Dundas Community Awards presented

News Apr 28, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Russ Powers' connection with the annual Dundas Citizen of the year award goes back to the first one handed to Gladys Hewer in 1972.

Powers was a volunteer member of the Dundas Jaycees in the early 1970s, when the service club created not only the annual awards, but also the Dundas Cactus Festival. Last Tuesday night, Powers officially joined the list of 45 recipients as he was officially named the 2016 Royal Bank Dundas Citizen of the Year.

"In Dundas, there are so many opportunities to not only get involved but to give back," Powers said. "You just had to seek out something you were interested in.

"There are 127 volunteer organizations in the community of Dundas. They should all be recognized."

William Olenek was named the 2016 Dundas Valley Collision Youth Volunteer of the Year. Olenek volunteers extensively with the Stewards of Cootes Watershed, not only in the group's weekly area creek cleanups, but also by managing their equipment and storage.

Olenek is also a volunteer coach in the Hamilton Waterpolo Club's junior league.

"I'd like to thank my mom for always supporting me," he said as he accepted the award. "You're great, mom."

Dundas Learning Centre, which has provided education and growth opportunities for intellectually challenged adults for more than 20 years, was named Business of the Year.

Founder Anne Pearson said she was disillusioned with a system that ended educational programs at the age of 21. She saw a gap in service, and with the support of seven families and the Dundas Civitan Club, she implemented a vision to fill that gap. The program has grown to more than 36 clients.

"I thought there could be something better out there," Pearson said.

Pearson announced she would be retiring this year, and passing on operation of the centre to a new director.

"I know the philosophy will be continued," Pearson said.

Powers talked about his move to Dundas in 1966, as a 17-year-old, with his parents and brother.

"We didn't come willingly," he said.

But the teenage reaction didn't last as Powers quickly became a volunteer and contributed to his new home, following the lead of his parents and other influences.

"My parents never apologized for being busy. They were giving back to the community. That was instilled in us at an early age," he said.

Powers grew up in Streetsville, where he got to know famed local politician Hazel McCallion.

"Politics rubs off on you when you spend time in a household like that," Powers said.

Since retiring from a 32-year career as a municipal and federal politician, he's returned to his volunteering roots, as shown by his nominators putting the word retired in quotation marks.

Powers serves as chair of both Dundas Community Services and the Dundas Museum and Archives.

"There are many opportunities in this community and I want to be involved," Powers said.

Dundas Community Awards presented

Russ Powers, William Olenek and Dundas Learning Centre all recognized

News Apr 28, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Russ Powers' connection with the annual Dundas Citizen of the year award goes back to the first one handed to Gladys Hewer in 1972.

Powers was a volunteer member of the Dundas Jaycees in the early 1970s, when the service club created not only the annual awards, but also the Dundas Cactus Festival. Last Tuesday night, Powers officially joined the list of 45 recipients as he was officially named the 2016 Royal Bank Dundas Citizen of the Year.

"In Dundas, there are so many opportunities to not only get involved but to give back," Powers said. "You just had to seek out something you were interested in.

"There are 127 volunteer organizations in the community of Dundas. They should all be recognized."

My parents never apologized for being busy. They were giving back to the community.

William Olenek was named the 2016 Dundas Valley Collision Youth Volunteer of the Year. Olenek volunteers extensively with the Stewards of Cootes Watershed, not only in the group's weekly area creek cleanups, but also by managing their equipment and storage.

Olenek is also a volunteer coach in the Hamilton Waterpolo Club's junior league.

"I'd like to thank my mom for always supporting me," he said as he accepted the award. "You're great, mom."

Dundas Learning Centre, which has provided education and growth opportunities for intellectually challenged adults for more than 20 years, was named Business of the Year.

Founder Anne Pearson said she was disillusioned with a system that ended educational programs at the age of 21. She saw a gap in service, and with the support of seven families and the Dundas Civitan Club, she implemented a vision to fill that gap. The program has grown to more than 36 clients.

"I thought there could be something better out there," Pearson said.

Pearson announced she would be retiring this year, and passing on operation of the centre to a new director.

"I know the philosophy will be continued," Pearson said.

Powers talked about his move to Dundas in 1966, as a 17-year-old, with his parents and brother.

"We didn't come willingly," he said.

But the teenage reaction didn't last as Powers quickly became a volunteer and contributed to his new home, following the lead of his parents and other influences.

"My parents never apologized for being busy. They were giving back to the community. That was instilled in us at an early age," he said.

Powers grew up in Streetsville, where he got to know famed local politician Hazel McCallion.

"Politics rubs off on you when you spend time in a household like that," Powers said.

Since retiring from a 32-year career as a municipal and federal politician, he's returned to his volunteering roots, as shown by his nominators putting the word retired in quotation marks.

Powers serves as chair of both Dundas Community Services and the Dundas Museum and Archives.

"There are many opportunities in this community and I want to be involved," Powers said.

Dundas Community Awards presented

Russ Powers, William Olenek and Dundas Learning Centre all recognized

News Apr 28, 2017 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Russ Powers' connection with the annual Dundas Citizen of the year award goes back to the first one handed to Gladys Hewer in 1972.

Powers was a volunteer member of the Dundas Jaycees in the early 1970s, when the service club created not only the annual awards, but also the Dundas Cactus Festival. Last Tuesday night, Powers officially joined the list of 45 recipients as he was officially named the 2016 Royal Bank Dundas Citizen of the Year.

"In Dundas, there are so many opportunities to not only get involved but to give back," Powers said. "You just had to seek out something you were interested in.

"There are 127 volunteer organizations in the community of Dundas. They should all be recognized."

My parents never apologized for being busy. They were giving back to the community.

William Olenek was named the 2016 Dundas Valley Collision Youth Volunteer of the Year. Olenek volunteers extensively with the Stewards of Cootes Watershed, not only in the group's weekly area creek cleanups, but also by managing their equipment and storage.

Olenek is also a volunteer coach in the Hamilton Waterpolo Club's junior league.

"I'd like to thank my mom for always supporting me," he said as he accepted the award. "You're great, mom."

Dundas Learning Centre, which has provided education and growth opportunities for intellectually challenged adults for more than 20 years, was named Business of the Year.

Founder Anne Pearson said she was disillusioned with a system that ended educational programs at the age of 21. She saw a gap in service, and with the support of seven families and the Dundas Civitan Club, she implemented a vision to fill that gap. The program has grown to more than 36 clients.

"I thought there could be something better out there," Pearson said.

Pearson announced she would be retiring this year, and passing on operation of the centre to a new director.

"I know the philosophy will be continued," Pearson said.

Powers talked about his move to Dundas in 1966, as a 17-year-old, with his parents and brother.

"We didn't come willingly," he said.

But the teenage reaction didn't last as Powers quickly became a volunteer and contributed to his new home, following the lead of his parents and other influences.

"My parents never apologized for being busy. They were giving back to the community. That was instilled in us at an early age," he said.

Powers grew up in Streetsville, where he got to know famed local politician Hazel McCallion.

"Politics rubs off on you when you spend time in a household like that," Powers said.

Since retiring from a 32-year career as a municipal and federal politician, he's returned to his volunteering roots, as shown by his nominators putting the word retired in quotation marks.

Powers serves as chair of both Dundas Community Services and the Dundas Museum and Archives.

"There are many opportunities in this community and I want to be involved," Powers said.