Town of McLennan and SR Regional Golf Society present a greatly appreciated “Volunteer Appreciation Night” event

A lineup of volunteers sleeping on the job having just been lulled to sleep by the hypnotic voice of hypnotist entertainer Sebastian Steel at the Town of McLennan “Volunteer Appreciation Night,” January 27.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

The Town of McLennan held its Volunteer Appreciation and Awards night on January 27, providing a night of excellent food and entertainment.

Following the success of last year’s Volunteer Appreciation Night comedy show, the Smoky River Regional Golf Society (SRRGS,) coordinated the event again, bringing in Edmonton based hypnotist/comedian Sebastian Steel. The funds raised through the event go to the SRRGS.

Since 1989, the Town of McLennan holds an annual “Volunteer Appreciation Night” supper to acknowledge the contribution of volunteers and as a show of gratitude for the time and effort volunteers devote to the community.

At the annual event, the Town recognizes pier nominated volunteers for their outstanding contribution to the community, presenting the selected individuals with a Volunteer of the Year Award.

With Deputy Mayor Leo Giroux who was also representing SRRGS acted as MC and Mayor Michele Fournier was on hand to read the award citations for the three Volunteer of the Year award recipients, Maggie Gervais, Marie Ann Jones and Mark Heckbert.

Maggie Gervais was recognized for her extensive contributions to the McLennan community. Among her many roles as a volunteer, Gervais has organized McLennan Family Day, Santa Day, and contributes to countless worthy causes through her role with the Royal Purple.

Marie-Anne Jones received the award for her enthusiastic commitment to providing recreational opportunities and organized sports venues for the community. Jones is librarian at Ecole Providence, President of McLennan Recreation Board and a member of Council. Jones commitment to her community and her roles with the Recreation Board and on Council were also noted for inspiring others to get involved.

Fellow councillor Eckhard Christian presented Jones with the award.

Mark Heckbert received the award in acknowledgement of his work with Kimiwan Lake Naturalists and the O’Mahony Conservation Area. At the presentation, Heckbert was commended for his initiative in placing birdhouses between High Prairie and McLennan, to promote the Town of McLennan as “The Bird Capital of Canada” and for his tireless work in making the O’Mahony Conservation Area accessible to visitors while also preserving the natural integrity of the area.

The presentation of two Senators Contribution Awards also took place at the volunteer appreciation supper.

As part of Canada’s 150 anniversary in 2017, Senator Doug Black recognized 219 outstanding Albertans who made valuable contributions to their communities.

McLennan’s previous council chose two deserving citizens, Monica Beasley and Philippa O’Mahony to receive the Senators Award. As Monica Beasley was unable to attend the Volunteer Appreciation Night, Philippa O’Mahony also accepted the award on Monica’s behalf.

Of course, to prepare food and organize the event, Volunteer Appreciation Night would not be possible without the assistance of numerous volunteers, which included Lance Rondeau, Sam Leger, Darlene Payou, Lorraine Willier, Paulette Calliou, Sharlene Lambert, Ron and Norma Chalifoux, Brent Rhondeau and Alyssia Willier.

Sebastian Steel, with the assistance of a few unsuspecting members of the audience, provided a night of excellent entertainment. Those who participate on stage responded to Steel’s every suggestion and the audience was greatly entertained to see people they know behave without inhibition adn completely out of character.

Eckhard Christian presents fellow Councillor and Rec Board President Marie-Anne Jones with her award. award.
Val Gauthier and Megan McNeil having a good cry under hypnosis while Mr. Steel stands in the background.
Amanda Roy and Lorraine Willier having a good laugh while under the hynotic influence of Sebastian Steel.
The original lineup of audience volunteers just prior to going under hypnosis and the influence of Hypnotist/comedian Sebastian Steel, at the McLennan Volunteer Appreciation Night event.
Philippa O’Mahony accepting the Senators Contribution Awards also on behalf of Monica Beasley.
Marie-Anne Jones presenting Maggie Gervais with her award at the Volunteer Appreciation Night event.
Mayor of McLennan, Michele Fournier presents Mark Heckbert with the Volunteer of the Year Award.

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