GRAVENHURST — If it take a village to raise a child, it take volunteers to run a town.

Gravenhurst handed out its semi-annual Community Spirit Awards Thursday honouring individuals and groups who have shown outstanding volunteerism and or achievement, with recipients nominated by members of the community and their peers.

Committee chair Gord Durnan called the evening at the Opera House, which included musical interludes by pianist Abby Liang, a “big hug for Gravenhurst.”

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“We have so many great people, doing great things for our community and this is a night to applaud their efforts,” said Mayor Paul Kelly, who asked the audience to think of others and pay it forward.

“There are many unsung heroes in our community. Thank you for all you have done to make Gravenhurst the best it can possibly be.”


  • Judy Campbell and Nancy Cronin – Outstanding Volunteerism for their work at Ryde Co-Op
  • Rick Campbell – Outstanding Volunteerism for work with the Dog Park and the Dog Park Families
  • Muskoka Parry Sound OPP Auxiliary Unit: Provincial Constable David Hallett; uxiliary Staff Sergeant Robert LeBouthillier; Auxiliary Sergeant Jamie McBride; Auxiliary Sergeant Steven Torrance; Axiliary Sergeant Matt Walker; uxiliary Constable Natalie Kurkimaki; uxiliary Constable Tim Treleaven;   Auxiliary Constable Tammy Whitehead; uxiliary Constable Josh Clement and Auxiliary Constable Leslie Pratt for their Outstanding Volunteerism throughout the community through Stuff a Cruiser, Salvation Army Toy Drive, Ready for Kindergarten program, car seat clinics and presentations to the high school
  • Tim Webb and Dave Campbell – Outstanding Volunteerism, Achievement and Good Samaritan in their efforts and contributions to build Gravenhurst
  • Gary Rolston – Outstanding Volunteerism for 30 plus years as a member of rotary and establishing the Rotary TV Bingo running more than 20 years
  • Lynne Briden – Outstanding Volunteerism through her dedication of time to the Gravenhurst Seniors Centre fundraisers, luncheons, tournaments, involvement the Ontario Senior Games Association and willingness to always pitch in.
  • Jennifer Brunton – Outstanding Volunteerism through Charity Bike Nights and raising funds for local organizations (toy drives, children’s foundations, food drives)
  • Derek Schofield – Outstanding Volunteerism through his work with Muskoka Children’s Foundation, Ringette, Terry Fox Fundraising and other projects at KP Manson
  • Bruce Dart – Outstanding Volunteerism with his initiative for the annual Rotary food drive six years ago which collects hundreds of pounds of food each October for the Salvation Army
  • Denis Ranque – Outstanding Volunteerism for starting Sunset Salsa, teaching all participants and giving donations from each evening to Gravenhurst Against Poverty
  • Jeremy Brackley – Outstanding Volunteerism for work throughout the community as Volunteer Firefighter at Coldest Night of the Year, Habitat for Humanity Builds, Santa Claus Parade and numerous others
  • Danielle Ryan – Outstanding Volunteerism for work with the Volunteer Firefighters at community events, spearheading the Fire Department Toy Drive and teaching Yoga as a means of combating the negative effects of First Responder Stress
  • Joe Hill – Outstanding Volunteerism for work with the Volunteer Firefighters to join in fitness activities to combat stress and keep fit, organizing the 9/11 memorial stair climb “110 for the 343” to memorialize the 343 fire fighters who died while responding to 9/11
  • Alain and Robbie Irvine – Act of Good Samaritan in providing those who attend Supper Club with protein to take home and supplied milk and eggs weekly to all at no cost.  They started the FEED Gravenhurst food cards which social service agencies can give to clients to get a restaurant meal and providing a Turkey Dinner at thanksgiving to the 100+ that attend supper club
  • Alana Robinson – Outstanding Volutneerism for her many years volunteering, organizing and raising funds for her community and being there to help anyway she can.
  • 2019 Gravenhurst community volunteer Spirit Award recipients.