Two Community Services volunteers were honoured with parades and gifts Thursday afternoon for their long-time contributions to helping the community.
Board members including Clive Williams, Jan Hickman and Lisa Begg, and key staff from Community Services, including executive director Vicki Kipps, along with City of Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden, went to the homes of John Work and Rodger White to celebrate their achievements and give them gifts commemorating their service.
They decorated their cars and did a drive-by at each location before everyone got out for an official ceremony and gift presentation.
Work has been a volunteer with Community Services for the past 25 years. He started out driving seniors to their medical appointments.
“We always knew that we could rely on John for last minute requests for a senior needing a ride to a specialist appointment,” said Joanne Leginus, director of administration and services.
Work also signed on as a volunteer visitor to isolated seniors with no family or friends. And when the agency received funding for the Senior’s Party Bus, he was the first one to make it known he wanted to be involved, said Leginus.
“It’s history from there,” added Leginus.
“He’s been partying with us for 25 years.”
White has been a volunteer with Community Services for 15 years and started with the school lunch program – delivering lunches to elementary schools for children who wouldn’t otherwise have lunch.
And White would always take over routes from other volunteers when they went on vacation.
“It didn’t matter how many routes Rodger drove every week. We could always count of him to ensure that no children went without their lunch,” said Leginus.
White currently delivers meals to seniors who are unable to prepare food for themselves for the Meals on Wheels program.
“And, it goes without saying, that he also checks on the safety of seniors to ensure they are doing okay,” added Leginus.
After a speech by Leginus and Mayor Morden, Work was presented with a plaque commemorating his service and White was presented with an engraved pen set.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Leginus.
Neighbours came out to listen to the speeches and some honked their horns as they drove by each event.
Both volunteers were also given large signs to put on their front lawns congratulating them.
This was the first time long-time volunteers have been celebrated this way, said Leginus.
“We wanted to do something different for COVID,” explained Leginus.
“And really, really show them that we appreciate them.”