Four members of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Pictou County were awarded Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals earlier this month.
BBBS held a ceremony on Feb. 2 at Summer Street Industries to celebrate four recipients for their individual dedication to the organization and greater community.
The small ceremony included staff and family members of the recipients.
“Their names were put forward because they’ve been a part of the community for many years,” said BBBS resource and development co-ordinator Courtney Snell. “Some of these ladies have over 30 years of volunteering.”
Jean Marie MacKay has been a dedicated volunteer with BBBS for more than 20 years. Throughout that time, MacKay has taken on the important role of mentor for five young women, each one’s life forever impacted and enriched from her loving nature and consistent, genuine support.
Anne Blandford has volunteered with BBBS in the local and broader community for more than 30 years. In addition to mentoring local youth, Blandford sits on the board for the local organization and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
Longtime, outstanding volunteer Ann MacGregor has filled the local board president role for the organization, setting a strong example of a community oriented mindset for everyone, including the local youth.
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ executive director Margie Grant-Walsh has fulfilled her role for over 35 years, ensuring the organization is set up to best support the children and families who rely on their services. She has dedicated time to being a Big Sister, taking on the mentorship of a number of young people throughout the years.
While MacKay, Blandford and MacGregor were aware they were receiving the medal, Grant-Walsh was intentionally notified a day before the ceremony that the board had nominated her to receive a medal with the others.
“That was a big surprise to her,” said Snell.
The government of Nova Scotia nominated BBBS staff to select the remaining medal recipients.
“We honoured these amazing recipients of the Jubilee medal for unselfishly giving the most valuable commodity in the world, their time, to our most valuable community asset, our children,” said BBBS board member and first ever vice-president Peter Fraser in a press release.
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