through Scouts Canada. Bradley said over 200 children have been members of her colony in the past 16 years.
Robert Hart is commended for providing his time for over 30 years to help many people in the community. Hart is a volunteer driver for the Canadian Cancer Society and has been transporting patients to Victoria Hospital in London for 32 years. He also served as a Big Brother and has volunteered in the soup kitchen at St. Giles Church.
Elaine Hayter is being honoured for being a "tireless advocate and fundraiser for the Kidney Foundation" for over three decades. Hayter is the senior development manager at the Sarnia Lambton Kidney Foundation. Bradley said the local chapter received three awards from the Ontario Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada this year and "in typical Elaine Fashion," Bradley said, "she took no credit and praised the volunteers."
Dave LeClair is being recognized for 40 years of volunteering with the Sarnia Multiple Sclerosis Society. He was recently honoured with a volunteer fundraising award from Multiple Sclerosis of Canada for Ontario and Nunavut.
A Sarnia group known as "100 Scarves" is being commended. The group has contributed hand knitted scarves, hats, and mittens, free to anyone in need through Scarf Project Canada. Bradley said over 1,000 items were placed on the fence in front of the Lawrence House in 2021.
Michelle Parks and the Sarnia Tampon Tuesday Chapter are being honoured for successfully raising funds and collecting donations to provide menstrual products in the community. Parks was the driving force in convincing Sarnia council to permanently provide and dispense menstrual products in city facilities.
Annabelle Rayson is being recognized for organizing the Sarnia Shoebox Project for the past four years. Shoeboxes filled with essentials, like toiletries and socks, and small gifts are delivered with a warm greeting, or message of support, to women in need.
Shirley Roebuck is being commended for her work as a local healthcare advocate. Roebuck is the local chairperson of the Ontario Health Coalition and also sits on the provincial board of the Ontario Health Coalition.
Mark Roehler is being honoured for his dedication to safety in the workplace. Roehler is the longtime chair of the "Steps for Life" committee in Sarnia. The committee raises funds for the "Threads of Life" charity, which offers peer support and connections for people who have lost loved ones in the workplace or from occupational disease.
Tanya Tamilio is recognized for her work through the Centre Communautaire Francophone de Sarnia Lambton, where she holds the roles of president and volunteer. Bradley said Tamilio was instrumental in having the city receive its French language designation at the provincial level. He said the designation will see Service Ontario and other provincial services offered in French.
Bradley said this year's list was treated as a regular year and when the pandemic has concluded proper recognition will be given to those who helped bring our community to a better place.
It is hoped a reception for both the 2020 and 2021 honourees will be held in 2022.