NORTH PERTH – Ray and Diane Homewood have been named this year’s Norm Stirling Citizens of the Year.
The Norm Stirling Citizen of the Year Award is given to those recognized for their volunteer service; it is the highest award the municipality can bestow for that sector. During the April 25 North Perth council meeting, Mayor Todd Kasenberg announced their win.
Reading the comments from the nominator, Kasenberg said, “Diane and Ray Homewood are amazing examples of what it means to support the community in which you live. They consider volunteering a part of their regular schedule and daily life. In addition to all the good work they have done, and it is substantial, they are amazing neighbors and the most dedicated parents and grandparents.
“We are so very thankful to have them in our lives and our community is blessed to have them as seen by their countless examples of generosity. There are no others more deserving of this recognition than Ray and Diane Homewood.”
It was noted that the Homewoods are volunteer coordinators for the community Salvation Army kettle drive, volunteered for local COVID vaccine clinics, and Diane sits on the Family Services Advisory Council. Through the Salvation Army Family Services Wednesday evening program, HOPE Eats, they help to serve 135 meals a week to those in need. They also vlog with local schools.
Ray, in response to the award, had this to say:
“On behalf of Diane and I, I want to say a big thank-you. We appreciate the many, many individuals, organizations, and service groups that serve North Perth. We are humbled to be recognized for our own tiny contributions. Recently, on a trip to North Mexico, we were introduced to the Tarahumara people – their life philosophy is ‘to walk well.’ And as we attempt to adopt this philosophy in our own small and applauded way, we appreciate everyone that provides us an opportunity to serve in North Perth.”
The Homewoods have been living in North Perth since 1983 and retired in 2014.
Also awarded at April 25 council was the Celebrate North Perth – Inspiration Awards, a relatively new award given to those that inspires others “through their outstanding accomplishment or service to the community within the preceding year.” This is the second year of the awards running and they were awarded to Dr. Lisa Trojnar and Abha Dayal.
Trojnar is said to be “the key driver and workhorse behind Listowel’s successful COVID-19 vaccination strategy.” When vaccines were approved, she ensured that Listowel got its own supply and that Listowel’s vulnerable community had the option for vaccination. Trojnar profusely thanked her colleagues, saying that she wished her whole team could be recognized.
Dayal, a local business owner, also received a Celebrate North Perth – Inspiration Award. Serving on the board of directors of the North Perth Chamber of Commerce, she is a registered financial advisor and a homemaker. She was described as a newcomer to Canada but said she does not consider herself an immigrant anymore, as she has received a tremendous amount of love and support from the community.
She said that she is confident the award “will help me to be a better human being – knowing that people do trust in me. And I really hope to serve you all nothing but with the best.”
Connor Luczka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner