Roxane Nicholson, BMGCC Campaign co-chair, named Brussels Citizen of the Year
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Roxane Nicholson has been named this year’s Brussels Citizen of the Year Award winner, thanks to her extensive work as the co-chair of the Inspiring our Future campaign.
The Inspiring our Future campaign sought to raise funds for the renovation and expansion of the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre. It exceeded its goal of $2 million by nearly $500,000, as of the end of last year, when donations were still coming in. Renovations at the centre, made possible by the federal, provincial and municipal governments, in addition to the Herculean effort by the project’s fundraising committee, are nearing completion. Several events, including the Brussels Fall Fair and Brussels Lions Club’s Elimination Draw, have already been held in the auditorium, while hockey is scheduled to return to the centre later this month.
Nicholson was nominated nearly a dozen times, including by past Citizen of the Year Award winner Doug McArter (2007), who lauded Nicholson for her countless hours of dedication in keeping the campaign on track - volunteering in the position for more than four years.
Nominations also noted Nicholson’s unwavering dedication to volunteering with the North Huron Community Food Share while maintaining her day job.
Another nomination called Nicholson a “competent, positive and dedicated leader” who has maintained her role at the head of the campaign to ensure that its full vision is realized all the way to the end of the work being done.
“While acting in that important role for the community centre fundraising, [Nicholson] also continued her position managing the North Huron food bank. She spearheads the stuff-a-truck event each year and spends days a week lending her compassionate expertise to fight food insecurity in our community,” read a nomination from Nicole Duquette, a Brussels resident and fundraising professional who worked on the campaign.
“On top of these already meaningful contributions, Roxane finds time to support participants in a program for adults with developmental differences and in her not-so-spare time last year helped a Ukrainian family find housing and helped them move in. In addition to all this, she maintains her paid job as a bookkeeper and administrator of a construction and farming business. Somehow, she balances all that with being a loving mother, wife and friend.”
According to another nominator, Nicholson is a “very vital members of our community” who has also worked on programs for the Bluevale United Church’s Sunday school program. The nominator said Nicholson has a “caring heart and a ‘just-do-it’ spirit”.
North Huron Publishing has been awarding Citizens of the Year in Blyth and Brussels for nearly 40 years, this year adding a third category to honour someone from throughout Huron County who has made a difference in their community.
Nominations are made by members of the community and the winner is then chosen by a panel of the past five winners of the award.
On Nov. 23, North Huron Publishing will be returning to an in-person Citizen of the Year Award night to honour all three of this year’s Citizen of the Year Award winners, as well as 2020 winners Bob Kellington (posthumously) in Brussels and Annie Sparling in Blyth, 2021 winners Zoellyn Onn in Brussels and David Cartwright (posthumously) in Blyth and 2022 winners Lissa Kolkman in Blyth, Margaret McInroy in Brussels and Karen Webster as the first-ever Huron County Citizen of the Year. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at Trinity Anglican Church in Blyth.
Past winners of the award in the Brussels area are: Cal Krauter, 1986; Wayne Lowe, 1987; Jack Bryans, 1988; Ida Evans, 1989; Bessie Johnston, 1990; Betty Graber, 1991; George Langlois, 1992; Howard Bernard, 1993; Joanne King, 1994; Frank Thompson, 1995; Audrey Cardiff, 1996; Leona Armstrong, 1997; Neil McGavin, 1998; Beth Earl, 1999; Lyle and Alice Brothers, 2000; Nelva and Spence Scott, 2001; Jo-Ann McDonald, 2002; Kathy Bridge, 2003; Jeff and Cathy Cardiff, 2004; Clara Blake, 2005; Phyllis Mitchell, 2006; Doug McArter, 2007; Nora Stephenson and Fran Bremner, 2008; Rene Richmond, 2009; Jim Prior, 2010; Cathrine Campbell, 2011; Jim and Lois Lee, 2012; Yvonne Knight, 2013; Dave Stephenson, 2014; Sandra Cable, 2015; Jean Davidson, 2016; Elaine Armstrong, 2017; Doug Sholdice, 2018; Mary Douma, 2019; Bob Kellington (posthumous), 2020; Zoellyn Onn, 2021, and Margaret McInroy in 2022.