Volunteer Award Nominees

Each year, the KLSRC receives many nominations for the Volunteer of the Year awards. Nominations come in for a wide variety of volunteer roles including, but not limited to: coaches who change the course of an athlete’s life, long-serving and dedicated board members, and volunteers who make active recreation possible for entire communities. With thanks to the people who share the stories of these amazing volunteers, continue below to read about the volunteers who have been nominated.

2016 Volunteer of the Year Awards

Award Winners

Kevin Tysiak – Kawartha Lakers Softball Association

In addition to actively participating on the organization’s executive, Kevin has devoted a minimum of 4 evenings per week, including 6 weekends per season for the past 4 years to developing, coaching and instructing female players with the Kawartha Lakers Softball Association. Of special note is that Kevin does not have a child playing in the organization. His dedication and commitment to these youth athletes comes solely from a passion for the game of softball and a desire to see players develop both on and off the field. Kevin has the respect and admiration of the players, parents, his fellow coaches and association members. Even siblings who come to the park to watch benefit from Kevin’s involvement – he never misses an opportunity to teach a young person something. He is dedicated, selfless and inspirational and his contributions include mentoring several coaches within the association. The mere fact that he has no vested interest in the association yet he commits several hours a week, is admirable.

Lori Grills – Kawartha Lakes Soccer Club

Lori has been an enthusiastic volunteer with the KLSC for many years. In addition to using her exceptional communication and organizational skills as a team manager and club secretary, Lori has also been a very welcoming representative of the club. She has been a driving force in growing the Inferno rep soccer program from 1 team to 12 over the last 10 years. She has always been a positive role model for the girls she coaches, fostering a love of the game and competitive spirit in the players while always teaching them to represent the club and community with class. She has also been their friend and confidant as they have grown from young girls into women. Lori’s impact on her peers within the club has been equally significant. Every Inferno manager has benefited from Lori’s guidance and leadership and her contributions to mentoring and training programs have also contributed to the club’s sustainability. Her impact extends to the larger community as well where she has been a key figure in helping the club to expand its soccer programs for both adults and children, as well as improving the recreation facilities in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Bernice (Bernie) Mitchell – Therapeutic Horse Riding in Lindsay

Bernie has become such an integral part of THRIL that even the horses look for her! Not only does she act as Volunteer Coordinator but she’s also hands on, leading and sidewalking with the riders who come for therapy riding lessons. She treats both riders and horses with concern and respect and they in turn thrive under her hand. Added bonuses that Bernie brings – dedication, superb organizational skills, generous spirit, infectious laugh and an almost endless energy and positive outlook that inspire those around her. Not only does she assist at THRIL at least 3 days a week, but she is often at bowling and baseball games for the special needs community as well. THRIL would be at a great loss without Bernie’s ongoing support.


Rolf and Diane Martens – Fenelon Falls Curling Club

 “go the distance” to support the Fenelon Falls Curling Club. In addition to taking on leadership roles on the executive, convening several leagues and running several bonspiels each year, they have organized fundraising trips to Europe for the past 12 years. Their friendly faces are seen at the club every day of the week, greeting people and making them feel welcome. The daytime leagues that Rolf and Diane run contribute to the sports social fabric of the community and support the “sports for life” philosophy. The monies that Rolf and Diane have raised have contributed to the sustainability of the club through the purchase of equipment for the youth programme, renovations to the kitchen and washrooms of the club, and replacement of some well used furniture!

Greg Murphy – Lindsay Collegiate and Vocational Institute; Lindsay Minor Hockey Association; “Sunday Night Basketball Program”  

Greg has been involved in sport as a participant from an early age. But now his participation and active lifestyle serve as a role model for youth in our community. He has coached basketball and volleyball at LCVI, has been a coach/trainer with the Lindsay Minor Hockey Association and leads a recreational basketball program at the Boys and Girls Club for local youth and adults. His dedication to the Sunday night basketball league has allowed youth and young adults to continue to be active in a relaxed group setting without the “stress” of competition. As a paramedic working shift work, it is often challenging to juggle a busy schedule but his commitment to his coaching and trainer responsibilities has seen him attend most games, even if it meant using vacation time or trading work shifts. In our small community, he is often recognized by both parent and participant as “coach”. Drawing from his paramedic experience, he brings a level of confidence and professionalism to the coaching role that he so enjoys.

Karen Brasier – Lindsay Lightningbolts Swim Club

Karen has been an incredible volunteer board member with the LLSC for the past nine years. She has fulfilled multiple roles on the executive, including secretary and treasurer and in charge of ordering apparel (and for the past 3 years has done all 3 jobs together!) Not only has she contributed significantly to the smooth operation of the club but she has gone above and beyond to help families stay involved, going so far as to make house calls to allow kids to try on swim suits and to collect their registration forms. Karen is organized and efficient, but also kind and generous with her time. She gets things done with little fanfare and with a smile. She has been a great role model to other Board members and has also had a positive impact on parents. She became involved because her daughter was swimming with the club, but she also supported all of the swimmers when she attended swim meets and has a positive attitude toward all the swimmers and coaches. Without volunteers like Karen, organizations like the Lindsay Lightningbolts Swim Club would cease to exist.

