Outstanding community members
Local recipients of the GPR Sesquicentennial Award gathered for a group photo at the Feb. 22 ceremony in Rockland. From left, in the front row are: Chanelle Beaudry-Andrews, Laura Beaudry-Andrews, Denise Latulippe, Connie Johnston, Marie-Claire Ivanski, Shirley Racine, Gary Barton (Mayor of Champlain Township) and Shelley MacPhee; in the back row: Francis Drouin, Pierre Leroux (Mayor of Russell Township), François St-Amour (Warden of the UCPR and Mayor of La Nation), Louis Latulippe, Fred Hyde, Marius Bauer, Cst. Alexander Young, Claude Levac, Claude Thériault, Guy Desjardins (Mayor of Clarence-Rockland), and Jamie MacDonald (Deputy Mayor of the Township of North Glengarry).   Courtesy photo

ROCKLAND – On Thurs., Feb. 22, at the River Rock Inn in Rockland, Glengarry Prescott Russell MP Francis Drouin hosted a ceremony recognizing contributions by outstanding community members from GPR.

The call for nominations took place during fall 2017 and over 75 nominations were received. During the evening celebration, Drouin presented Sesquicentennial Award pins to the following 14 community members who had demonstrated a high level of individual excellence or achievement benefiting the people of GPR.

Champlain Township Mayor Gary Barton (Vankleek Hill) was a teacher for 35 years at Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute, and a staple in the Champlain and United Counties of Prescott and Russell political scene. After 40 years, Barton will be retiring from municipal politics. “Since being elected in 2015, I have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Barton in his capacity as Mayor for the Township of Champlain and last year as Warden of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell,” said Drouin. “In Champlain, some might know him as the teacher, school principal, hockey coach or local politician but what is guaranteed is that everyone in Champlain knows who Gary Barton is.”

Marius Bauer (Alexandria) emigrated from the Netherlands to Canada and as a thank you to all Canadians for liberating his country, has organized Remembrance Day ceremonies for a number of years, including last year in St. Isidore, Alexandria, Maxville, Apple Hill and at the Junior B Glens game. He volunteers as the Alexandria Legion Secretary, with the Air Cadets and at numerous events in North Glengarry.

Chanelle Beaudry-Andrews and Laura Beaudry-Andrews (Casselman) volunteered from an early age with their mother at the Casselman, Crysler and St. Albert food banks. Now they set the schedule for students who volunteer, unload and organize the food they have received and prepare orders for the less fortunate. They are also involved with the Guignolée, the Curd Festival, and with a host of other community projects.

Fred Hyde (Navan) has spent thousands of hours over his lifetime doing volunteering – with the Boy Scouts, the Navan Lions’ Club, the Navan Community Association, and as Co-Chair of the Navan Canada 150 Committee, which coordinated seven events and two projects for Canada’s Sesquicentennial, the extension to the Navan Cenotaph, titled “Honouring our Fallen Soldiers one red maple at a time,” the Agricultural Parade and the Street Dance Canada 150.

Marie-Claire Ivanski (Russell) has had an enormous impact in the Township of Russell. She has been involved in almost every community and fundraising event in Russell, including the Annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Breakfast in Embrun, the Annual Victoria Tea Party, the biannual bingo for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Victoria’s Quilts. Thanks to her devotion and significant contributions to various events for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, she has raised record-breaking amounts.

Connie Johnston (Russell) has always been active in the community, with nearly every service club and event that takes place in Russell. An avid fundraiser. Johnston has turned her love for trivia into a money-raising machine and over the past 10 years has helped raise over $1-million to support local families who have become sick or fallen on hard times. Larger events included fundraisers in support of Fort McMurray, Jonathan Pitre, and Pulmonary Hypertension, to name a few.

Louis Latulippe and Mrs Denise Latulippe (St. Isidore) are both activists for the LGBTQ2 community in the region. Together, they were responsible for the chapter of P-FLAG, a peer support group. They founded an LGBTQ2 helpline in their home and helped hundreds of people in our community. Their work began nearly 40 years ago and they are still active today.

Claude Levac (St-Isidore) has been an active member of the Nation Municipality for many years. He has been a volunteer driver for local hospitals and a member of the executive for the distribution of Meals on Wheels, is also a 4th degree Knight of Columbus and has been involved with the Knights of Columbus for over 30 years where he has been involved as a member of the executive for many of those years. He has also coached for the St-Isidore Minor Hockey Association, was a member of the Caisse Populaire board of directors and a member of the organizing committee for the St-Isidore Duck Festival.

Shelley MacPhee (Dunvegan) has been involved with the Glengarry Pipe Band and the Glengarry School of Piping for her entire life. She is a key part of the functioning and excellence of these two organizations and instrumental in the perpetuation of Scottish culture in Glengarry.

Shirley Racine (Limoges) led the Carrefour Santé Limoges project, the Limoges Health Hub that houses a medical clinic with eight doctors, the Estrie Community Centre, Prescott and Russell Community Services, a dentist, a pharmacist, a dietitian, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, and other health professionals.

Constable Alexander Young (Rockland) has been an active member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 37 years, not only serving his country but his community, participating in volunteer events and fundraising, including local charities such as Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Terry Fox Foundation, and volunteers for Red Serge Duties for many cultural and community events, such as the Canadian Sunset Ceremonies and the Special Olympics. He was also one of the 32 members of the RCMP who was selected to march at the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge in France.

Claude Thériault (owner of Stereo Plus Hawkesbury) has worked in his community as a businessman and volunteer for several decades.

Stéphane Lacroix (Rockland) received a heart transplant five years ago. In 2017, he participated in the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain, and won a bronze medal at the high jump. Canada was represented by 50 athletes and 52 countries participated in the games. These games allow transplant athletes to compete, because they will never be able to present themselves at the Olympics because of the medications that they must take.

Sylvie Bisson (Rockland) is responsible for the Prescott-Russell and Eastern Ontario Victim Services Program. She assists many individuals in the worst moments of their lives.

Denis Vaillancourt (Rockland) has been very active to ensure the vitality of the Franco Ontarian community, especially in the field of education and governance and is currently the Chair of United Way Prescott and Russell, a member of the Rockland Optimist Club and an active volunteer in GPR.