Bracebridge Announces Recipients Of Community Awards
The Town of Bracebridge recognized and celebrates the outstanding achievements of local residents in volunteerism and sport with the Community Recognition and Sport Awards yesterday.
Through the Bracebridge Community Recognition Advisory Committee, the town recognized individuals and organizations who have made a significant impact in the community.
Mayor Graydon Smith took to social media to express his congratulations saying “so many amazing people doing wonderful things every day in Bracebridge. Congratulations and thank you to all the recipients.”
The town also submits nominations for Provincial awards to the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s Honours and Awards Program and to the Ontario Heritage Trust based on local nominations.
The recipients are:
- Margaret Gallant Bracebridge Volunteer Service Award Margaret has been volunteering with the YWCA Muskoka for over 5 years. She has been instrumental in the Women of Distinction Awards, filling a variety of roles, as well as, many other fundraisers to support the ongoing work of the YWCA of Muskoka.
- John McBride Bracebridge Volunteer Service Award John has volunteered and been instrumental in the success of numerous community events and organizations. John has been involved with the Fire and Ice festival since its inception and coordinated the delivery and removal of the snow for the popular tube run. He has held various leadership positions with local sport groups including: Bracebridge Golf & Curling Club; Bracebridge Soccer Club, and Bracebridge Men’s Touch Football league. His continued efforts have made Bracebridge a better place to live and visit.
- Gloria Rowe Bracebridge Volunteer Service Award Gloria has been a dedicated Hospice Muskoka volunteer since 2016. She works tirelessly to improve the lives of clients and their families in Muskoka. Gloria is constantly attending meetings and workshops to enhance her skillset and understanding to provide the best care possible. Along with the hands on care that she provides, she regularly supports awareness and community events to raise much needed funds for Hospice Muskoka.
- Jill Golden Bracebridge Volunteer Service Award Jill has been a volunteer with the Children’s Foundation of Muskoka for the last 12 years, starting as a board member, then vice-president and president of the organization. Jill has overseen the disbursement of funding to over 3,500 children in our community. This funding allows the children to access opportunities and supports they need to be happy, healthy and have a sense of belonging. Despite working full time, Jill always makes herself available to meet with community partners, receive donations, or purchase and deliver items to families and children in need.
- Michael Forth Bracebridge Senior of the Year At age 69, Michael Forth proudly represented Bracebridge in the World Triathlon in Switzerland and placed 55th in his event. He started training for triathlons 7 years ago to support his granddaughter who wanted to try one and has been competing ever since. Michael is a friendly face, often seen training at the Sportsplex and around town. He uses his skills to motivate others to stay healthy and active and for the last 5 years has participated in the swim for Camp Oochigeas to raise funds to support the camp.
- Evelyn Archibald Bracebridge Good Citizenship Award Evelyn Archibald has been an extraordinary volunteer in the community for a number of years. Evelyn is volunteer with her church and professionally she is a member of the chartered professional accountants of the Ontario provincial committee. Evelyn has been an integral part of many community organizations including: Habit for Humanity Muskoka, Muskoka Community Foundation, Muskoka District Housing Authority, Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group, Bracebridge Historical Society, Manna Food Bank, Terry Fox Run, Monck Public School Breakfast Club, and the Canadian Federation of University Women.
- Janice Hummel Bracebridge Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Janice Hummel has been volunteering with many community organizations for a number of years. She is part of the Ladies Auxiliary, with the Royal Canadian Legion, and sits on a number of committees with the Legion. Janice also volunteers her time with: Manna Food Bank, Muskoka Victim Services, Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, the Agricultural Society, the Horticultural Society, the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, and at the Senior Centre for Active Living. Janice is most happy when she is spending her time enhancing the lives of others.
- Muskoka Lawn Bowling Club 2020 Christopher Todd Lang Accessibility Award Since the Muskoka Law Bowling Club opened in 2017, there has a priority to design and renovate the facility to be as accessible to as many in the community as possible. In 2017, the club applied for, and received funding, to purchase senior-friendly equipment (or assistive devices) such as, smaller lighter bowls and bowl lifters, encouraging those with mobility and/or strength issues to participate. In 2018, the club launched its winter indoor "Short Mat" program, making lawn bowling available to the community year-round. The new indoor short mat program was an excellent fit for Community Living clients, who often have limited opportunities for physical and social activities. Club volunteers took this as an opportunity to offer a weekly program for approximately 15 Community Living clients. One of the club volunteers designed, made and donated unique bowl delivery systems for those who are unable to roll their own bowls. In 2017, the club's head coach completed the Coaching Association of Canada's "Coaching Athletes with a Disability" module, and received a grant from the Ontario Lawn Bowling Association for additional certification courses. Recently, two members completed "Respect in Sport Activity Leader Certification", offered through Bowls Canada. Every "Learn to Lawn Bowl" class and community group introduction begins with a safety component that includes information on the club's specialized equipment that aims to ensure that everyone can participate and have fun.
