Hagersville Chamber of Commerce celebrates town’s volunteers

      HAGERSVILLE—On Thursday, June 6, 2024, Hagersville Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 12th annual Volunteer Recognition and Awards Night. The event was hosted at the Hagersville Royal Canadian Legion, so it was very fitting to have the veteran banner committee and organizers Brenda Gallant and Beverly Petheram open the evening, which was also the 80-year anniversary of D-Day. 

HAGERSVILLE—MPP Bobbi Ann Brady congratulates the Oliver & Bernice Sayer Memorial Junior Citizen of the Year award recipient, Emily Walton. —Haldimand Press photo by Rachel Vaarkamp.

      The Chamber presented 43 certificates of appreciation to church, youth, minor sports, community service, and health organizations serving Hagersville. Special recognition was given to Simplicity Air Ltd. for organizing the Twilight Lights (Christmas displays); Carrie Cronk, manager of the flower maintenance in town; Hailey Mattice, who manages the Farmers’ Market; and Tim Otterman, Barb Gee, and Charlie and Barbara Jean Garvie for their efforts on the Hagersville Santa Claus Parade and Evening with Santa.

      Greetings were shared from Ward 4 Councillor Marie Trainer, Haldimand County Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley, MPP Bobbi Ann Brady, and Justin Doolittle on behalf of MP Leslyn Lewis.

      This year’s Oliver & Bernice Sayer Memorial Junior Citizen of the Year is Emily Walton, who began her volunteerism with Hagersville Secondary School’s Crime Stoppers Club. She volunteers for Christmas festivities in both Hagersville and Jarvis, helps with JarvisFest, and volunteers at Jarvis Community Centre with various events.

      Ed McCarthy presented Pieter Wonder, Board Chairperson of the Hagersville Food Bank, with the John Hamilton Almas Memorial Business of the Year Award. When the food bank opened in 2012, they served 40 families – and today they help over 80 families. The food bank’s website shares, “The cost of food has increased our costs as well, to the point that our monthly grocery bill is surpassing $13,000…. We continue to need local support more than ever through donations and volunteers.” In lieu of flowers for this recipient, the Chamber donated non-perishable food items. 

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      The final award for the evening was the Bill Courtnage Memorial Citizen of the Year award.

      This year’s award was presented to local sisters Brenda Gallant and Beverly Petheram (known to many as the Nixon twins). The sisters shared the distinction as each has a formidable list of contributions to their community, both on their own and as a team.

      Gallant’s volunteerism includes: Hagersville Chamber of Commerce; Hagersville United Church Choir; Hagersville Blue Light Campaign; Hagersville Veteran Banner Project, spearheaded in January 2023; Hagersville Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign; blue ribbon campaign to honour Constable Pierzchala & Sergeant Harnett; led Remembrance Day church services; Hagersville Twinkle Lights Committee; St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in various positions, including creating albums for 11 members who died in WWI and WWII; Hagersville Arena concession booth; Canadian Cancer Society daffodil pin sales.

      Petheram’s volunteerism includes: Hamilton District Christian High Contract Partnership Committee; Hagersville Blue Light Campaign Committee; Hagersville Veteran Banner Committee; Jarvis Community Christian School – Capital Campaign Fundraising Committee; The Dwelling Place Church; blue ribbon campaign to honour Constable Pierzchala & Sergeant Harnett; Royal Canadian Air Force – Squadron 104 Sponsorship Committee; Hagersville Church; Tim Hortons Smile Cookies; Hagersville Scouts Leader; Haldimand Youth Soccer Coach; Ontario Municipal Human Resources Association – Education Committee.

      While the 100-plus in attendance enjoyed a meal catered by the Plank Road Taps & Grill, Hagersville Chamber of Commerce President Rob Phillips shared some of the projects that the Chamber was proud to be working on or completed:

  • Refurbishment of picnic tables in Market Square – 2023
  • Annual flower planting
  • Veterans’ Banner Project – 94 banners in 2023, 128 banners in 2024
  • Refurbishment of Millennium Clock Tower – this week
  • Rest areas along Main Street – in progress
  • Trees Streetscape Project – 2025 – Main & King
  • Support of the new Hagersville Library & Active Living Centre

      Phillips also announced plans to celebrate Hagersville’s 150th Anniversary.

      Congratulations to all those recognized by the Hagersville Chamber for their efforts to better the community.