KEMPTVILLE, ONTARIO, April 28, 2023 – Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) honoured its dedicated volunteers on Friday, April 21, 2023 at a well-attended Volunteer Appreciation Tea held, according to tradition, during National Volunteer Week.

KDH’s Chief Executive Officer, Frank J. Vassallo, opened the afternoon’s program with a warm welcome to the dozens of members of the KDH Auxiliary (KDHA) gathered at Heritage Hall, home to Catered Affairs on the Kemptville Campus.

“We are all so happy to see the return of our annual Volunteer Appreciation Tea after a COVID-driven hiatus of three years,” he said. “The Volunteer Tea has always been a very important event in the annual life of the Hospital as it gives us the opportunity to formally recognize and thank all of our volunteers.”

Vassallo expressed sincere gratitude to the Auxiliary volunteers, both for choosing KDH to be the recipient of the precious gift of their time, and for their fundraising efforts, which resulted in a recent annual donation in the amount of $60,000.

KDH Auxiliary President, Linda Carnegie, addressed the attendees next, noting that, “Volunteers are the heart and soul of any organization.” She explained that every volunteer has their own reasons for giving of their time, whether it is to acquire new skills, give back to their community, or help improve the organization.

“Many of you say you get back more than you give,” she stated. “That is the biggest reward; however, every volunteer needs to know that their work matters and makes a difference: that is why we are gathered here today, to honour you and all that you do for Kemptville District Hospital and its Auxiliary.”

Carnegie introduced the awards segment of the event by noting there would be a large number of presentations as this was the first in person Volunteer Appreciation Tea since 2019.

The Awards Committee – consisting of Carnegie, Past President Brenda Steacy, Past President and Volunteer Coordinator Connie Parsons and, representing the Acton’s Corners Unit, Teresa Harrison –were honoured to announce the following awards.

KDH Auxiliary Members who received Outstanding Service Awards (left to right): Teresa Harrison, Brenda Steacy, Jean Gallant, Lillian Leonard, Jane Wolfe, Betty Beach, Allison Penny, Connie Parsons. Missing from the photo: Jolene Stover.

Certificates of Appreciation – 5 years

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to volunteers with five years of service to the KDH Auxiliary: Lisa Charlebois, Bea Francis, Cheryl Gilmour, Dorothy Leeder, Art Parks, and Johanna Kuntz.

Outstanding Service Awards – 10, 15 and 20 years

  • 10 years:  Outstanding Service Awards and “V” (for Volunteer) pins were presented to Past President Brenda Steacy and Volunteer Johanna Kuntz. Carnegie noted that Kuntz reached 1,000 hours (the equivalent of 10 years) of volunteer service in only a few months: she spent more than 1,700 hours knitting Comfort Dolls for KDH’s smallest patients in 2022, almost the equivalent of a full time job!
  • 15 years:  Outstanding Service Awards were presented to Bev Carson, Mae Fairfield, Marguerite Gooch, John Graves, Audrey Halsey, Teresa Harrison, Allison Penny, and Donna Thibert.
  • 20 years:  Outstanding Service Awards were presented to Cathi Finley and Sylvia Johnston.

Outstanding Service Awards – Achievements

Where the previous awards recognized numerous years of dedicated service to the Auxiliary, the following Outstanding Service Awards were presented in recognition of specific outstanding achievements:

