2016 – Ron Blum
Ron Blum was nominated by local resident Tom Sibbald as Volunteer of the Year for Ron’s efforts in keeping the community of Morden clean and beautiful. “Everyone knows the guy that walks around collecting garbage. He’s the kind of volunteer we should celebrate. Ron works quietly in the background while we go on with our day.” says Sibbald.
Blum moved to Morden 14 years ago from Sioux Lookout, Ontario. “Morden is a relatively clean town,” Ron said. If you drive around, it’s relatively clean. There’s just those odd bits of garbage that are around, and if somebody just picked it up, it just makes it look better.”
You can see Ron daily taking his regular walk around the City of Morden collecting garbage while he gets his exercise. Ron isn’t the typical winner of this award by being the highest leader of several organizations, or volunteering the most hours for the most organizations. We are highlighting Ron as a shining example of how someone freely gives of his/her time following his/her passion and making a difference in our community in his/her own quiet way… just because. If everyone followed through on a random act of kindness such as this that Ron Blum does, can you imagine how much more incredible our community could be?
Mayor Ken Wiebe expressed his gratitude to Blum. “This community is a super place to live, and most of it is because of volunteers,” he said. “Mr. Blum is getting this award today, and he didn’t even volunteer. He just went out and did something on his own. He saw something that needed doing and he’s been doing it since he came here. A little thing like that, over a long period of time, makes a huge difference to our community.”
Ron Blum and the EMMS Grade 5 students Pay it Forward Program were going to collect garbage on South Railway on Monday, May 8 but it ended up raining. Instead they all met at the MAF Boardroom with MAF Board members and City of Morden officials for cake and ice cream to celebrate Ron and share more stories of paying it forward.
Five years ago, the Foundation decided to add to the volunteering award by presenting $1,000 to the charity of the recipient’s choice. This year, Blum chose to donate that money to United Way of Morden & District.
Every year, United Way has a campaign to raise money, and they disburse that money raised to other charities. “It is a wonderful charity to support, because it also supports multiple organizations in our community,” MAF Chairperson Avaline Widmer said.
Thank you Ron Blum for your dedicated care to the community of Morden. Congratulations!