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Mayor’s Award Winners Honoured At Canada Day Celebration

June 20, 2014 -

On the steps of Kingston's historic City Hall, Kingston's Mayor Mark Gerretsen will celebrate Canada Day by honouring some of the city's top volunteers. The First Capital Distinguished Citizen Award and the Mayor's Award for Youth Volunteerism recognize individuals who have made a difference in the community through volunteerism. The dedicated volunteer award winners, Joanne Langlois, Alan L. Murphy (posthumously), Lucy Bellemare and Robert M. Colwell have shown selfless leadership and empathy while serving the community.

"These awards celebrate Kingstonians who contribute their time and talents to make our community an even better place to live," said Mayor Mark Gerretsen. "Kingston benefits enormously from volunteers across our community, and it's my privilege to recognize these individuals as part of our Canada Day celebrations."

2014 First Capital Distinguished Citizen Award

Joanne Langlois

Joanne LangloisPassionate about learning for all Devoted patron of the arts. Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Former St. Lawrence College teacher. Artist. Parent. This is Joanne Langlois – an excellent role model for students, graduates, volunteers, staff and the citizens of Kingston. Joanne is the co-chair of the Crystal Ball Gala and raised a record-breaking $150,000 for future learning opportunities funded by the Limestone Learning Foundation. The Crystal Ball expanded its mentorship program to 33 students and 23 professionals in a variety of disciplines in a variety of mediums. Joanne works alongside many organized committees and groups of volunteers to support and build strong teams for success such as Big Sisters, Buy-A-Net, United Way of KFL&A, Community Foundation of Kingston, Kingston Symphony, MS Society of Kingston, Hospice Kingston and the Kingston Family YMCA to list a few. Her awareness, compassion and care for those in need, and her genuine commitment to enhancing the lives of others in this community describe Joanne's qualities as a true community leader and exemplifies all the characteristics of a distinguished citizen of Kingston. She is generous of her time, her talent and her friendship. Her personal integrity, commitment to students, and leadership has greatly contributed to the quality of life in Kingston.

2014 First Capital Distinguished Citizen Award

Alan L. Murphy (awarded posthumously)

Accepted in his honour by his wife, Marianne Murphy

Alan L. MurphyWhen a pebble is tossed into water, it creates many ripples and waves. Alan Murphy's contribution to Kingston was like that. Sadly, Alan passed away last December; however his light continues to shine as a beacon and example to all of us in Kingston to selflessly volunteer and give of ourselves. Alan was the President of the Board of Directors of Marion Community Homes Corporation for 28 years. As a volunteer, he not only championed the rights and well-being of seniors, he rolled up his sleeves almost every evening and weekend maintaining, running and looking after the general upkeep of this independent living residence for seniors, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair costs. He did this all while balancing his career at Union Gas, raising a family and contributing hundreds of hours of service work every year. Alan cast a long shadow: he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a devoted member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. His volunteerism includes work for the Special Olympics, Remembrance Day Celebrations, Church Athletic League, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, United Way Energy Relay, Arthritis Society, the building fund for Regiopolis Notre Dame and the Helping Hands in Action at Union Gas. Alan's wonderful sense of humour and quiet approach to doing what needed to be done without expectation of notice or fanfare is an example to us all. It is a fitting testament to the enduring memory of Alan's selfless contributions that, on behalf of the City of Kingston, we offer our sincere thanks and gratitude to his lifetime of volunteerism.

2014 Mayor's Award Winners for Youth Volunteerism

Grade 9-12 – Lucy Bellemare

Lucy BellemareLucy Bellemare is a lovely and caring young lady. She joined Kingston General Hospital in July 2010 as part of the Youth Summer Volunteer Team and has continued on ever since. Lucy visits patients and supports families on the in-patients units and in the renal program; she has worked in retail services through the Auxiliary and assists patients and visitors by providing information services. She has contributed to fundraising efforts to allow the Auxiliary to purchase much needed patient related equipment. Volunteers of all ages relate to her and Lucy is an effective leader, confident, insightful – and a person who has grown to mentor other volunteers. Her involvement in the "FAVORS" Program has provided guidance and training to many. She has volunteered with the "Link Crew" at Loyalist Collegiate and was awarded the Lancer Award for her contributions. Also in 2013, she was awarded the Ontario Youth volunteer Service Award. Lucy is incredibly motivated, enthusiastic and caring. Her passion to support those with special needs and motivate volunteerism in others is an inspiration to everyone in Kingston and she is an excellent ambassador for the City.

2014 Mayor's Award Winners for Youth Volunteerism

Post-Secondary – Robert M. Colwell

Robert Colwell is a remarkable young man who represents the very spirit of volunteerism. He has volunteered for CORK and other National and International Sailing events since 2009, logging more than 700 hours of activity. Often working in an environment with older, experienced and internationally accredited sailing officials, his desire to learn and "how can I help" attitude has earned the trust of these officials and of CORK. He has introduced other youth volunteers, some of whom face physical and emotional challenges, to the sport of sailing. Robert is a member of Rover Scouts who donates to scouting 30-40 hours on average per week. He is president of the Kingston Centre Medial Rover Crew, which began under his leadership with a special focus on delivering first aid within all settings. He is also active with the Dorchester International Brotherhood Camporee, Loyalist Area Winter Scout Camp and with Team First Aid. Robert believes in volunteering, making a difference, being an achiever, being focused and goal oriented, leading by example and is not afraid to be involved and get others involved.

The citizens of Kingston are one of the driving forces that make this City such a desirable place to live, work, and play.

Winners of the awards are celebrated at a Civic Ceremony at the City of Kingston's Canada Day celebrations on July 1 at 12-noon at City Hall. Come celebrate Canada and support those who lead and inspire your community. For more information about the Canada Day celebrations and the awards, visit www.CityofKingston.ca.

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer 613-546-4291, ext. 3116. Or call the City of Kingston's media hotline at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.

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