Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation honours longtime volunteers

Submitted by the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation

Longtime Almonte residents and community volunteers Rhonda and Paul Virgin are the 2023 recipients of the fifth annual Bert McIntyre Memorial Award for Volunteerism.

Rhonda and Paul received the award June 26 during the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor (AGH FVM) Foundation’s Annual General Meeting. The award was presented by the hospital’s president and CEO, Brad Harrington, and outgoing Foundation Board Chair, Rob Scott.

According to foundation managing director, Al Roberts, the Virgins have stepped up time and time again to help whenever needed.

“Finding the right chairs for a major fundraising campaign is always the first step in ensuring success,” said Roberts, reflecting on getting the Virgins to co-chair the first phase of the diagnostic imaging campaign called ‘Put Yourself in the Picture.’ “Rhonda and Paul were the perfect mix of community leadership, friendly neighbours, die-hard hospital and manor supporters, and total team players. Their commitment is born out of personally seeing how important the hospital and the manor are to local families. Their willingness to help, with big or small jobs, epitomizes why they are such deserving recipients of this year’s award.”

The Bert McIntyre Memorial Award was inaugurated and presented to Bert’s family in 2019 to recognize his countless hours of dedication to raising funds for the hospital and manor, and for his personal philanthropy. After a distinguished career as an OPP officer, Bert volunteered for 17 years with the foundation helping to raise thousands of dollars in support of quality health care close to home.

This year’s recipients have been stalwarts supporting the hospital, manor and foundation for more than 25 years. As well as co-chairing the first part of the DI campaign and helping to raise $1.8 million between 2017 and 2020, both have served on a variety of committees and boards over the years.

Rhonda has always been active planning and assisting at events and activities including house tours, dances, Christmas tree decorating and craft/bake sales. She currently volunteers in the hospital, and regularly helps out with foundation events. Just a month ago, she happily helped decorate smile cookies.

Paul followed in his mother Florence Virgin’s footsteps, and served on the hospital board for many years. He was eventually elected chair. During his tenure, he helped steward the first discussions around the Mississippi River Health Alliance that now sees the Almonte General Hospital and the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital collaborating more closely on the delivery of regional health care.

The Virgins have always been extremely generous with their time, talent and treasure. They are monthly donors plus they support in a variety of other ways such as pledging event participants, purchasing lottery tickets and giving In Memoriam donations.

As parents, they’ve set an amazing example for their children who now as adults support the Hospital and Manor in various ways as well. After tragically losing their 31-year-old son-in-law, Dustin Littau, in 2017 to a blood cancer, the Virgins, along with the Littau family, have helped daughter Becky put on a golf tournament that has raised $153,000 in five years benefitting the AGH FVM Foundation, Kemptville District Hospital Foundation, Canada Blood Service and the CHEO Foundation.

“I met Paul and Rhonda at a breakfast in 2017 that was the kick off the DI Campaign,” said outgoing Foundation Chair Rob Scott. I came to know them over the years as prime drivers of the campaign, acting as co-chairs. At the time, I remember them as two community leaders, and now I know them as friends and dedicated supporters, very deserving of this Foundation honour.”

Past recipients of the Award include Bert McIntyre (2019), Margaret Duncan (2020) Betty Preston (2021) and Art Solomonian (2022), all of whom Rhonda and Paul have volunteered with along the way.

Submitted by the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation

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