Winegard Volunteer Award Winners Named

April 03, 2009 - Campus Bulletin

Student housing director Irene Thompson, acting associate chief librarian Janet Kaufman and Arthur Churchyard, a biology and environmental studies student, are the 2009 recipients of the Dr. William Winegard Exemplary Volunteer Involvement Awards.

The announcement was made today at an event at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. The awards are named for the former U of G president and recognize members of the University community who have shown commitment to volunteering and given outstanding service to organizations in the Guelph area.

The awards were developed by the University in partnership with the United Way of Guelph and Wellington and the Volunteer Centre of Guelph-Wellington. Winners were selected from a pool of nominees by Winegard and volunteer representatives from U of G, the United Way and the Volunteer Centre.

“This year’s winners are excellent examples of how members of the University community are improving the lives of those who live and work in Guelph and Wellington County,” said Cathy Taylor, executive director of the Volunteer Centre. “Their generosity and the generosity of all University volunteers are invaluable to our community.”

The three winners received original artwork created by U of G student Tori Drost that represents the concept of community.

Thompson was honoured for her dedicated service to the United Way’s University and regional campaigns. She was the leadership chair for the community effort for four years, raising more than $1.3 million in leadership giving. Her other volunteer activities include chairing U of G’s Professional Staff Association, being an academic coach for the Gryphon football team and serving as a member of the Alcohol Interest Group and Crisis Response Team.

In nominating her for the award, Prof. Jim Atkinson of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science and United Way campaign director Lori Arsenault, described Thompson as “a truly committed volunteer” who is always willing to lend a hand where needed. “Her professionalism, outstanding communication skills, friendly manner and positive attitude have made her a role model for all within the University community.”

Kaufman is an active volunteer member of Trellis Mental Heath and Development Services, Community Torchlight: Distress Centre of Wellington/Dufferin, the U of G and regional United Way, Onward Willow and Project Serve Cape Croker/Nawash. She also lends her time to several other community organizations, including Family and Children’s Services and the Guelph-Wellington-Dufferin District Health Council.

“Janet is truly an extraordinarily giving person who should be recognized not for her own sake but for ours, as she stands out as a true inspiration to us all,” wrote her nominators, chief information officer Michael Ridley and Lynn Campbell, the library’s senior development manager.

Churchyard was chosen for his extensive volunteer involvement both on and off campus. He started U of G’s Sustainability Day, which recently received a Gordon Nixon Leadership Award and involved more than 150 volunteers and 35 community groups. He is also involved with the Canadian Association of Community Service, Give Yourself Credit, the Speed River Cleanup, Toronto’s Ecojustice law firm, Wellington County’s Green Legacy not-for-profit tree planting, the new Transition Guelph initiative, Out on the Shelf and U of G’s Orientation Week.
The fourth-generation Ontario Agricultural College student is also known for award-winning work in radio and television communications that promote U of G’s agricultural research.

His nominator, Prof. Jim Mahone, Environmental Design and Rural Development, lauded Churchyard for his “talented and deeply conscientious volunteerism in the Guelph community” and said his achievements are “an outstanding tribute to the value of University of Guelph students to the broader community.”

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1