2014 – Wilfred K. Warkentin
Outstanding Community Volunteer of the Year 2014 Award was presented to Wilfred K. Warkentin by Kathy Ritchie, Past Chair on Sunday, May 16, 2015 at the Morden Friendship 55+ Centre. The MAF was very impressed with Wilf’s nomination made by Denis Magotiaux and Lory Wowk. “It’s very exciting, “ Wilf says. “The awards have been around for a long time, and there’s some very, very worthy recipients around. To be named is an honor.”
Wilf’s volunteering in Morden began with the Kinsmen Club when he moved to the area from Winnipeg nearly 50 years ago. “First thing we did was get invited to become part of the Kinsmen Club. I don’t think we’d lived here a month yet,” he recalled. “The Kinsmen Club at the time was very active and doing projects and raising funds for the community, and it just drew from there”. It was the Kinsmen Club that started this award and program honoring outstanding local volunteers.
Wilf is also well-known for his efforts on the Tabor Home Board for the past 30 years, 12 of which have been served as Board Chair. He has been instrumental in helping push the new Tabor Home project forward through awareness and fundraising. “One of our main objectives was to get a new Tabor Home built, and it’s now under construction, which is a real answer to prayers and answer to all the hard work we’ve been doing.”
Some highlights of Wilf’s volunteer services are as follows:
Chairman of Town Planning, MSTW Planning, Morden Veterinary, Morden Business & Improvement, Morden Corn & Apple Festival Chair, Utilities – Water Treatment Plant, Parks and Recreation, Western School Division Board, Morden Chamber of Commerce, Library Board, Westside Community Church, Morden Community Handi-Van (15 years of which he served as chair), and currently Tabor Personal Care Home Board. With all this, Wilf still ran Garden City Chrysler for 40 years together with Max Friesen, always made time for his family, and remained strong in his faith.
“In a small town, you have many, many opportunities to become involved,” Wilf says. “Not like a big city where you’re just a resident on a street. It’s exciting for me and my family and it’s something that certainly wasn’t expected. I never did any of these things because I expected to win an award. I did it because I wanted to, and I was hoping I could be of some use to some organizations.” Wilf added.
Each year the MAF grants $1,000 to the Volunteer of the Year’s choice of charity. Wilf chose to donate $500 to the Morden Handi-Van and $500 to the Tabor Home.
Thank you Wilf and Congratulations!