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Island volunteers recognized for dedication to community groups

Island volunteers, from left, Blair Corkum of the Community Legal Information Association, Judy Hierlihy of the P.E.I. Women’s Network and Leo Broderick of the Council of Canadians P.E.I. Chapter show the certificates of appreciation they received during the 11th annual Volunteer Awards and Fundraising Breakfast. Missing from the photo: Irene Burge, Cooper Institute; Valerie Curtis, Bedeque Area Historical Society; Peter Dunfield, Canadian Cancer Society; and Gerry Mawhinney, New London Community Complex.
Island volunteers, from left, Blair Corkum of the Community Legal Information Association, Judy Hierlihy of the P.E.I. Women’s Network and Leo Broderick of the Council of Canadians P.E.I. Chapter show the certificates of appreciation they received during the 11th annual Volunteer Awards and Fundraising Breakfast. Missing from the photo: Irene Burge, Cooper Institute; Valerie Curtis, Bedeque Area Historical Society; Peter Dunfield, Canadian Cancer Society; and Gerry Mawhinney, New London Community Complex. - Katherine Hunt

Volunteering often means hours of unpaid dedication without expecting anything in return.

But what one puts in to volunteering, they get back 100 times more.

“You do it because you get more out of it than you put in. You always do,” said Judy Hierlihy, who has volunteered with the P.E.I. Women’s Network for the last six years.

Hierlihy and six other Island volunteers were acknowledged for their hard work by the Volunteer Resource Council (VRC) during its 11th annual Volunteer Awards and Fundraising Breakfast at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown earlier this month.

The event recognized valued volunteers in the community while also acting as a fundraiser for the VRC, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

“It was lovely,” said Hierlihy. “It was very sweet of them to think that I am worthy.”

Hierlihy, a Cornwall resident, started volunteering for the P.E.I. Women’s Network when her friend and former board chair Beti Andric asked her to join.

“I work from home as an accountant in a very male-dominated industry so when she suggested ‘Why don’t you volunteer with the Women’s Network?’ I said ‘Yes, 100 per cent’,” said Hierlihy. “And I’m very glad I did.”

Hierlihy wears several hats within the Women’s Network of P.E.I.

She is the treasurer and recently became chair on the board of directors.

She is also the chair of the network’s fundraising committee.

Dear to Hierlihy is the annual Celebrate Island Women fundraiser for the organization which she helps put together every year.

Darcie Lanthier, who organized the awards breakfast and sits on the VRC board, said Hierlihy was selected as someone to highlight this year because of all her hard work.

“The nomination for Judy was just so strong from the Women’s Network,” said Lanthier. “She’s really taken charge and they’re just really happy to have her on.”

Volunteering is important to Hierlihy for many reasons, one being to set a good example for her children.

A few years ago, Hierlihy had to go to a meeting with the P.E.I. Women’s Network but her daughter wanted her to stay home.

Her daughter asked if someone else could go instead.

Hierlihy said she responded by asking “What if everyone thought that?”

To which her daughter quickly realized meant “Then nobody would do it.”

“I think it’s important for her to see and grow up in an environment where you foster volunteers,” said Hierlihy.

In the past, Hierlihy also volunteered for the Island Hospice Association and the Girl Guides of Canada.

Hierlihy said she doesn’t expect to stop volunteering any time soon.

“I would suspect that in some capacity I will be volunteering for the rest of my life.”

The following Island volunteers were honoured during the Volunteer Resource Council’s 11th annual Volunteer Awards and Fundraising Breakfast.

  • Judy Hierlihy, P.E.I. Women’s Network
  • Leo Broderick, Council of Canadians P.E.I. Chapter
  • Blair Corkum, Community Legal Information Association
  • Irene Burge, Cooper Institute
  • Valerie Curtis, Bedeque Area Historical Society
  • Peter Dunfield, Canadian Cancer Society
  • Gerry Mawhinney, New London Community Complex

Katherine.hunt@theguardian.pe.ca

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