  • Brenda Steacy – for hard work, dedication and consistent willingness to go above and beyond her duties in every role, including  President, Treasurer, and Coffee Shop Purchaser.
  • Allison Penny – for contributing great ideas, flare and innovation to the Gift Shop and Coffee Bar while dedicating many years as a Director of the KDHA.
  • Jolene Stover – for taking risks, being creative and innovative, and achieving success through skillful execution of events, taking Hey Day to new heights and putting the KDHA on the map.
  • Betty Beach – for demonstrating true stewardship, contributing significantly to the success of the KDHA through Second Hand Rose as well helping organize and orchestrate numerous events.
  • Teresa Harrison – for outstanding performance and dedication to excellence, especially in taking the KDHA into the advanced world of technology, navigating the on-line 50/50 raffle.
  • Jane Wolfe – for positivity, patience, and wonderful team spirit while serving as President, achieving Life Membership, acting as Director, and now managing the Gift Shop and Coffee Bar.
  • Lillian Leonard – for years of motivation and encouragement as President, Life Member, and Buyer for the Gift Shop, where she displays exquisite taste in purchasing.
  • Jean Gallant – for bringing fresh perspectives, objectivity, and innovation combined with a visionary approach and tireless work ethic, always sharing positive support and encouragement.
  • Connie Parsons – for sharing ideas, seizing every opportunity, demonstrating unwavering dedication and commitment, and countless hours spent coordinating volunteers.


Several dedicated KDHA volunteers made the difficult choice to retire rather than return to in-person volunteering post-COVID. The KDHA expressed heartfelt appreciation to the following retiring volunteers:  Lois Nichols (10 years of service); Louise Shaw (10 years); Sue Cotter (15 years); Joan Gummeson (15 years); Ina Dyks (15 years); Joyce Charter (17 years); and Tina Te Grotenhuis (18 years). To great applause, Linda Carnegie announced that together these volunteers had given an astounding 100 years of service to KDH.

Awards of Excellence

For this year’s celebration, the Awards Committee felt it necessary to create a new category. The Award of Excellence recognizes volunteers who have served the KDHA for many years and in many ways displaying good intentions, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.

  • Helen Racine (25 years) – for numerous years of working at Hey Day in the role of Section Head, nurturing Beth’s Garden, holding plant sales at her home, and more.
  • Cecile Prodonick (25+ years) – for service as an active member of the Acton Corner’s Unit, as Treasurer for many years, and developing the Betsy Boxes at Hey Day into an outstanding raffle.
  • Catherine Brunton (30 years) – for exceptional devotion, loyal service, and outstanding contributions as President, Life Member, and much more.  Note: this posthumous award was accepted by Catherine’s husband, Doug Brunton.
  • Moira Anderson (37 years) – for devoted service and commitment to Spiritual Services at KDH, including sharing her skill as a pianist at the weekly services for inpatients.
  • Louise Tallman (40 years) – for exceptional devotion and commitment to the KDHA as President, Life Member, and Ambassador for all of KDH and the Auxiliary.
  • Eleanor O’Neil (60+ years) – for six decades of service as one of the founding members, present for each and every Hey Day, baking delicious desserts, and helping in every way possible.

The final speaker of the day was Lana LeClair, KDH’s Vice-President of Corporate Services and the Hospital’s senior leader for the volunteer program. She expressed thanks to everybody who had helped make the 2023 Volunteer Appreciation Tea so memorable, including KDH’s internal volunteer coordinator, Julia Hunter.

“Listening to the number of years each of the volunteers honoured today has devoted to the service of KDH, and letting it really sink in,” said LeClair, “I am just blown away!” Applause and exclamations of agreement followed this comment. The event wrapped up after an additional time for visiting.


Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) is a 40-bed acute care hospital located in the rapidly growing Eastern Ontario municipality of North Grenville, 40 minutes south of Ottawa. We provide 24-hour emergency care, inpatient care, advanced orthopaedic surgery (as a satellite of The Ottawa Hospital), Convalescent Care, Interim Long-Term Care, Day Surgery, Diagnostic Imaging, an ever-growing list of outpatient clinics, and education and wellness programming including Diabetes Education and Support. Committed to advancing our mission of Building Healthier Communities, we are an integrated health services organization with deep partnerships in our community and region. With our partners in the Ottawa West Four Rivers Ontario Health Team, we are collaborating on a new model of health care delivery that puts patients, families and caregivers at the centre of the health care system.

For further information contact:

Jenny Read, Communications Officer

Kemptville District Hospital

O: 613.258.6133 x 223 | C: 613.914.0195