Nominations being sought for Salute to Seniors Service Award

Nancy MacPhee
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Award recognizes volunteer efforts made by seniors

SUMMERSIDE — They give countless hours of their time to help their communities.

Heather Blouin chats with volunteers Anne and Harvey MacEwen, who were at Credit Union Place Tuesday for a walk. Blouin was telling the couple about Home Instead Senior Care’s Salute to Seniors Service Award.

Now, Home Instead Senior Care wants to recognize an Island senior for their outstanding volunteer service.

The company, which works with seniors to help keep them in their homes, is once again looking for nominations for its Salute to Seniors Service Award.

“So many organizations really, the older population is what keeps those organizations healthy and functional. They are the manpower behind them,” said the company’s Prince County co-ordinator, Heather Blouin. “Seniors have potentially more time to give of themselves. If they want to remain active in their older adult life, they involve themselves in the community.

“The effects are huge.”

Last year, well-known West Prince volunteer Empress MacDowell of O’Leary, was the award’s Island recipient, recognized for decades of service to her community.

The woman, who is in her 90s, has spent the last 15 years volunteering her time at the Margaret Stewart Ellis Home in O’Leary, giving about 120 hours a month by playing cards with residents, serving meals and doing whatever else was needed.

“It has been a life-long commitment,” Blouin said of MacDowell’s volunteerism. “Seventy years ago she and her husband were involved with helping children that had intellectual disabilities.”

Blouin said the award, first introduced in 2012, selects provincial winners who each receive $500 to donate to a non-profit organization or and an overall winner, nationally, who receives $5,000 to donate.

According to the latest research from Statistics Canada, senior adults in Canada volunteer an average 223 hours each year, more than any other age group.

To nominate a worthy senior volunteer, they must be aged 65 or older and give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer service.

“Anybody can make a nomination,” said Blouin.

Nominations will be accepted until March 1, and online voting for nominees will continue until that time. Provincial and national winners will be announced in April.

Home Instead Senior Care has sent about 50 nomination packages out to various Island organizations in the hope of generating numerous nominations.

“I want to make sure that the west is very well represented,” said Blouin. “I’m proud that someone from the west had won last year. I will be calling all the organizations that we reached out to that we know have volunteers and any other organizations that we may have missed.”

To nominate someone or to find out more information, visit Provincial winners will be determined by popular vote while a panel of senior care experts will select the national Salute to Senior Service winner from among the provincial honorees.

 For more information Home Instead Senior Care’s services call 367-3868.

Organizations: Seniors Service, Home Instead Senior Care, Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Prince, West Prince, Canada

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