Denise Samson named Cornwall’s 2013 Citizen of the Year

February 27, 2014

Denise Samson

Denise Samson has been retired for many years, but you wouldn’t know it from her schedule.

The retired educator has kept herself quite busy by devoting countless hours to a wide range of agencies and community organizations. The CNIB, Meals on Wheels, the Carefor Befriending Program, MS Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, VON and Big Brothers Big Sisters are among the agencies where Mrs. Samson has contributed her time and efforts towards helping others.

“Denise is that consummate supportive event day volunteer that you can always count on,” said Karen Torrie-Racine of the MS Society.

Mrs. Samson was honoured for her efforts by being named the 2013 Citizen of the Year during the recent Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards at the Civic Complex.

A surprised Mrs. Samson was joined on stage by her children and grandchildren upon accepting the award.

The proud wife, mother and grandmother said even during her teaching career, she always wanted to give back to the community, but the job was quite demanding. Nonetheless, she often found herself organizing after-school events and activities.

“Little did I know I was volunteering at that time too but I saw it as part of my job,” she said.

Upon her retirement, she and a friend agreed to start meeting every Friday for lunch in order to keep in touch. However a month had quickly passed and the two friends had yet to meet. So, they decided to join Meals on Wheels together as volunteers.

“So we would deliver meals then we’d go for lunch and that’s how it all started,” she recalls.

After getting involved in palliative care, Mrs. Samson became friends with Sue Tarle – a past Citizen of the Year herself – who got her interested in the Handi-Social Club, a group which organizes activities for adults with physical disabilities.

“That’s where my love is right now,” she said.

The newest Citizen of the Year was completely surprised – and honoured – by the award.

“It will be cherished,” Mrs. Samson added.

About the Business Excellence Awards and Citizen of the Year Banquet
The Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards is a distinguished Cornwall tradition established in 1988. The Awards recognize outstanding achievements by Cornwall area businesses and individuals in the fields of commerce, community work and innovation.

The awards ceremony, coupled with the presentation of the coveted Citizen of Year Award, is one of Cornwall’s most prestigious annual affairs.

 

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