(Georgetown) – The Lions Club of Georgetown’s 2017 Citizen of the Year is Gerry Kentner.
On April 24th, Mrs. Kentner was joined by her family and her many friends at a community dinner to celebrate her volunteer community service.
Halton Region and Town Councillor Jane Fogal (on behalf of Mayor Rick Bonnette), Regional Chair Gary Carr, and Jim Smith (on behalf of MP Michael Chong) were all in attendance to bring greetings.
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott was also there, and he delivered the following remarks to thank the Lions Club and congratulate Gerry:
It’s great to be here, and great to see all of you, as we gather to celebrate all that’s great about our community.
In the decade or so that I have been privileged to represent the Town of Halton Hills in the Ontario Legislature, I’ve come to know many remarkable people: and some have become wonderful friends.
One such friend is Gerry Kentner, who we honour tonight, for everything that she does to make our community the fantastic place that it is.
But let me go back a bit before I talk about Gerry’s extraordinary community spirit.
I want to say a word of thanks to the members of the Lions Club of Georgetown, the oldest….maybe I should re-phrase that….the LONGEST SERVING service club in Georgetown!
For helping to organize the Santa Claus parades, the Charity Golf tournaments, the Dog Guide walks, the Family Days, the Craft Beer festivals, and of course this annual event, the Georgetown Citizen of the Year dinners…all the countless hours spent by so many of you raising funds for local projects and good causes.
Thank you for eighty-seven years of community service.
All of us know that volunteers are the life-blood of any community, and last week was National Volunteer Week in Canada.
Our volunteers have three things in common:
First, they are organized. They make time to volunteer.
Second, they prioritize. They know the difference between what’s inconsequential, and what’s truly important.
And third, and most significant: they care.
All of our volunteers have a genuine desire to help others, with no expectation of public acknowledgement or financial reward.
Most volunteers will tell you that by volunteering, they get more than they give, because the satisfaction of helping others is extraordinary in itself.
But we still need more volunteers, so we must continue to inspire others to get involved in their communities.
That is why we celebrate our remarkable volunteers at events such as this.
Gerry Kentner is a perfect example of what it means to volunteer: what it means to be organized, what it means to prioritize, what it means to care, and what it means to be a community leader.
From teaching Sunday School, the Women’s Institute Teas, the Weekend to End Cancer High Teas, the Breakfasts with Santa, the Old Time Hockey Tournaments, her cooking column in the Independent and Free Press, Georgetown Jaycettes, Cancer Assistance Services of Halton Hills.
The list goes on and on and on.
And for the past decade, the Light Up the Hills Festivals, which have become a wonderful annual pre-Christmas family celebration.
Light Up the Hills was Gerry’s vision and it has become Gerry’s passion. Last year’s event, the 10th anniversary, was the best one yet, with events in Georgetown, Acton and the Glen. I don’t know how you can possibly improve on it, but it seems to get better and better every year.
Gerry’s enthusiasm and kindness are absolutely contagious, and she’s a joy to work with.
She is dedicated, thoughtful, talented, and she gets things done.
And she’s done all this while raising a wonderful family, helping for many years as a partner in a successful family business, and in recent years, supporting her husband, the dedicated Town Councillor Dave Kentner.
Together, they represent the very, very best of this community.
Gerry, Lisa and I count ourselves blessed to have your and Dave’s friendship,
And on behalf of the Province of Ontario, please accept our sincerest thanks for all that you do for Halton Hills, and our warmest congratulations!
– 30 –
Ted Arnott, MPP