The regular Wellesley Fall Fair may be on hold again due to the pandemic, but the township will carry on its recognition of its citizens of the year. Virtual presentations are scheduled for September 14.
This year’s citizen of the year is Jerome (Jerry) Sherrer, while Ahmad Khan is the junior citizen of the year. Beth Schlueter is being recognized with a lifetime achievement award.
This is the second year the award ceremony will be a virtual affair. The selection process, too, was done largely online, says organizer Wendy Richardson, noting that the committee received a good response to its call for nominations.
“Last year was our first year (online), and we had 29 nominations come in. Because last year was a short year, we kept some of the nominations from last year and added to it, but this year we had about another 29,” she said.
From there, the fall fair committee looking after the awards discussed the nominees via email, whittling down the list before meeting by videoconference. They eventually chose the recipients for 2021.
A Linwood resident, Jerry Sherrer is being recognized for his years of volunteer work in the community. He is an active member of the Lions club, filling several leadership roles within the club and logging countless hours over the years in many of the club’s fundraising activities. He’s a long-time supporter of the Linwood Snofest, overseeing the popular Solo tournament. In that vein, he’s also the convenor of the local bridge club.
As well, he’s a board member for Community Care Concepts, actively involved in the non-profit organization. He is also an active volunteer board member of the Wellington-Waterloo Futures Development program, which provides funding and advisory services to new businesses to help get them started.
“The Lions Club is very involved in the trail that goes through the village, a walking and, cycling trail. We look after it – that’s one of the big projects. And they’ve also started a memorial forest, so there’s always something we get involved in, with fundraising. We have a big project every year for fundraising,” said Sherrer, noting he’s been involved in volunteer activities for decades, with more time for that since his retirement.
“I’ve been involved pretty well for years – I don’t know, you just sort of start and you get more involved as you go along, so there really wasn’t a starting point. I enjoy working with people and helping people – that’s basically who I am.”
A resident of Wellesley village, Ahmad Khan is also a prolific volunteer, which helped him earn the title of junior citizen of the year.
He was nominated for his fundraising efforts and volunteerism, the likes of serving breakfast in Linwood, contributing his ideas to the Kitchener-Conestoga Youth Advisory Council, being involved in the mock council run by the Wellesley Youth Advisory Council. He has volunteered for the Wellesley Community Centre Board at youth dances and volunteered at PD camps. He helped the Lions Club with candy distribution at Halloween.
The Grade 12 student at Waterloo Oxford District Secondary School recently assisted the fair committee with its first-ever bottle drive to raise money for a new recreation centre.
For a lifetime of volunteer work, Wellesley village resident Beth Schlueter is this year’s recipient of the lifetime achievement award.
She and her husband Murray have been strongly involved in the Wellesley Board of Trade, the fair board, Red Shed event for their church, and ran the Wellesley Home and Garden Show together for several years.
Most recently, she volunteered with the COVID clinic in Wellesley and is heading the Wellesley Township poppy project alongside Barb Nowak. She has helped strongly with any events happening in Wellesley, including the two fish fries with Wellesley Home Centre and helps with the office work for the Wellesley Township Fall Fair, as well as contributing to projects such as the community unity flower garden afghan, Wellesley Food Cupboard, township fair and the fundraising drive for a new recreation centre.
“I just feel that I need to do it – I need to help wherever I can,” said Schlueter of her volunteer work, noting many people take part in such activities. “That is what makes Wellesley Township what it is – all the people that do volunteer work within a community just makes it something that draws people to our community.
“I think it’s a great feeling of accomplishment and joy, feeling like you’ve done your part when you volunteer.”
All of the recipients were at the Wellesley Community Centre Tuesday night taping segments to be posted online September 14, the date that would normally have seen the fall fair events take place had the pandemic not cancelled in-person activities again this year.