A community organization in Lorette was honoured earlier in the week by the province.
The Notre Dame de Lorette Catholic Women's League (CWL) was notified that they are a recipient of the Premiers Volunteer Service Award.
The Premier's Volunteer Service Awards were established by the Premier's office, in partnership with Volunteer Manitoba, to honour the efforts and dedication of outstanding volunteers in Manitoba; and recognize and encourage the valuable services performed by volunteers throughout the province.
Andrea Adams was part of a group of residents that nominated the CWL and was excited about the announcement. ‘We've been very excited about the fact that they aren't just getting any old award. They're getting the Premier's award and this is just long overdue and very very very well deserved.’
Adams didn’t need to be persuaded to participate in the nomination process, as the CWL has been instrumental in building community in Lorette for decades. She has seen firsthand the good that the women’s group does in the community, ‘they just do it for the good and for helping others, and that's I think what is most important.’
From helping out at wedding receptions, to picking up garbage, collecting clothing donations, hosting socials and fundraisers, the CWL has had an active part of Lorette for over 32 years. Adams says this group of women deserve recognition. ‘If somebody needed a wheelchair or if somebody needed to take a trip to Germany to get back surgery or a new van for a young woman in town who required a special van for her wheelchair, it's been countless things like this and they get little to no recognition for the job that they do within our community and within our province.’
Lucy Bernardin, president of the CWL was surprised by the nomination followed by receiving the award, ‘when we first told that we were nominated, it didn't really feel real, but it was really special.’
After they learned of the nomination and that the requirements to be nominated involved explaining volunteer activities, the ladies of the CWL decided to compile their own list of the things they have done. The list was over three pages long covering activities over the 32 years they’ve been involved in the community.
According to Bernardin, the group is fairly young compared to other women’s leagues in the province and she says they have an experienced group. ‘A little bit of bragging, but I would say some of the most experienced and well thought out, and intelligent ladies that I've ever seen. And they are passionate about what they are involved in and that really comes through in how we show ourselves.’
Bernardin is quick to explain why women should join the Catholic Women’s League. ‘For starters, we are faith-based, so if you have any spirituality or faith, it's a great way of just bolstering it up. And you're doing it in a group of ladies, so you're sharing in your faith. They are amazing women; they welcome you in, they love having you there. And it's fun, we're not all serious. Trust me, we have a lot of fun. And when we do have our meetings, we have an amazing lunch and so you're well-fed.’
As Bernardin reflected on the award, she reflected on why the CWL received it. ‘We got this award because we are about action. We don't just sit there and talk a lot. We walk the walk as well as the talk.’
Although she isn’t currently part of the CWL, Adams is already making plans to participate in the future. ‘I will definitely be following in the footsteps as much as I can and leading by example just as much as they have for the rest of the community over the years.’