Reaching for the Stars – Celebrating Our Volunteers

Reaching for the Stars
CRC’s 2016 Volunteer Recognition Event and Companion of CRC Investiture

CRCMarilyn Rath serving rolled out the red carpet and welcomed 175 guests to celebrate our volunteers and honour four recipients of the Companion of CRC on April 14.

This year the event took on an Oscars-inspired theme, “Reach for the Stars”, made complete with glittering stars decorating the room, 12 special award categories inspired by blockbuster movies, and some stellar acting from the CRC staff team.

To kick off the night, staff and board members donned aprons and chef jackets to serve volunteers and guests delicious appetizers prepared by our Community Chef Norberto Cáceres and Kitchen Assistant Rae-Ann Gammon.

As guests enjoyed the food, they had the opportunity to participate in a selfie-station contest and play an icebreaker game. Those who participated were able to earn extra entries for one of nine door prizes. Winners were able to choose from an array of donated gifts. These included two $50 gift certificates from Jack Astor’s, two $50 gift certificates from the Firkin Pub on Yonge, a David’s Tea gift basket,  a Body Shop gift basket, and music and book accessories from HMV and ADFLOW Networks.

Tracey selfie winnerCRC’s Chair of the Board, Norm Williams, and Executive Director, Claire Barcik, kicked off the evening with opening remarks, thanking volunteers for their contributions and recognizing the diverse skills and experiences volunteers bring to CRC.

The “Reach for the Stars” theme was a new way to honour the 254 volunteers who served at CRC over the past year. Staff pre-selected volunteers they work with to receive one of 12 special movie-inspired award categories. Some volunteers received The Jungle Book Award, “For the volunteers who always overcome obstacles and make friends along the way”. Others received The Harry Potter Award, “For the volunteers who are always ready to spring into action and find a magical way of getting things done.” Volunteers came to the stage by award category to receive their certificate, a CRC lanyard, and have their picture taken.

In addition to recognizing individual volunteers, CRC also honoured corporate groups and teams that send us volunteers throughout the year. Representatives from Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, Equitable Bank, George Weston Limited, Sobeys, the Team Foundation of the True North Men’s Organization, and the St. Mike’s Mamas received a plaque and CRC oven mitts in recognition of their service. Representatives from Rosedale United Church and Olive Branch Community Church were recognized for their contributions to our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

One of the highlights of the evening was honouring the individual efforts of 11 volunteers for 5, 10, and 30 years of service, as well as four new Companions of CRC. Each was presented with a plaque and a CRC oven mitt as a small token of thanks. Learn more about their outstanding contributions as volunteers by clicking the links below:
Volunteers who have served at CRC for 5 or more years
Jannie Mills for 10 years of service
Jennifer Wootton for 10 years of service
John Deacon for 30 years of service

CRC Staff provided some entertainment for the evening, acting out a skit in which we imagined a world without volunteers. As you can guess a world without volunteers at CRC is not possible. The performance was captured on video and can be viewed on youtube.

2015 Companions of CRCThe night culminated with the Companion of CRC award given to four individuals who have made extraordinary gifts of time, money, or expertise to CRC. Each Companion had their citation read and was presented with a special oak leaf lapel pin and a plaque by Norm Williams and Claire Barcik. The 2015 Companions of CRC are:
John Metson
Jannie Mills
Phil Nazar
Marilyn Wright

The evening closed with a video pulling together quotes and stories from our participants on how our volunteers made a difference in their lives. Sharing these words of appreciation was a great way to end the evening.

To see more pictures, check out our Facebook album.

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