Cote Saint-Luc Council honours Sid Margles and Michael Kutz as highly outstanding volunteers

Cote Saint-Luc Council honours Sid Margles and Michael Kutz as highly outstanding volunteers

The Côte Saint-Luc Volunteer Awards Ceremony 2013 edition took place earlier this week.  Several townspeople were recognized for their outstanding contribution to city programs and services.  The impressive award lineup is listed here:

Community Services Award – Recognizes a volunteer couple for exceptional contribution to the community special events programs:

Louise Ferland and Sam Pinsky have been an integral part of Côte Saint-Luc activities for more than 30 years. Louise served the residents during her 30-year career as a manager responsible for various Parks and Recreation programs such as figure skating, learn-to-skate, the ski club and more. Once her career was over, she continued to volunteer on various special events such as Canada Day, Maisons Fleuries and the popular Winter Carnival Valentine Dance. Meanwhile, Sam started his volunteer career more than three decades ago in sports, volunteering in various hockey and baseball programs. More recently, Sam has been a driving force with Louise volunteering at our annual special events programs.

William E. Kesler Memorial Trophy – Recognizes a volunteer for their exceptional contribution to the Parks and Recreation special events programs:

Ron Yarin is a fixture at sports facilities in Côte Saint-Luc. He has been a volunteer since the late 1970s and continues to serve the community year round. Ron works diligently with youth and adult sports leagues, volunteers with vCOP, and has excelled in our special events programs such as the Winter Carnival Valentine Dance and the Mega Garage Sale.

Royal Canadian Legion Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch # 97 Award – Recognizes the Youth Volunteer of the Year–a leader of tomorrow–for outstanding efforts in making a difference in Cote Saint-Luc through volunteer activities:

Ariel Sterlin is an outstanding example of young leadership in Côte Saint-Luc. She is a talented dancer and actor with years of training and experience behind her that belie her youth. She has trained in ballet and jazz throughout her life and is also trained in gymnastics. Using her gifts to give back to the community, Ariel voluntarily taught both ballet and gymnastics to children throughout her high school career. Last summer, unable to participate as a performer in the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society (CSLDS) production of Norm Foster’s Office Hours, Ariel volunteered countless hours as the production’s stage manager, a very demanding job with a massive amount of responsibility. This year, Ariel stars in the title roll of Hamlette: The Melancholy Dame at the Dawson Theatre Collective and works with the CSLDS as assistant choreographer and plays the role of Bielke, Tevye’s youngest daughter, in Fiddler on the Roof. She is a joy to work with, a credit to our community and we are positive has a very bright future ahead of her.

Socio-Cultural Award – Recognizes a volunteer for their exceptional contribution to the city’s socio-cultural programs:

Gayle Cohen is recognized in volunteering her time and efforts to the library’s Bright Lights Film Club program. Gayle has been most instrumental to the program’s success since its beginning in 2009. She brings to it not only a passionate regard for film but also a formal degree in its study having earned a BFA in Film Studies from Concordia University. She has selected provocative, innovative and challenging films; provided extensive, thoroughly-researched, pre-screening introductions to educate, contextualize and elucidate such work (often unfamiliar to the program’s attendees); before leading lively group discussions after the viewing of each film. Many doubted the viability of such a unique program but Gayle has not only proven them wrong but engendered a spiritual, intellectual and artistic richness by which the residents of Côte Saint-Luc have greatly prospered.

Special Recognition Award:

Frank Levine, President of the Royal Canadian Legion, Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97, has been serving the Legion for several years. Frank leads the organization in the annual poppy sale program, which this past year raised more than $35,000. All funds are distributed to various hospitals and charities throughout Montreal. Frank is a central figure in organizing the V-E Day Commemoration Ceremony every May in Côte Saint-Luc and the November 11 Remembrance Day parade for the YM-YWHA. Special recognition goes out to Frank for his tireless effort and contribution to the successful endeavours and good work of the Royal Canadian Legion Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97.

Hazel Lipes Award – Recognizes a volunteer for their exceptional contribution to the Community Services Programs:

Shelley Schecter is the inspiration behind the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, responsible for its Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt Program. She has dedicated her life towards animal welfare and as the founder of Educhat, she is called upon by individuals across the province for assistance in rescuing homeless cats. “Without Shelley’s leadership, our volunteer committee would not have the tremendous success rate it has attained in the three years since its formation,” says Councillor Mike Cohen, who oversees this initiative.

EMS Award – Excellence in operations

Scott Hunt has been an EMS volunteer for more than 15 years and is consistently in the top 5 for number of volunteer hours. In fact, Scott won the 2012 Director’s Award for contributing over 1,000 hours of volunteer service to EMS.

