Each year the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) bestows a lifetime achievement award to a member of one of its homes and this year’s recipient is from Port Hope.

Suzanne Speckert was recently honoured by the OLTCA as an individual who has made remarkable accomplishments and outstanding contributions to society, their community and/or their long-term care home.

“At Hope Street Terrace, we strive to recognize the volunteer work undertaken by our residents,” noted Hope Street Terrace’s Executive Director, Colleen Haley. “Suzanne was a perfect candidate, given her long history of volunteerism.”

Suzanne has been recognized at the local and national level by Cystic Fibrosis Canada for her leadership and volunteerism. Her oldest son Wally was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in May 1961. That same month, she began 50 consecutive years of very active, dedicated and tireless volunteerism for the CF Foundation. While working as a nurse and taking care of Wally and her younger son Erwin, she also began volunteering on the board of the Vincent Massey arena in Bewdley, and the ACW at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Perrytown.  As well, Suzanne spent countless hours tending to the medical and emotional needs of shut-ins and anyone in need of medical care in the Campbellcroft and Garden Hill area where she lived.

“Suzanne was able to positively impact many people through her volunteer work – we could all learn from her.” added April Beckett, Program Director at the Terrace.

When asked about his mother’s ‘Good Samaritan’ persona, son Erwin reminisced. “Growing up, I remember it used to take our Dad two days just to deliver all of the Christmas care packages that Mom used to make for the shut-ins in our area,” he said.

Wally added, “We were fortunate to grow up in a home with a Mom who demonstrated to us the value of volunteerism in all aspects of her life. The whole community was blessed to have Suzanne Speckert as one if its members. I think that at some point our Mom must have sold a ticket on behalf of  some charitable fundraiser to every person who lived in Northumberland County!”

Upon receiving the award, Suzanne said she was surprised. “I’m very grateful to receive this award, but not so much for what I did, because it was an honour to help my neighbours and those in need.”