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Woolwich trails coordinator on the short list for volunteer award

Anyone who has used Woolwich’s enviable trail system has seen Ann Roberts’ handiwork … and that of the many residents who give their time to maintain the routes.

Now, a light is being shone on her work with a variety of groups in the township: she’s a finalist in this year’s Volunteer Impact Awards. Organized by the Volunteer Action Centre of K-W & Area, the awards recognize the contributions of volunteers in five categories. The centre received more than 35 nominations this time around, paring the list down to 15 finalists.

Roberts is one of three finalists in the volunteer management category.

“We thought Ann was a very logical choice for the volunteer management position,” said Larry Devitt, Woolwich’s director of recreation and facilities, who put Roberts’ name forward.

As the township’s trails coordinator, Roberts works with volunteers as a matter of course, from the Township of Woolwich Environmental Enhancement Committee (TWEEC) to the Clean Waterways group and members of service clubs. More than simply coordinating the efforts, she’s a hands-on participant, more a member of the volunteer squad than a boss, said Devitt.

“Ann is a tremendous organizer. She has a real genius for getting people to get involved in these things.”
When going through the nomination process, he found the volunteer groups eager to support the bid, writing letters of endorsement submitted as part of the application.

“People were really pleased to make comments about her. Everyone was glad to support her nomination,” he said of Roberts’ popularity.

Recipients of the 2010 Volunteer Impact Awards will be announced at a gala dinner on June 10 at the city hall in Kitchener. Awards are presented in five categories: business community partner, helping hands, innovative involvement, outstanding leadership and volunteer management.

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