M’CHIGEENG—Gloria Hall of Gordon township was honoured for her volunteerism on September 28 at Abby’s Fine Dining restaurant in M’Chigeeng when she was, surrounded by friends and family, made the recipient of the Vivian Levenson Award for 2017. This coveted award is given to people who go above and beyond when volunteering.
The evening started with a warm welcome from the event organizer Laila Kiviaho, a blessing and a loud hip hip hooray for Gloria, followed by speeches.
The first person to sing Ms. Hall’s praises was Sandy Cook of the Angel Bus committee who started by stating, “Gloria is to volunteerism what Ghandi was to India’s independence. Relentless, resilient, positive, supportive, compassionate, enthusiastic and always focused on the greater good.”
She went on to say that Ms. Hall represented the Angel Bus, the not-for-profit accessible van for adults living on the West End of Manitoulin and in need of transportation. The idea for this van came from Ms. Hall. “I became the champion of the cause,” Ms. Cook noted, “and now we have an amazing group of volunteers who organize, dispatch, drive and fix the Angel Bus. Thank you Gloria for showing me what volunteering is all about. Making it happen for others with a smile on your face.”
Bruce Moffatt of Victim’s Services also wanted to talk about his time with Ms. Hall. “Compassionate, dependable, selfless and having integrity. These are just some of the characteristics we look for in our volunteer crisis responders, but these terms also describe Gloria Hall. She has been an active member with Manitoulin-Northshore Victim Services for the past 19 years.”
“She was a part of the first volunteer intake class in 1998, and has since been an active team leader on the receiving end of our 24 hour crisis line,” said Mr. Moffatt. “Our crisis responders are expected to respond at a moment’s notice in the immediate aftermath of a crime or tragic circumstances to support victims and survivors. This includes emotional support, practical assistance and addressing safety concerns. Gloria has always been there to step up whenever and wherever needed. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”
Sharon Stephens also sang Ms. Hall’s praises. “Gloria has been a trained volunteer with Palliative Care since 2001,” she said. “She has served very professionally in many activities; visiting with clients at the nursing home, in their own homes and in hospital. She also assessed potential clients, promoted the program, did some scheduling and attended special palliative care events in Sudbury, the North Shore and on the Island. She was also caring, empathetic and professional. You are a great volunteer Gloria and very deserving of the (annual) award.”
Norm Morrell described Ms. Hall as one of the greatest people in the whole world. “Gloria,” he said, “is, to a large extent, Manitoulin Lodge and when something goes wrong, she handles it masterly well.”
“Gloria- that Lodge is basically you,” stated Mr. Morrell. “She spends seven days a week and 24 hours a day at the Lodge. No one deserves this award more than you do. You are the sweetheart of Manitoulin Lodge.”
Marilyn and Wayne Sparham had also put together some words to let Ms. Hall know how much she meant to them and how much they appreciate her volunteer work. “We know that Gloria loves her family, that she loves and is loyal to her friends, she loves helping people and she loves animals, especially dogs. She is loving, kind, generous, humorous, loyal and non-judgmental and the list goes on.”
“She is the kind of person who would find interest and concern with anyone whenever, wherever and whoever,” the Sparhams said. “We had the opportunity to work with her in a volunteering position for many years. Gloria could always be counted on to help when the need was there. In her quiet manner and very busy life, she was always ready to assist.”
Ms. Hall’s mother, Mona Lewis, was the last speaker of the evening and after congratulating her daughter she said. “you will be able to display it with your other awards. Last year she won the Dragon Lady Award, which is not given very freely, for her proficiency at Manitoulin Lodge.”
Ms. Lewis told the gathering about her daughter’s life from when she was born to the present and introduced her family as well. She talked about Ms. Hall’s work at the Manitoulin Lodge in Gore Bay.
“When the opportunity arose for an activation director,” she said “she was accepted and has had that job ever since. I’ve head folks say “I can never get Gloria on the phone. Where is she? Well, you know what? She would likely be volunteering at some function. Like the Lions club, the Rotary Club, Summerfest in Little Current, the Trade Fair, VCARs Palliative Care, the Cancer Society or she might be recruiting entertainment for the nursing home. She spends many hours after work and on weekends with the residents. She takes them to church on Sundays, to the United Church in Gore Bay and Silver Water and Pentecostal Church in Spring Bay.”
“The other Sunday she has a Tea at the Lodge,” said Ms. Lewis. “Who bakes most of the goodies for teas? She does and she also sees that everyone gets a gift at Christmas, if not from family, then from her own pocket. This is Gloria.”
Ms. Hall received written best wishes from Gore Bay Mayor Ron Lane as well as from Member of Parliament (MP) Carol Hughes and Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Michael Mantha.
The evening closed with music provided by the Dewar brothers and Carol Gilmore and lots of good talk.