Lisa Gower is the Town of Amherst’s Volunteer of the Year.
“Lisa is a great example of the many volunteers in this community who go above and beyond to ensure Amherst is a great place to live, work and play,” Mayor David Kogon said recently, as he presented her with a plaque recognizing her achievement.
“We appreciate her volunteerism and that of all the volunteers we have in this great town. Without their efforts many activities that engage our citizens of all ages wouldn’t take place. The town alone certainly couldn’t offer all of the programs these volunteers make happen.”
Gower, a six-year member of the Rotary Club of Amherst, was nominated by the club for her volunteerism and exceptional leadership within theorganization.
She has chaired the club’s international committee, which currently focuses on assisting an orphanage in Kenya, for several years. She is also leading the club’s effort to bring more Syrian refugees to the area.
Gower, a dedicated teacher at the Amherst Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, has served as the club’s vice-president and is currently serving as its president.
“Because of COVID, these are difficult times,” the nomination read. “Her leadership, example and smile are making sure we continue to exist and thrive.”
Gower represented the town at the provincial volunteer recognition ceremony.
The town also recognized Rick McKenney and Rachna Minocha as the town’s Family Volunteers of the Year.
“Rick and Rachna have continually volunteered an amazing amount of hours and energy to the youth of our community,” their nomination read. “They have stepped up and coached all levels of basketball, including elementary, E.B. Chandler Jr. High, ARHS and Cumberland County club teams.”
In addition, the couple helped develop and organize the Amherst Valentine Run for many years, including developing an opportunity for youth to run in the event for free.
Besides volunteering with the Amherst Valentine Run, they also volunteer countless hours fundraising, promoting and developing running in Amherst via their promotion within the Amherst Striders running club.
Gower, McKenney and Minocha were selected by Amherst town council from 19 nominations that were received by the town. A youth volunteer of the year was not selected as there were no nominations for that honour this year.
Also recognized with certificates for their volunteerism were: