Award nominees surprised, honoured

Nathan Liewicki
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Jennifer Shrubsole didn’t expect to be nominated for Moose Jaw’s 2013 Citizen of the Year Award.

Dawn Bohlken, left, and Dot Hicks are one of six groups nominated for Moose Jaw's 2013 Group of the Year Award. Bohlken, Hicks and 10 volunteers run the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Program through the Five Hills Health Region. There were also five people nominated for Citizen of the Year.

“I was completely shocked when I learned of the nomination,” said Shrubsole.

One of five individuals nominated for the award, Shrubsole is the driving force behind the Moose Jaw Matadors Fencing Club. She alone organizes lessons, tournaments and fundraisers for the club.

Shrubsole estimates she spends anywhere between five and 20 hours per week at the club. Included in that time is the coaching she does Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

“I worked towards becoming a coach so that we could offer a second night of fencing,” she said.

Her volunteer hours often increase on tournament weekends, especially ones held in the Friendly City.

Humbled by the nomination, Shrubsole is grateful to be mentioned alongside her fellow nominees.

Among the other people nominated for Citizen of the Year are Al Cameron, who volunteers with the Salvation Army and at Providence Place, and Kelvin Bradford, who has spent countless hours volunteering for an array of activities organized by the Kinsmen Club.

Earlier this month Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce CEO Brian Martynook was calling for more nominations. With all the nominees counted up for both the Citizen and Group of the Year Awards, he is glad to see such a nice cross-section of individuals and groups.

“I think they are really good this year,” Martynook said when asked what he thought of the crop of nominees. “It’s good people have gone out and put these names forward.”

One of the six groups nominated is the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Program run out of the Five Hills Health Region.

Led by two staff — Dawn Bohlken, a cardiac nurse, and Dot Hicks, the exercise specialist — and 10 volunteers, the program has been offered for the past 18 years. This marks the first time the group has been nominated for the award.

Bohlken and Hicks see every patient individually and the purpose of that, according to Bohlken, is to educate patients, get to know them and tell them what is involved in the program.

“From there the patient decides what parts of the program they would like to attend, if not all of the program,” said Bohlken.

One area is called cardiaction, which serves as the exercise component. The other area is more geared toward education and discussion over a six-week period.

On behalf of her group, Bohlken told the Times-Herald they are honoured to have been nominated for the award. But more than anything, she reiterated that what they do is their job.

“This is what we do and we enjoy doing it,” she said. “Winning is nice and everything, but that’s not (our) purpose of being here. It’s to be here, do (our) job and help the patients.”

The awards will be presented at the Heritage Inn on Jan. 16, starting at 11:45 a.m. The Moose Jaw Heritage Advisory Committee Awards will also be presented and Mayor Deb Higgins will give her annual State of the City address.

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Moose Jaw Matadors Fencing Club, Salvation Army, Kinsmen Club Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce CEO Brian Martynook Citizen and Group Times-Herald Heritage Inn Moose Jaw Heritage Advisory Committee

Geographic location: Friendly, Providence Place

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