EMS Award – Excellence in training

Tania Pellizzari joined EMS in 2011 and quickly rose through the ranks to the Captain of Training. A registered nurse by profession, Tania leads the recruiting, training, continuing education and quality assurance teams, ensuring that EMS’s clinical skills remain at the forefront.

EMS AWARD – Rookie of the Year

Anthony Gualtieri has been a rising star since joining EMS, sacrificing many hours — including a lot of overnight shifts — to help others. Anthony is also a volunteer with the Montreal Auxiliary Fire Department.

vCOP Award

vCOP scheduler Phillip Lackman is introduced by supervisor Susie Schwartz

vCOP scheduler Phillip Lackman is introduced by supervisor Susie Schwartz

Phillip Lackman is a vCOP extraordinaire. As the vCOP scheduler, Phillip is responsible for coordinating the shifts of the 70+ volunteers, keeping accurate track of everyone’s hours and ensuring optimal shift coverage, in addition to volunteering many hours himself.

Eco Award – Recognizes a volunteer who has demonstrated leadership in the promotion of environmental advocacy and action within the community:

Ulli Elia has been participating in the EcoAction committee since its inception, implicating herself in different events and activities. A teacher still in action, Ulli stretches in different directions to offer the best of her energy and pedagogical skills. at all levels, being a “master composter and recycler” at home and everywhere she goes!

Toby Shulman is highly devoted to protecting our environment and was one of the founding members of the EcoAction Committee in Côte Saint-Luc. She goes beyond the services available and proposes ideas, encouraging forward thinking in different sectors of the City. As a retired teacher, she continues to educate people within the community on this vital matter that is environment, sharing not only her knowledge but her passion!

Sports Award – Recognizes a volunteer for exceptional contributions to the community sports programs:

Marty Dorfman has been a tireless volunteer for the Côte Saint-Luc Minor Hockey Association over the past decade. Marty has served in different capacities on the executive committee, most recently as treasurer of the hockey association. His dedication and devotion to the program is a great example of volunteerism at its best.

Stewart Mankofsky Memorial Trophy – Presented to the athlete / volunteer who best exemplifies the qualities of dedication, sportsmanship, and love of competition:

Charlotte Dumaine has been a member of the Côte Saint-Luc Figure Skating Club for the past five years. Charlotte has won numerous awards and continues to give much prominence to her home club. Her positive attitude, work ethic and dedication to her craft make her the ideal recipient of this award.

Ambassador of the Year – Honours the Cote Saint-Luc citizen best portraying charitable qualities and serving the community at large:

Michael Kutz at CSL V-E Day 2012

Michael Kutz at CSL V-E Day 2012

Michael Kutz was 11 years old when the Germans rounded up the Jews of Nieswitche, Poland and transported them en masse to open pits where they were to be slaughtered. By a quirk of fate, Kutz was knocked unconscious and left for dead. Later that night he awoke and escaped, and made his way to a convent. He ultimately joined the partisan forces in the area. Kutz is the recipient of countless community awards, and was presented with the Supreme Chancellor’s medal by the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. He is also a member of the board of governors, board of directors and executive of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. Michael regular speaks to students, is a longstanding member of the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97 and the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club. He has just published his autobiography, Life after darkness. He always represents our community with pride.

Volunteer of the Year – Aquatics Program

Michele Castonguay has served as Côte Saint-Luc Aquatics official representative over the past two years. It is thanks to her that the club has been able to train more than 50 officials of various levels since the founding of the club. She is also instrumental in the running of all of the swim meets that Côte Saint-Luc has hosted. She is always willing to give her 110% to the team whether it means sitting on a hot pool deck for a weekend or spending every weeknight giving officials clinics to parents. In addition to this, she recently completed her officiating Level 5 in addition to all of her volunteering with the club. The entire club appreciates everything that she does.

Edward J. Kirwan Award – Honours the Volunteer of the Year for exceptional contribution to the community Parks and Recreation programs:

The Edward J. Kirwan Award for the Volunteer of the Year was presented to Sidney Margles last September. Sid is president of the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club, and a former Town of Mount Royal councillor, broadcaster and radio executive. Sid and his wife Merle chose Côte Saint-Luc to settle in for their retirement years, despite Sid being more active than some people who work fulltime. He has brought the Men’s Club to a level we have never seen before and worked alongside council and staff as the Aquatic and Community Centre took shape.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Joe Raie has dedicated much of his life to the organization and operation of sports in Côte Saint-Luc. Joe has been the president of the Côte Saint-Luc Minor Hockey Association and currently resides as both the president of the Côte Saint-Luc Youth Hockey League and the Côte Saint-Luc Senior Softball League. These leagues have all thrived and continue to flourish under his tutelage. The development of sports in Côte Saint-Luc would not be the same if not for Joe’s leadership.

Congratulations to all the award winners.