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Deep River & District 

Outstanding Volunteer Award

DRDCF Outstanding Volunteer Award Breakfast December 1st, 2021
Photo Left to Right
Bill Kupferschmit Vice-Chair DRDCF, Alex Frew, Kathy Amunds, Leo Buckley, Gladys Geiger, Ross Judd, Barbara Stephens (for Michael Stephens), Dianne Lemire Chair, DRDCF

Deep River & District Outstanding Volunteer Awards 2021 Winners


In early July, the Deep River & District Community Foundation (DRDCF) announced the creation of a new award, the Deep River & District Outstanding Volunteer Award (OVA), for volunteers who have made extraordinary contributions to our local communities.  Many excellent nominations were received.  In reviewing the nominations, the Review Panel was impressed with the diversity of the nominees and the large number of organizations that they supported, helping to make our communities a better place to live.   


The winners are:


Leo Buckley:  For contributions to the Deep River & District Hospital Foundation (DRDHF) as a Director and more recently as its Chair.  Under his guidance and through his hard work and dedication, Leo has successfully led the organization over the last several years that has secured donations for the Deep River & District Hospital (DRDH) from many individual donors, community organizations and businesses.  Most notable has been the recent highly successful “Focussed on You" Campaign that raised over $1.75 million for new state-of-the art x-ray and ultrasound equipment to support the health of citizens in the catchment area of DRDH.  The success of that campaign is directly attributable to Leo’s efforts over many years.


Alex Frew:  For 40+ years of contributions to the Deep River Yacht & Tennis Club (DRYTC), many of them as Vice-Commodore.  In addition to his official duties, he has used his handy man skills and secured and organized the many volunteers required to maintain the grounds and buildings.  Alex was also instrumental in establishing and maintaining the new and much-improved waterfront trail.  He has worked closely with youth in the community as part of the junior sailing and tennis programs.  Alex has also been very active in personally supporting, and getting other local residents to also volunteer, humanitarian services to families in Guatemala.   


Gladys Geiger:  For dedicated services to the W.B. Lewis Public Library since the late 1970’s.  Starting as a volunteer at the check-out desk, she later joined the Friends of the Library (FOTL) fundraising group where she had the inspiration to start hosting weekly bridge lessons as a fundraiser but which also served as a much appreciated and stimulating opportunity for seniors and new retirees to socialize.  With her fondness for baking, her cookies brought smiles to all those who came to play bridge.  She has contributed in no small way to all aspects of the Library; with her help, FOTL has earned more than $250,000 for the Library over the past 25 years. 


Ross Judd:  For contributions to the DRDH as a Board member and Vice-Chair, but particularly as the driving force in establishing Weesoe Community Communication Technologies (WCCT), a not-for-profit entity he created and for which he has spent countless volunteer hours providing low-cost internet and phone services for the local community, with a significant share of the revenues, plus in-kind contributions, directed to the DRDH.  This represents an important and ongoing funding source for the hospital.  Ross has also been instrumental in several other initiatives for the DRDH, including securing a new fibre internet link for DRDH, the North Renfrew Family Health Team, and Four Seasons Lodge.  Ross has also been active in the community in other ways, such as in his support of the DRYTC.   


Kathy Amunds:  For almost 50 years of community service through her participation in many clubs and organizations in Deep River.  Her contributions began as a volunteer for community cable TV programming and volunteering to attend meetings and writing many articles of community interest for the local newspaper.  She has also served on the Boards of the DRYTC, DRDCF and Deep River Community Association (as President in the past and again now as vice-president).  Since 2010, she has also served on the Rotary Club of Renfrew County, including 2 years as President.  She has also contributed to Deep River's 70th Anniversary Committee and Canada’s 150th Anniversary Committee; her fund-raising efforts for the former contributed to the fully accessible Unity Park Playground in downtown Deep River.  

Michael Stephens, recently deceased:  For extensive contributions to numerous organizations over many years.  Michael played key roles for, in particular, the Deep River & District Community Foundation, where he was very active on many committees and served as President until last fall.  Under his leadership, the Foundation's assets have grown significantly, which in turn supports so many important initiatives in the communities of Deep River, Laurentian Hills, Head, Clara and Maria and Rapide-des-Joachims.  Michael also made significant contributions to the Seniors’ Friendship Club, the Federal Retirees Association, and the Society for the Preservation of Canada’s Nuclear Heritage, working to establish the National Nuclear Museum and Archives.  


In recognition of their contributions, these six outstanding volunteers will receive a jacket with the insignia “Deep River & District Outstanding Volunteer Award.”  The jackets will be presented at a recognition event later this year.


A special thank you to all those who prepared the nomination cases.  


And of course, Congratulations to all the winners!

Call for Nominations

In recognition of the many, many volunteers who help make our local communities such special places to live, work and play, the Deep River & District Community Foundation (DRDCF), with the support of a generous donor, has established “Deep River & District Outstanding Volunteer Recognition Award”.  This one-time award is available to all residents of Deep River, Laurentian Hills, Head, Clara and Maria, and Rapide-des-Joachims who have made and are making a significant contribution to their community.  More than one recipient of the award may be named, based on merit.  Award recipients will be announced in local newspapers and the DRDCF website (  The award will be presented at a public event to be scheduled at a later time.  In addition to the public recognition, award winners will receive a jacket with an inscription of the Award’s name.

Nominations must include:

  • The name and address of the individual making the nomination.

  • A biographical sketch of the nominee.

  • The nominee's specific contributions to the community, ideally over several years – or a lifetime, and how those contributions have made a positive difference for its residents.

  • Although nominees from any local club or association are welcomed, nominations for those who have made significant contributions to charitable non-profit organizations are particularly encouraged.

Although not required, one or more additional letters of support may strengthen the nomination.


Nominees must not have personally benefited from their activities, nor should their contributions be considered part of their normal employment or job responsibilities.

Nominations must be sent to and received no later than July 19, 2021.  Nominations will be judged by an independent panel.

The Deep River & District Community Foundation looks forward to receiving many nominations for this Award. 

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