Community leaders were out en force to acknowledge this year’s volunteer representatives in Springhill. [From left] Leisure Service’s Scott Munro, Mayor Max Snow and Leisure Services administrative assistant Michelle Herrett congratulate Springhill’s volunteer representative of the year Dan Calder, who also received a certification from Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie.
SPRINGHILL – Like a well-written song, volunteers bring harmony to a community.
Fittingly, Springhill’s volunteer of the year Dan Calder connects with youth, the community and good causes through music instruction and its been his dedication that has nurtured new talent while expanding a music program at the Springhill High School just a few short years ago didn’t exist.
“I’ve noticed Dan working with our young people over the years and I’ve noticed Dan has all the patience in the world for young people,” Springhill Mayor Max Snow said at Wednesday’s volunteer recognition night in Springhill. “Music is a universal language and he has a passion for music and teaching.”
For Calder, who represented the community at the provincial volunteer recognition night in Halifax earlier this week, the honour is humbling.
“I just go out and play music with great kids,” Calder said. “Who knew they gave awards out for that.”
When in Halifax, Calder says he realizes the energy and excitement volunteers bring to their communities, but brings his own experience back to the youth he works with.
“It’s the kids, really, that drive [the music program],” Calder said. “They’re so versatile. I’ve learned more music styles in the last three years than I have in the last 30 years.”
The talents of Springhill’s youth, however, are not limited to just music, exemplified in the community’s youth-volunteer representative of the year Forrest Gallagher.
“Forrest is an extremely caring human being who believes and stands up for the underdog,” Springhill Leisure Service’s Scott Munro said.
From his involvement in school groups and organizations, to supporting local sporting opportunities and teaching younger children to skate, Gallagher is creating the community he wants to live in through action.
“It’s nice being recognized with this prestigious award but it’s funny, too,” Gallagher said. “Banquets and awards are nice, but I don’t do it for banquets. It’s just in my nature. I like seeing the look on people’s faces, their expression, when I help.”
Springhill hosted its volunteer recognition night at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre and as has become the tradition, besides naming its volunteer representative of the year and youth volunteer of the year, recognizes representatives from community groups and organizations who contribute to the betterment of Springhill without reward.
“Many nights many things are going on in Cumberland County and that’s because of volunteers,” Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie said. “I truly believe the most noble thing someone can do is give a little bit of themselves with no reward.”