Nancy Brink recognized for years of service
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | July 2, 2015
West Guilford resident Nancy Brink shook her head in disbelief as the community recognized her as the Citizen of the Year on Canada Day.
"I don't deserve all the recognition I got," said Brink, who received the Pioneer Citizen Award from Carol Stamp, past president of the West Guilford Recreation Centre, on July 1. "It's been [other] people's help, too."
Stamp introduced Brink as a person who is passionate about helping others in her community.
"I'm quite sure that this speech will not cover all the good deeds that she has performed since moving to Haliburton, but I know you will all understand why she was chosen this year for this award," she said.
Brink opened a flower shop in the area 35 years ago. Stamp said she shared her talents by making corsages to give to the oldest man and woman in West Guilford on Canada Day, as well as for the ladies attending the recreation centre's New Year's dance.
After retiring from the flower business, she got into making and selling homemade preserves.
That, however, didn't stop her from contributing to the lives of others in her community, said Stamp.
Over the years, the West Guilford Recreation Centre has benefitted greatly from Brink's fundraising skills.
"For the last few years she has been our number one fundraiser and sold more tickets than the rest of us put together," Stamp pointed out.
Brink's generosity has led to "many upgrades" at the centre.
For the past 10 years she has been named the top fundraiser for SIRCH's annual Hike for Hospice, bringing in a total of $30,000 to date.
Brink, who required assistance up to the stage, is currently facing her second bout of lymphoma cancer. She began treatment in November.
In her speech, Brink said being acknowledged by those she has helped in the past is recognition enough.
"One time when I was delivering food to a family, that just gave me the thank-you I needed," she recalled. "They had five little children and one little boy came running up to me. He said, 'Oh Nancy, we needed bread so bad. We didn't have bread. Thank you so much.'"
Brink said that while spending three months in hospital, there wasn't a day that went by when she didn't receive a delivery of flowers.
"Being a flower person, that meant a lot," she said.
In her opinion, giving back to others is just part of being a human being.
"That's what we're here on this Earth for is to help one another, to love one another and to do unto those what you would want done unto you."
Brink’s recognition was part of West Guilford’s annual Canada Day celebrations.
Children and adults of all ages gathered at the recreation centre to celebrate Canada's 148th birthday.
The morning started with a swim in Pine Lake, which saw two participants brave the cool temperatures and overcast skies. Several adults took to the field to go head-to-head in the ever-popular horseshoe tournament.
Children's contests included a bike decorating competition, best red and white award, field and swimming races, and a scavenger hunt, among others.
A meet and greet session was held with Olympic gold medalist and NHL star Matt Duchene.
The day came to a close with a fireworks display at dusk.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.