Two familiar faces from in and around Tillsonburg’s pools were recognized recently by the province for their work with the Lifesaving Society.
Julie Dawley and Jeff McCurdy, both employees of Tillsonburg Parks and Recreation Services, were presented with the Commonwealth Honour Awards by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, David Onley, on Tuesday December 4, 2012 during a ceremony at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
“These two individuals are a credit to this community,” said Rick Cox, Director of Parks and Recreation Services in a press release earlier last week. “We are lucky to have such dedicated staff on our team and I’m very proud of them.”
The two employees received citations and medals recognizing their service to the Lifesaving Society and to increasing water safety in Ontario.
Dawley was presented with the ‘Bar to Service Cross’ recognizing 20 years of leadership and among numerous others, for her outstanding contributions to the society’s humanitarian mission.
“It’s a professional development but one that we love to do because it does make such a difference. Every year we raise lots of money for drowning prevention,” said Dawley. “I’ve been an area chair for the Lifesaving Society for many, many years, and it’s something we do over and above our jobs but it also ties in with our jobs.”
She pointed out the Lifesaving Society’s primary focus as an organization.
“To educate the public about water safety and prevent drownings - and also identify those higher user groups that we know are statistically drowning in Ontario,” she added. “One of those groups is small children and ensuring parents are within an arms reach. That’s a very big safety message.”
In addition to their involvement with the Lifesaving Society, McCurdy and Dawley enjoy giving back to the community in the way of volunteering at special events, lifeguard competitions, fundraisers and through various initiatives by the society.
McCurdy was presented with a ‘Service Medal’ recognizing five years of leadership and among other contributions, for his energetic commitment to the development of lifesaving.
“I’ve had other recognitions through the Lifesaving Society itself, but this is my first Commonwealth award given by the Lieutenant Governor,” said program coordinator Jeff McCurdy. “It felt good to be recognized for my achievements and the work I’ve done.”
Dawley said being involved in the Lifesaving Society has played an important role in not only her job as senior program coordinator at the Tillsonburg Community Centre, but also in many parts of the community.
“It’s a great association to work with. You really can volunteer in any capacity – you don’t always have to be somebody who works in aquatics. You could be somebody who is a teacher and loves swimming and wants to help promote water safety.”
With over 20 years of experience in her career and in her volunteer work, Dawley’s role and involvement with the Lifesaving Society, has given her the opportuntiy to make a significant contribution and a difference to the people in Tillsonburg.
“It’s my passion.”