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Local Leader Receives Award

2011 Provincial Recreation Award Winners

The four winners of 2011 provincial recreation awards have been announced by Rob Button of Carbonear, president of Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador.

The winners include Ron Delaney of Bay Roberts, Margaret Hatfield of Placentia, Joe Philpott of Gander and the Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program of Conception Bay South. They will receive their awards during a banquet at Hotel Gander Saturday, June 4 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary conference of Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Delaney won the Cyril Hoskins Memorial Award for recreation practitioners.

Hatfield won the Pitcher Plant Award for individuals.

The Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program won the Pitcher Plant Award for groups. 

Philpot won the “Bridging the Gap” Award.

“All four winners this year are exceptional,” Button said. “They have contributed very beneficial contributions to recreation, in their immediate area but also on the provincial level. We are very proud of all their accomplishments and look forward to seeing them in Gander in June.”

He went on to ask for “more nominations for these four awards. There are many excellent people involved in recreation at the local, provincial and even national levels who deserve to be recognized. Please nominate anybody you feel deserves recognition.”

The winners are:
Ron Delaney’s impressive recreational career started in the 1980s when he developed softball tournaments for the Riverhead Recreation Commission. It continued with the Town of Harbour Grace and the Town of Burin.

In 1995 he became Bay Roberts first recreation director and took full advantage of the new opportunities for the municipality. He recognized the potential of the community and its residents and opened a great deal of time developing new programs for the summer months as well as an afternoon drop in centre for Bay Roberts students.

It should be noted that during his time in Burin his leadership resulted in programs such as rugby, 50 plus, the Burin-Marystown triathlon, the Burin Winter Carnival and an afternoon drop-in recreational set-up at various schools.

At Bay Roberts it was in 1996 that his leadership was the driving force behind the formation of Klondike Days, the Bay Roberts Winter Carnival, the Bay Roberts Festival of Lights, the Bay Roberts 50 Plus Club, the Bay Roberts Cleaner and Greener Awards, the Bay Roberts Blue Box Program and the Bay Roberts Community Garden.

Milestones in his career include appointment to the Newfoundland and Labrador Parks and Recreation Association in 1997; re-election as 1998 NLPRA Avalon rep; appointment to a two-year term to the National Benefits of Recreation Network; voted NLPRA vice-president elect in 1999; and elected president of NLPRA in 2000.

Working for a pro-active community has afforded Ron Delaney and the parks and recreation department the opportunity to upgrade their playground facilities to the current CSA standards. This upgrading initiative was started in 1998 and after 11 years of facility renovations and upgrades, Bay Roberts now has some of the best recreation facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

In 2010 the municipality completed construction of a new soccer pitch and walking track which will be officially opened this summer. Ron played the major leadership role in these accomplishments.

In his new capacity as director of economic development and tourism, he has identified the need to work together with the municipality’s parks and recreation department to ensure its residents and visitors to the community have every opportunity to use state of the art facilities and in turn support the economy of Bay Roberts. As a result he has designed and co-founded the Conception Bay North Sport Tourism Alliance with neighbouring Harbour Grace, Carbonear and Mariner Resource Opportunities Network

Margaret Hatfield, for more than 25 years provided excellent leadership for an unbelievable number of projects and organizations in the Placentia area. Her contributions included encompassing management, leadership and administrative duties in a variety of sporting positions with an amazing number of other events and projects benefitting greatly from her involvement.

Some of her events and organizations that benefited from her significant experience were: coordinator of Festival of the Sea Irish exchange festivities; organizer and leader of many national special events; co-chair of the Celebration 88, Olympic Torch Relay; chair, Placentia Recreation Commission, chair, Placentia Ladies Softball; chair, Placentia Ladies Fire Department Auxiliary; coordinator, England-Newfoundland Matthew committee.

In addition, she was involved in the Business Community Crime Prevention Committee; the Children’s Wish Foundation; Placentia Heritage Advisory Committee; Placentia Community Garden Committee; Chamber of Commerce; Star of the Sea association; Accent on Ability Day and is a founding member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Family Resource Center.

