The 76 men, women and teenagers who volunteer to help Durham Regional Police received a round of applause Wednesday evening at the 2002 Annual Volunteer Appreciation Awards.
Chief Kevin McAlpine, senior officers and Volunteer Co-ordinator Susan Shetler presented plaques and certificates in appreciation of those who have volunteered for three, five, 10 and 25 years.
“We couldn’t possibly do what we do without your support and hard work every year,” Police Chief McAlpine told the gathering. The event took place at the Harmony Creek Golf Centre in Oshawa.
The volunteers assist police in a variety of forms, from helping with special events to assisting local crime fighting initiatives such as Neighbourhood Watch, Road Watch and Crime Stoppers.
The event took place to coincide with national Volunteer Week, which officially runs from April 27 to May 3. The theme this year is “The Value of One, the Power of Many” and that theme rings very true in Durham Region.
Take volunteers Rosemary Chung and Reid Robertson as examples. Both became involved to help keep their communities safe and their efforts, combined with dozens of others, have made a significant difference in public safety.
Ms. Chung was having some problems with youth in her Whitby neighbourhood. She volunteered with Neighbourhood Watch in December of 1988 and has stayed with it ever since. She received a 15-year Service award.
“I like helping people and I wanted to do something to keep my neighbourhood safe,” she says.
Reid Robertson has a similar story. The Co-ordinator of the Waterford Gate Neighbourhood Watch Committee became a police volunteer 10 years ago to keep his neighbourhood safe and he is still actively involved.
One of the highlights of the evening was a special presentation to Cst. Julia McQuaig of the Whitby O.P.P. She was given an award for her ongoing commitment to public safety not only as a citizen of Durham Region, but also as an O.P.P. Officer. Whitby O.P.P. S/Sgt. Greg Sweeney was on hand to congratulate her on receiving the award.
Another highlight was a performance by a high school a cappella group called “Hey.” The six students from O’Neill Collegiate delighted the audience with their vocal harmonies.
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Rosemary Chung (JPG file, 21.3K bytes)
Volunteer Reid Robertson (JPG file, 16.0K bytes)
"Hey" a cappella group (JPG file, 14.1K bytes)
OPP Constable McQuaig (JPG file, 15.7K bytes)