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saugeen rail trail association 560Member-at-Large Fred Schildroth, Vice-President Dave Cheer, Past-President Bruce Alexander, Treasurer Cathy Spence, Public Relations Gerry Boucher, President Joyce Scammell, Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith, Secretary Larry Van Wormer, Member-at-Large Gabrielle DiFrancesco, with Municipal representatives Cheryl Grace and Mike Myatt, during the August 28 Committee of Whole.

Hub Staff

In April the Saugeen Rail Trail Association (SRTA) was awarded the 2017 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Achievement during National Volunteer Week in Toronto.

Rail Trail Association recognized for their achievement in volunteerism

The award shines a spotlight on volunteer organizations in the province and since 2009, 174 individuals and groups have been awarded the prestigious award. During the August 29 Committee of Whole, Municipal Heritage Committee member Gabrielle DiFrancesco, who nominated the SRTA, read a synopsis of all the Association has done to make the Rail Trail what it is today and presented the June Callwood Award to all present members of the SRTA, as many were not able to attend the Toronto event.

DiFrancesco, who is also a member of the SRTA, nominated the Association for the award unsuccessfully in 2016 but tried again in 2017 and was met with the desired end.

“I think that the Rail Trail Association has done such amazing work for the community that it was certainly worthwhile persisting and in the end we were acknowledged and the community has always supported the Rail Trail so this is also for them,” said the committee member.

Mayor Mike Smith recalled a time when the community showcased a fair bit of opposition towards the Rail Trail project for fear of threats and vandalism but admitted that over the years none of that had really come to fruition. “It’s been a great asset to the community, not only the trails but the people who help make the trials and build our community... it’s a big draw to people from all over Ontario,” said the Mayor.

Rail Trail Vice-President Dave Cheer took to the microphone to offer gratitude to Saugeen Shores Council as well as past councils on behalf of the Association’s present members as well as those who were involved 27 years ago.

Following the presentation DiFrancesco said there is more work to be done on the trail as they would like to create east and west links and furnish the new memorial pavilion in Southampton. “It’s always about improving accessible trails for the community and making the experience a positive one for all people.”

june callwood award srta 560Municipal Heritage Committee Member who nominated the SRTA for the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Achievement for Volunteerism, Gabrielle DiFrancesco, held the award that was presented to the Association in April of 2017 in Toronto.

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