The Irish Passport to Employment, the Placentia Heritage Advisory Committee, the National and Eastern Canadian Softball tournaments, multiple conferences and workshops, minor recreational sports, the Municipal Parks and Recreation Committee, recreational facilities and the PARC arena also benefited greatly from her participation.

It was evident that she wished to provide the best services possible to all the groups with which she was associated and in this aspect of her life she enrolled in numerous courses that were of benefit to her community work. These courses included: coach and team building skills for managers; safety oriented first aid; occupational health and safety training interpersonal communication and managing difficult people.

Volunteer groups that have benefited from her interest and dedication include: the local regatta committee; Laval come home year 2008; 350th anniversary celebrations for the Town of Placentia; winter carnival events and Plan 2004 – France/Placentia intercultural exchange event.

Joe Philpott has been a concerned and dedicated volunteer within a variety of programs designed to assist and improve the circumstances surrounding individuals with disabilities. While this is particularly true of his activities within the Gander area of the province, his work has also been of great benefit to the overall situation within the province.

He is past chairman of the Gander Association for Community Living. The association is a family based association that works with persons with intellectual disabilities with a main goal of creating communities where everyone belongs. He has served as Special Olympics chairman with the Knights of Columbus for the jurisdiction of Newfoundland and Labrador and is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Down Syndrome Association. In addition he is serving as chairman of the Gander Special Olympics Club.

He has chaired or co-chaired two provincial snow-shoeing championships, in 2008 and 2009, and one provincial athletics and swim championship in 2010. He is vice-chair of the Regional Leadership Council. This council consists of two members from every region of the province and sets the direction for Special Olympics in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Together with his son Daniel, he represented all the Special Olympic athletes in the province for the Special Olympics Day on the Hill in Ottawa.

He was team manager for Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the national Special Olympics Summer Games in London, Ontario in 2010 after serving on the mission staff for the team at the 2007 Special Olympic Games in Quebec City. He was chef de mission for the Gander Wing Special Olympic team at the provincial Special Olympic Winter Games in Corner Brook in 2011.

His overall contributions have played a major role in the growth and effectiveness of the Gander Summer Olympics committee. This is evident in the increased involvement in the community by the organization, the recognition of athletes in the community which generated a great deal of very positive feedback and in obtaining donations for various community projects from individuals, businesses and organizations.

The Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program (KEEP) was formed in 1999 to conserve, preserve and enhance the watersheds of the Kelligrews and Lower Gully Rivers. These two watersheds and the two rivers flow through the community of Kelligrews in the Town of Conception Bay South. The group has since carried out many environmental initiatives.

The Town of Conception Bay South is a rapidly growing community, and this rapid growth has increased the population and demand for recreation. In the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in the construction of neighourhoods, highways and businesses, leading to a demand for increased recreation and leisure services. It was recognized by the membership of KEEP that not only could they work to protect the environments, but they could also carry out activities to blend environmental concerns with recreation and leisure services and activities designed to encourage healthy living, while educating the public about environmental issues.

In 2007 KEEP began working on the development of walking trails. With support from the Town of Conception Bay South and funding agencies, they completed a boardwalk and walking trail along Kelligrews Pond, with educational signage, benches and picnic areas.

The project included construction and dedication of the “Che” Neil Tilley Environmental Education Center (an outdoor classroom). Teachers, young students, sparks, brownies and girl guides are now using the pond side trail, the field trip activity kit and the outdoor classroom for both environmental stewardship education and for recreational purposes. Members of KEEP are often on hand to share their knowledge of the local environment with the classes and community groups who use the facilities on how looking after our environment goes hand and hand with outdoor recreation. KEEP has been very active in public education, and has developed programs (fieldtrip activities) for students in grades one to four.

KEEP members are continuing to identify new local areas for trail development and have long term goals of constructing an integrated trail system linking the rivers and ponds of interest.