- Special Olympics Muskoka 2021 Christopher Todd Lang Accessibility Award Special Olympics Muskoka is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing year round sport training and competition opportunities for individuals with an intellectual disability. As part of the international Special Olympics movement, the Muskoka District Community of Special Olympics Ontario is committed to providing season-long weekly programs to more than 100 local athletes. Athletes train and compete against athletes of similar abilities. The primary objective of Special Olympics is to contribute to the physical, social and psychological development of people with disabilities through positive, successful sporting experiences. While the primary focus of the organization is to promote sport programming for individuals in their community, they also promote competitions at higher levels. This is accomplished with the staging of provincial games (every two years) and national and international games (every four years).
- David Patterson Bracebridge Arts and Culture Award David supports the arts and culture community and enriches the lives of others by volunteering his time with a number of organizations. David participates in numerous writing circles, is on the Friends of the Bracebridge Library Board, coordinates Open Doors, volunteers with the Friends of the Caisse, and also volunteers at many local festivals and events. David is an integral part of the arts and culture community in Bracebridge and Muskoka. Community Sport Awards The Bracebridge Community Sport Awards are presented annually to the athlete, coach and team of the year. Those receiving awards have shown excellence in their sport; demonstrated sportsmanship; are a credit to the community; have displayed good character; and serve as excellent role models for young athletes in the community.
- Matt Larkin 2020 Jim Quigley Memorial Award-Bracebridge Athlete of the Year Matt Larkin has been a member of the BMLSS Track and Field and Cross Country Running teams. In the spring of 2019, Matt was selected to be a member of Team Canada’s U-18 Track and Field team. In July 2019 he competed in the NACAC (North American, Central American, Caribbean) U18 Track and Field Championships in Mexico, where he finished 4th in the 800m and 1st in the 1500m. Provincially, Matt was ranked 1st in the 1500m, 2nd in the 800m, and in the top 10 for the 400m. Matt is now on a full athletic scholarship at the University of New Mexico.
- Carson Robins 2021 Jim Quigley Memorial Award – Bracebridge Athlete of the Year Carson began playing Lacrosse at the age of 7 and since that time, and for almost every season, has received numerous team awards including the most dedicated player and most valuable player award. Carson has been team captain or team assistant captain for every team he has played on. He has played on elite teams, from Southern Ontario, who travelled throughout the United States. Carson played for Team Ontario and was part of the team that won the Canadian Nationals. Carson’s athletic abilities can also be seen on the basketball court, where he plays with the South Muskoka Breakers and was on the team who won the Ontario Cup the past 3 years.
- Greg Rassmussen Bracebridge Community Coach of the Year Greg has contributed a great deal of his time and energy over the past 16 years coaching young people in Bracebridge. Greg was a well-versed swimmer, swimming at the University level, and has continued his passion for the sport in international Masters events. For many years Greg has been coaching the next generation of young competitive swimmers who are a part of the Muskoka Aquatics Swim Club.
- Bracebridge Bandits Peewee Rep Team 2020 Norm Harkness Memorial Award - Bracebridge Team of the Year Following a number of seasons in the Select Circuit, the PeeWee Rep Bracebridge Bandits moved up to a high level of fastball where they entered the OASA Rep Level Circuit. After a slow start to their season, and quite a few losses, the boys were able to turn it around and ended their season as the OASA Provincial B Champions.
- Muskoka Aquatic Club 2021 Norm Harkness Memorial Award – Bracebridge Team of the Year The 2020 season was an outstanding season for the MUSAC swim team. At the Short Course Huronia Regional Championships, 40 swimmers qualified and MUSAC finished 3rd overall. At the Ontario Winter Festival, there were 3 top 10 finishes and, at the Ontario Youth and Junior Championships, the team came home with 5 medals, and 14 top 10 finishes. Last season MUSAC swimmers broke 12 club records.
Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame The Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame was created in 2011 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions or achievements in the sport of baseball in Bracebridge in one of four categories: Player, Coach/Official, Fan/Supporter, and Builder/Sponsor. 2021 Inductees into the Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame include:
- Lisa Courtney Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame – Player This year marks Lisa’s 30th season playing in the local women’s baseball league. In addition, she spent 20 years playing on one of the rep teams and has sat on the executive for 6 years. During her years on the field, Lisa has received a number of MVP and Most Dedicated Player awards.
- Albion Sports Club Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame – Builder/Sponsor Baseball in Bracebridge would not be what it is today without the support of the Albion Sports Club. The Club sponsored a number of teams and events prior to retiring.
- David Thompson Bracebridge Baseball Wall of Fame – Coach/Official David has been a Level 4 Umpire for a number of years and has umpired across the province. Over the past 2 years, David has been the Umpire in Chief for Northern and Western Ontario. Dave has spent many hours training minor ball umpires in Bracebridge and enjoys giving back to the community.