Three Senior of the Year Award recipients announced

Dec 13, 2017 | General

December 12, 2017


Three Senior of the Year Award recipients announced


The Town of Orangeville pays tribute each year to seniors who have enriched the social, cultural, or civic life of the community. Nominations are received from the public and reviewed by the Honours Committee, and a recommendation is forwarded to Orangeville Council for approval. This year, three residents were selected to receive Senior of the Year awards and were announced at the December 11th meeting of Orangeville Council. The recipients each received plaques and their names were added to the plaque in Council Chambers.

Marilyn Taylor

Marilyn is a quiet, compassionate, selfless volunteer who befriends and comforts seniors in Orangeville nursing homes, retirement centres and Headwaters Health Care Centre.

Marilyn moved to Orangeville in 1998 to be near her children and has been an active volunteer in the community since then.

A member of the Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church since moving to Orangeville, Marilyn has taught Sunday school classes, is an instructor at the annual Vacation Bible School, and has served as a director on the Church Camp Board. As an elder, Marilyn organizes the annual Thanksgiving food drive and Christmas toy and food drive and volunteers regularly at other fundraising events at Tweedsmuir Church.

Marilyn is a shut-in visitor at congregational homes, the Avalon Care Centre and Bethsaida Retirement Home.  She offers support and a listening ear to the residents and their families and participates in education programs such as eating assistance.

For over 10 years, Marilyn was a member of the Headwaters Health Care Centre chaplaincy program. Not only did Marilyn volunteer for several shifts per month, she also volunteered for crisis responses, a 24-hour on-call shift.

Now 82 and reluctantly forced to slow down, Marilyn left the chaplaincy program but now volunteers in E Wing at Headwaters Health Care Centre. Nothing keeps Marilyn away from her volunteer shifts - she takes the bus or a taxi to the hospital, no matter what the weather is!

Marilyn is an inspiration to us all and proves that a person can continue to contribute to the community regardless of age.

Mark Whitcombe

Mark is an educator, environmentalist, volunteer, hiker, editor, dancer and singer.

A life-long environmentalist and educator, Mark was the Outdoor Education Consultant for the Toronto District Board of Education. He taught students the love of nature and inspired them to become stewards of our land, water and air.

Mark is a past President of the Upper Credit Field Naturalists, a field trip leader and oversees their website and blog. For the past ten years, he has been Pathways Magazine’s co-editor, the only outdoor education magazine in Ontario.

As a member of the Friends of Island Lake, he was responsible for initiating the development of the interpretive signage at Island Lake.

A very active member of the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team, Mark was responsible for sourcing and planting native nut trees in Orangeville’s Community Garden, is very involved in the Town’s Emerald Ash Borer Program and has helped plant thousands of trees in Orangeville.

Mark received a Lifetime Award from the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario for distinguished service and in 2016 received the Credit Valley Conservation Distinguished Award for his lifetime work in conservation.

A talented performer, Mark and his wife Cathy are active members of the Orange Peel Morris dancers, having performed locally, nationally and internationally at community events. Mark has been a member of the Achill Choral Society for over 25 years, and volunteers for Theatre Orangeville and the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival.

Ted Zarudny

Ted has been an active volunteer and contributor to our community for many, many years.

A hockey player himself, Ted coached both house and rep hockey leagues for several years. He now enjoys cheering on his grandson as he plays hockey.

Ted has worked with local schools to develop their appreciation of gardens from the raised vegetable planters at Credit Meadows Elementary School and the butterfly and vegetable gardens at Princess Margaret Elementary School, to facilitating the building of raised planters for seniors at Chartwell Residence by a Montgomery Village class. These gardens not only help our community but also Orangeville’s food bank.

With over 32 years of experience in the City of Brampton’s Parks Department and many years with the Communities in Bloom program, Ted envisioned profiling the strengths of Orangeville through the Communities in Bloom program.  With his passion, commitment and hard work, Ted brought the Communities in Bloom program back to Orangeville better than ever. Orangeville has successfully participated in the Communities in Bloom program for three years now, receiving five blooms last year nationally, and under Ted’s leadership, Communities in Bloom is now a Committee of Council.

For over nine years, Ted has been a volunteer judge for the Communities in Bloom organization -provincially, nationally and internationally. He is highly regarded by the other judges and appreciated for his wealth of experience and knowledge.

An active member of the Amaranth Lion’s Club, Ted is always the first to volunteer – for such tasks as eye screening, selling lottery calendars or working at the golf tournament fundraiser. No job is too small or too big for Ted.

A long-time resident of Orangeville, Ted is also a local business owner. Not only does Ted donate his time, but through the Dufferin Garden Centre, he donates supplies and subsidizes garden plants for several community gardens. The annual Communities in Bloom Halloween Event is held at the Dufferin Garden Centre.

Ted’s goal has been to “generate more community spirit, help the community work together and build an even better community for all of us to live in”