2015 Volunteer of the Year Awards

Award Winners

Steve Blodgett – Tommy Anderson Park Community Ice Rink

Steve has been helping flood and shovel the community ice rink at Tommy Anderson Park in Bobcaygeon for many years. Steve lives around the corner and can be found flooding all hours of the day and night. We have had many great volunteers over the years – however Steve has been a constant. I never have to ask. He just shows up and does what needs to be done to keep this rink active. Two years ago, with all the thaws, he helped rebuild the rink 3 times. A huge effort to say the least! Without Steve this rink would not happen.

Tom Jeffrey – Lindsay Rugby Football Club

Tom has been an active member of the Lindsay Rugby Club for many years, contributing as a coach and a volunteer to support Club functions that encourage participation in a healthy active past-time. Tom has coached youth in the U-8 and U-10 Flag Rugby programs. Tom has always taken time to participate in coaching courses, illustrating his dedication to providing safe, active practices that develop skills as well as healthy attitudes. Tom however, has not confined his coaching contributions to Rugby. He has also been a wrestling coach at I. E. Weldon Secondary School and at Big Country Mixed Martial Arts.

Chris O’Neill – LCVI Basketball

Chris, as the coach of LCVI’s women’s basketball team is deserving of this award because when I was in grade 9, he was the one who made me love basketball. He always encouraged me and gave me the confidence to try out for the team even though I had never played basketball before. I am now almost 19 and playing my second year of basketball in the OCAA for Loyalist College. If it weren’t for Chris O’Neill I would never have the courage to play in college.


Keri Castle-Sedore – Kawartha Lakes Soccer Club

Keri has been a volunteer with the Kawartha Lakes Soccer Club for nine years and has filled many roles over the years, most recently Club President. She currently sits on a number of community boards and has exhibited outstanding leadership, dedication and tireless efforts in growing the sport of soccer for both youth and adults in our community. In particular, she advocates and encourages women in soccer, mentoring them in coaching, playing and refereeing. She believes strongly in the philosophy of physical literacy and offering every opportunity to support soccer from “cradle to the grave” within the community.

Leah Rea – Sturgeon Lake Thunder

Leah is very active in Minor Hockey all year round. Leah wears several hats on the Sturgeon Lake Thunder executive. She is known as the go-to person for anything hockey related, and she always finds an answer to everyone’s questions. Even when her boys are not on the ice she can be found in an arena somewhere in Ontario. Without her relentless behind the scenes work all year round, the children in Fenelon and Bobcaygeon areas would not be playing hockey…they would be sitting on the couch!

Trevor Switzer – Optimist Soccer

Trevor coached my daughter’s team during the 2015 Optimist Soccer season and made a huge difference for her and the other children on the team – as well as other children that played that season. He works downtown Toronto, has 4 children but managed to get to the games and planned drills and taught them skills every week. Trevor goes out of his way to encourage and engage all of the children that are on the field – no matter what team they play for.

Hugh Shannon – Lindsay Wildcats Basketball Association

Hugh has volunteered thousands of hours to Lindsay Wildcats Basketball Association over the past 13 years but his contributions to youth basketball in CKL go well beyond coaching. To hundreds of parents, whose kids are playing Wildcats Basketball, Hugh is the face of the organization. His contributions of personal time and effort and his expertise in electronic technology has led to the creation of the Wildcats website and advanced electronic communication for all LWBA participants. Furthermore, Hugh finds time to convene and provide leadership for other coaches in planning Weekend Invitational Tournaments throughout the winter in Lindsay and Fenelon Falls.

Mark Mitchell – Lindsay Wildcats Basketball Association

Mark started as a community coach with the Weldon Wildcats in the 1980’s and has been a member of the Lindsay Wildcats Basketball Club family since its inception in the late 1990’s. In 1999 Mark coached the first Boys OBA Club Team in Lindsay history – the Juvenile Boys team, the ‘Spiders’ to a Provincial Gold Medal. Mark has served on the executive, mentored many novice coaches and convened the U-12 Girls House League for many years. The leadership he demonstrates for the LWBA is exceptional.

Linda Ham – Lindsay Wildcats Basketball Association

Linda joined the Lindsay Wildcats Basketball Association as a dedicated parent volunteer in 2006. She became a certified club team coach and works to develop young basketball players within the House League program. Linda has single-handedly promoted the advancement of basketball within CKL, especially with the youngest members of the program. Last season, Linda’s Major Atom Girls Rep Team competed in the Provincial Championships and represented the Wildcats in a very competitive manner. Linda goes above and beyond her coaching duties with behind the scenes work—she promoted the LWBA through a Fair Parade Float this fall, which saw her involve 24 youth and 6 adults in the activity.

Art Field – Little Britain Merchants 

Art has served as a sport and recreation volunteer in this community for fifty-five years. He is the longest serving (38 years) owner/general manager of a Junior hockey franchise in Ontario – the Little Britain Merchants. He has been a coach and a sponsor of countless minor and senior baseball and hockey teams. A Lindsay and District Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Art continues to volunteer endlessly on behalf of the community.