The Citizen Recognition Program acknowledges outstanding individuals or groups that make a significant contribution or positive impact for the citizens in our region. As with being a part of PAWS (Pet & Wellness Society) all of the teams and their pets were nominated as recognised citizens. This was such an honor and I am so proud to be a part of PAWS with Rolo to make a difference in people’s lives.
“Pet therapy began in Fort McMurray in 1989 when two residents and their dogs began visiting seniors in Athabasca House and the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre. The group grew to 10 members and continued until 1995 when it was dissolved. In 1999, Brian Jackson with his two Newfoundlanders and Marsha Smart with her Bernese Mountain Dogs began a new chapter in pet therapy. They joined the Northern Alberta Pet Therapy Association and went through a formal training program. Donna and Doug McCullough with Boomer and Dan Salomons with Sam joined the program in 2000. It was a positive move to have them join the program, since the two dogs came from the SPCA. In 2002, the need for a local training program was recognized as more and more people and pets wanted to become involved in pet therapy and more facilities were interested in having visitors. Pets and Wellness in Fort McMurray (PAWS FM) was the result. The first course was held in 2002. In 2010, the program underwent a small transformation, including a new logo and a modified name: PAWs for People” (borrowed from the PAWS Facebook Page)
This is how our night went: On January 30th everyone dawned beautiful dresses & suits and met for an amazing night at MacDonald Island hosted by the Mayor & Council. The room was beautifully decorated AS ALWAYS by Events with Vizability (eventswithvizability.ca). We all first met for a cocktail hour in the adjacent room from the event, this was a great time to chat with all the nominees and everyone else who attended the event. On a table there was a beautiful flower “boutonniere” for each nominee to wear for the night. After about an hour everyone then moved into the ballroom to begin the awards ceremony. FIRST we got to eat a delish plated dinner complete with dessert! Mac Island out did their self with these meals, I ate every single bite of my meal! After dinner the award ceremony started which was broadcasted online so everyone could watch, there were 18 people nominated and 2 groups nominated for the 8 awards that were going to be given out. Jerry Neville from country 93.3 was the Emcee for this event and he always does a great job! Before each award was given out to the 8 recipients a video played from their nominators. These videos were heartfelt, emotional and made me teary eyed. After the video played a recipient would go up to the front of the room and accept their beautiful award from the Mayor and 2 councillors; Sheldon Germain & Tyran Ault. When the night was over everyone went back into the cocktail room for group photos. These haven’t been released yet but when they do I will be sure to put it on my facebook page for all to see (www.facebook.com/rescuemomblog)
I want to also give a shout out to one of Fort McMurray SPCA’s own Lynn Hannah (photo below)! She was a recipient of one of the 8 awards that night and she is very well deserved of it!!!!
If you want to watch the award ceremony here is the link to the video:
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