A former Chemainus resident is the recipient of a 2020 Community Leader award from the federal government.
Shelagh Armour-Godbolt was singled out for the honour as part of Canada’s Volunteer awards program in the B.C. and north region.
The selection is based on Armour-Godbolt’s many years of volunteering with a variety of charities and organizations serving B.C. residents and including the Kenyan Education Endowment Fund (www.kenyaeducation.org) that supports education in developing countries.
A virtual ceremony will be held later this fall to honour Armour-Godbolt and the other award winners.
“It is both exciting and humbling to be selected to represent the many committed, active volunteers of all ages in our region,” Armour-Godbolt said.
KEEF opens doors to the future by supporting some 135+ very bright, poor secondary and post-secondary students in Kenya where high school is not free.
“The opportunity to access higher education benefits the students, their families, their communities and country,” pointed out Armour-Godbolt. “Many Canadians offer donations – small and large – that KEEF turns into scholarships and support that give Kenyan youth hope for the future.”
Armour-Godbolt is a board member of KEEF and was nominated for the award by the organization for past and current volunteer service.
There are five regional awards plus one for lifetime achievement designation recognized by the Canadian government to members of non-profit organizations, social enterprises and businesses that promote volunteerism.
Armour-Godbolt’s other current volunteer work includes: English as a Second Language Conversation Circle, New Westminster Public Library; Dying With Dignity, Vancouver Chapter (as a witness for applicants to complete a request form) and Shiloh Place Orphanage Society (www.shilohplace.ca ) that’s presently building a school to serve a low income community in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Past volunteer work in Chemainus before she moved away in late 2010 included: Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society (Accordion Fest, Tartan Days, bandshell doors campaign, etc.); Chemainus Harvest House; volunteer driver for the Canadian Cancer Society; Cowichan Neighbourhood House board member; and community grant advisory committee for the Chemainus Branch of Coastal Community Credit Union.
Previous volunteering included: Huntington Society of Canada, Vancouver/BC Chapter; one of four volunteers who formed the small society that later developed into the Alzheimer Society of BC; and volunteer work with Intergenerational Week Canada.
Armour-Godbolt, now 81, has been a volunteer since the age of 12 and grew up in a family of volunteers.
“I was very appreciative of being nominated by KEEF and am grateful to be selected to represent the many volunteers in our region who make a real difference in the quality of the lives of individuals and communities – and who have so much fun and enjoyment while doing so,” she indicated.
The ceremony usually takes place in Ottawa, but will be virtual due to COVID – and will be broadcast at a date to be determined.
The award includes a grant of $5,000 to the recipient’s choice of a Canadian charity and Armour-Godbolt has designated the educational work of KEEF.
“For me, volunteering provides opportunities to learn, to meet interesting people, to make new friends, to have fun and to experience moments of deep satisfaction,” she summed up.