The Town of Conception Bay South continues to grow in 2011 and beyond with a major commercial development taking place on Legion Road in Kellgrews. KEEP has met with town councilors and staff on numerous occasions to lay out their trail plans to ensure recreation and leisure opportunities are incorporated with the commercial development.

In summary, the Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program works to develop and implement a conceptual plan for areas of rivers, wetlands, beaches and ocean to conserve, preserve and enhance the area. It aims to provide and enhance recreation, leisure and educational opportunities through development of trails and interpretation programs. KEEP is working to enhance Conception Bay South as a partner with community, government, business and all other interested parties. Members dedicate countless hours of time, on a volunteer basis, to make a significant contribution to preserve our environment and develop recreation and leisure serves to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Previous recreation award winners:
Cy Hoskins Memorial Award of Merit; Town of Grand Bank 1982, Town of Mount Pearl 1983, Town of Clarenville 1984, Town of Bishops Falls 1985, Town of Labrador City 1986, Not awarded 1987, Labrador Straits Regional Recreation Board 1988, Milltown/Head Bay d’Espoir Recreation Committee 1989, David Thomas 1990, Ray Osmond 1991, Heather Hickman 1992, Garry Gosse 1993, Kevin Waterman 1994, Ed Flood 1995, Wayne bolt 1996, Not awarded 1997, 1998, 1999, Sheila Dooley 2000, Ken Anthony/Terry Mallay 2001, Charlie Stevens 2002, Judith Guy 2003, Ed Evans 2004, Dominic Lundrigan 2005, Todd Mercer 2006, Wanda Wight 2007, Gary Fraser/Doug Robins 2008, Ed Kenny 2009

Pitcher Plant Award (Individual/Volunteer); Sue Gavin 1980, Glen Tobin 1981, Terry Trainor 1982, Frank Clarke 1983, Edgar and Kitty Stratton 1984, Rosemary McDonald 1985, Sylvia Walsh 1986, Derm Connolly 1987, Carl Hiscock 1988, Jean Burden 1989, John Goffe 1990, Cecil Chayter 1991, Helen Higdon 1992, Kevin Payne 1993, Churence Rogers 1994, Ken Fowler 1995, Peter Record 1996, Charlie Cook 1997, Don Johnson 1998, Tom Baker 1999, Dave Brenton 2000, Max Winters 2001, Margaret Burden 2002, Robert Hollett 2003, George Cooper 2004, Howard Bonnell 2005, David Brazil 2006, Judy Cooper 2007, Madonna Chaulk 2006, Trevor Paine 2009

Pitcher Plant Award (Community/Recreation Commission Service Group; Town of Carbonear 1990, Indian Bay Regional Recreation Commission 1991, Association for Youth and Leisure Time Activities Lower Island Cove 1992, Menihek Nordic Ski Club 1993, Town of Harbour Grace 1994, Gander Parks and Recreation Department 1995, St. Anthony Recreation Advisory Commission 1996, Triton Recreation Commission 1997, Town of Grand Bank 1998, Bay Arena Association 1999, Labrador City Lions Club 2000, Marystown-Burin Area Chamber of Commerce 2001, Grand Bank Lions Club 2002, Mount Pearl Frosty Festival 2003, Aurora Nordic Ski Club and Ice Crystal Figure Skating Club 2004, Botwood Boys and Girls Club 2005, Pasadena Ski and Nature Park 2006, Corner Brook Stream Corporation 2007, Torbay Volunteer Fire Department 2008, Freshwater Community Centre 2009

Bridging the Gap Award; Kevin Waterman 1990, Gerri Beckett 1991, Andrea Gillies 1992, Isobel Brown 1993, Bernadine Power 1994, Norm Power 1995, Margaret Tibbo 1996, Louise Drover 1997, Linda and Garland Stuckless 1998, Stephen Mallard 1999, Daryl Osbourne 2000, Bert Roberts 2001, Jim Scott 2002, Len Moores 2003, Rainbow Riders 2004, Barbara Boland 2005, Kem Young/Aliant Pioneers 2006, Rainbow Summer Camp St. Anthony 2007, Autism Society 2008, Easter Seals NL 2009 

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