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Nipissing Trackers earn provincial honour

The Nipissing Trackers are winners of the June Callwood Award for exceptional volunteerism in Ontario. 

The Trackers, who provide children with special needs the experience of downhill skiing, are one of six organizations to get the provincial honour this year.

“The volunteers for the Trackers are amazing people,” beamed Rick Taylor,  a past coordinator of the Trackers who’s been involved with the group for over two decades. “They give you time, and time is the most precious thing anyone has.”

The June Callwood Award, which is named after Order of Ontario member, June Callwood, is given to volunteer organizations that make a significant contribution to their community. 

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The Trackers were nominated for the award for their 2018 season, but it has not been given out in the past two years due to the change in provincial governments and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Earlier in the week, Taylor and the Trackers learned they won the award, which he says is a silver lining considering the group had to cancel its season this year due to health restrictions. 

“It’s really unfortunate because all these kids with special needs will not be able to experience it,” Taylor said. 

The Trackers would usually have up to 30 volunteers helping around 50 children experience downhill skiing. 

The ski group has received a trophy as part of the award, but Taylor says the real trophy is the experience the Trackers provide. 

“The recognition is nice, but we do it for the smiles,” Taylor noted.  “The things these kids get to experience is our award.”

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