Petrolia volunteers earn Callwood Award for Voluntarism


A group of Petrolia volunteers who helped run COVID-19 testing clinics are among those being recognized with the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism.

The Support Operations Response Team normally helps at public events and on the scene of fires, supporting volunteer firefighters. But during the pandemic, the team set up and outdoor testing unit in the Central Lambton Family Health Team’s parking lot daily.

“The past year has been challenging for us all and it’s impressive to see how volunteers and organizations stepped up to support their neighbours and communities,” said Parm Gill, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism in a news release announcing the award given to 15 individuals and eight volunteer organizations.

“On behalf of all Ontarians, I thank our June Callwood award recipients for their kindness, compassion, and selfless commitment to helping others and for making our province such a great place to live.”

The members of the Petrolia SORT Team include Paula Stokes, Colleen Johnson, Brooke Osthoff, Valerie Dejeu, Pam Barrington, Amber McLaughlin, Martin McLaughlin, Karen Kuykendal, Mitchel McCauley, Andrew Hart, Erv Sullivan, Tori Macdonald, Steve McLaughlin (retired), and Jed Gould (retired).

The Central Lambton Family Health Team has been involved with the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning. It set up a testing centre with the help of Petrolia/North Enniskillen Fire’s SORT team early in the pandemic.

Callwood was one of Canada’s most well-known social activists who founded or co-founded more than 50 Canadian social action organizations.

The award bearing her name recognizes the leadership, innovation and creativity of individual volunteers, volunteer administrators and volunteer organizations who support communities across Ontario.

Here’s the complete list recipients of the 2021 June Callwood Award are:

  • Salah Bachir – Toronto
  • Maria Carrusca – Toronto
  • David Linton – Sydenham
  • Dudleigh Coyle – Ottawa
  • Gladys Cook – Hamilton
  • Valerie Hawkins – Sudbury
  • William Jackson – St. Catharines
  • Jamie Sarazin – Pikwakangan
  • Ranil Mendis – Mississauga
  • Rukshan Para – Markham
  • Kelly Tallon Franklin – Chatham
  • David Zhu – Nepean
  • Anna Grenier – Thunder Bay
  • Teresa (Terry) Power – Arva
  • Faiza Venzant – Toronto
  • Hand Over Hand Community Organization – Markham
  • Hope Air – Toronto
  • Hospice Vaughan Residence Working Committee – Vaughan
  • Perley Health Family & Friends Council Executive – Ottawa
  • Support Operations Response Team (SORT) – Petrolia
  • The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada – Toronto
  • Warm and Cozy Children’s Charity – Waubaushene