CANEX Gives Back Recognition Event!
By Sarah-Jean Mannette,
Recently, the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre (H&R MFRC) and PSP Community Recreation hosted the 2021 CANEX Gives Back Recognition Event. Held at Glow Halifax, it was the first time in two years that this event, supported by the CANEX, was held in-person! And what a time it was.
The CANEX Gives Back Annual Recognition Event for volunteers is directly supported by the CANEX from purchases made by CAF members and the community at large, with proceeds generated through the sales of merchandise like Support Our Troops, Soldier On, Military Kits, and other merchandise.
Attendees included volunteers, Capt(N) Sean Williams, Base Commander, CPO1 Alena Mondelli, Base Chief, Darren O’Connell, H&R MFRC employee engagement supervisor, Jill Clarke, H&R MFRC volunteer coordinator, and Stacey Robichaud, PSP acting deputy manager. Being so close to Christmas, Blaine Fennell, base store manager from the CANEX Windsor Park, was unable to attend, however he sent his regrets and well wishes for a fun event. Blaine continues to play a vital role in the connection between the CANEX and the H&R MFRC and PSP Community Recreation.
Darren O’Connell shared a message to the audience from Shelley Hopkins, executive director at the H&R MFRC: “Despite the challenges of ever-changing public health protocols, our volunteers showed up and adapted to new ways of doing activities and events. Your support for military families continued even though our activities and events, like departures and homecomings looked very different.”
Under the bright lights of the Glow event, there were many photo opportunities, speeches, and the ceremonial cheque presentation. This cheque represents the total hours volunteered between PSP Community Recreation and the H&R MFRC. The amount is calculated at the rate of minimum wage, showcasing a dollar value of contributed hours in savings. The total amount of the cheque was $48,278, which equates to over 3,700 volunteer hours. This is an incredible amount of time that volunteers have given these organizations. Stacey Robichaud and Darren O’Connell, representing PSP and the H&R MFRC, respectively, proudly presented the cheque to CPO1 Mondelli and Capt(N) Williams.
Volunteers are well-known at the H&R MFRC and PSP facilities, many of whom have been volunteering for over 18 years. Volunteers are military members, family members and those who have a passion for supporting military families.
Staff are truly grateful for the continued support from the CANEX. We encourage everyone to visit a CANEX location, at CFB Halifax, Windsor Park, and 12 Wing in Shearwater, or go online at www.canex.ca.
Programs and services at the H&R MFRC during a pandemic
The H&R MFRC continues to be responsive to the needs of military families by adapting to the guidelines and protocols put in place by Public Health. Our doors remain open, and although most staff are working from home, we continue to be operational, hosting programs virtually (via Zoom), providing online and over-the-phone services such as employment support and Veteran services, and offering options for those seeking mental health support. We continue to offer our morale mail service. As always, we are available by calling our 24/7 line: 902-427-7788 or connecting with us by email or on social media. Hope to see you all soon. Stay safe and be healthy.
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