THUNDER BAY — Age Friendly Thunder Bay has recognized the efforts of a local resident for her outstanding voluntary contribution to the enrichment of the city's social, cultural or civic life.
In a ceremony on Tuesday, the organization presented the Rebecca Johnson Senior Award to Deborah Escott.
Escott served as fundraising director for the United Way of Thunder Bay for 20 years, has been a Red Cross volunteer driver for six years, and has served as treasurer of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation.
She was a member of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra Chorus for 15 years, and currently performs with the Silver Sounds North West Chorus.
In 2005, Escott joined Hospice Northwest, and since then has supported numerous clients and their families through their palliative, grief and bereavement journeys.
Now in her 17th year with Hospice Northwest, including 12 years on the board, she has spent the past seven as its volunteer representative, and continues to serve on numerous committees.
Escott regularly attends volunteer training sessions to strengthen her skills, and has a history of driving long distances to deliver programming to clients.
She calls the award "an extreme honour," saying it was totally unexpected.
"But the thing that makes me so delighted with it is the name of the award, the Rebecca Johnson Award. This signifies to me someone who has given a lifetime of service to the community, so it's really quite an honour."
The long-time city councillor whom the award is named after said it goes to individuals who have gone "beyond the call of duty" to volunteer during their senior years.
Johnson said there were a number of nominees this year, and that Escott is "well-deserving" of the award.