A commemorative medal was created this year to mark the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.
Known as the Diamond Jubilee Medal it has become a way for Canada to honour the queen as well as the significant contributions and achievements by many Canadians.
Some 60,000 Canadians will be recognized with a medal including residents of Woolwich and Wellesley Townships.
Last week Charles Foy, LuAnn Snyder, Kelly Meissner, and Chattar Ahuja of Woolwich and Brent Thomlison of Wellesley, along with nine other individuals from the region, received their medals at a ceremony held at the Waterloo Region Museum.
The medal recognizes outstanding citizens who excellence in their field and continuously contribute to their community.For more than 30 years, Charles Foy has been actively involved in Waterloo Minor Soccer serving as a coach and past president of the club. Over the years he has become the face of the sport in the community.
Always one to volunteer he was inspired by the time he spent working at the Ontario Summer Games, special needs division and started a local program to coach children with autism. He is a founding member and past president of the Waterloo Epilepsy Chapter and a key contributor for many years with the Heidelberg Park and Recreation Association.
“There is an importance to volunteering in a community and I feel we should all try to do more… unfortunately I have seen a decrease in volunteers over the last few years to the point where things like the (Heidelberg Autumn Fair) have had to be cancelled,” said Foy at his home in Heidelberg after receiving the award. “I feel it is up to the younger people to step up and start volunteering within their own communities. It only takes a few hours a week and the rewards are endless.”Although honoured to be presented with the jubilee medal he initially tried to have someone else nominated in his place.
“It is nice to be recognized but I work along side so many others that I feel that this medal should be theirs as well,” he humbly said.
LuAnn Snyder was recognized for her work with the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation, named in honour of her son, NHL hockey player Dan Snyder who passed away in 2003. That foundation has provides scholarships to post-secondary students in Elmira and supports local sports and camps. Five years ago the foundation raised enough money to help build the Dan Snyder Memorial Arena. She can also been seen volunteering at the Elmira fire department and assisting seniors with gardening and rides to medical appointments.
“I was quite overwhelmed when I learned that I would be receiving the medal and I feel it is an absolute honour to be among those chosen,” said Snyder.
Kelly Meissner received her medal for her successful fundraising work through Kate’s Kause for the Gibson Park playground. Meissner’s daughter Kate was diagnosed with a congenital neurological condition known as Angelman Syndrome two years ago. Meissner was determined to ensure her daughter could enjoy the same activities as other children and managed to raise more than $300,000 to put towards the project.
In recognition of his volunteering, Chattar Ahuja, received a medal for his efforts to comfort and counsel patients at regional hospitals as well as to individuals at the Grand Valley Institute for Women and the Fenbrook and Beaver Creek Institutes for Men.
In 2008 he was named Volunteer of the Year by Victim Services on Waterloo Region and Community justice Initiatives. He is one of the founding members of Interfaith Grand River, an organization dedicated to promote better understanding between different religions and faiths.
As the Deputy Chief of Operations for the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Brent Thomlison chairs the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police where he serves on both the youth and training committees.
With 30 years of experience on the force, he has been involved in developing a community mobilization approach to policing that he has shared with law enforcement agencies across the globe and has helped teach police officers and the public in Latin America about proven crime prevention strategies used in Canada.
He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Police Forces this spring for his dedication as a police officer.