The Family Councils Ontario biennial conference was nothing short of amazing with an agenda full of fascinating speakers, interactive workshops, and of course great food. There were many highlights over the course of the two day conference, but one memorable moment at the conference banquet dinner “stole the show” for many in attendance.
Family Councils Ontario was honored to present Richard Kruse from the St. George Care Community with the 2018 Outstanding Family Council Member Award. FCO launched the award in 2012 to recognize the hard work of Family Council members across the province. Since the award's inception, Family Council members have been nominated by fellow Council members and staff. This award is important for many reasons. Not only does the award acknowledge the contributions of the Family Council members that wear many hats in their day to day lives, it reminds us that there is strength in connectedness when caregivers and long-term care home staff come together.
This year we received a record number of nominations with wonderful summaries about the efforts of hard working Family Council members. The nomination for Richard, submitted by Family Council Staff Assistant Nancy de Vera, gave insight into his impact on the long-term care community his wife resides in and his character as a devoted caregiver. He has developed excellent relationships with individuals in the St. George community with his outgoing nature, warm smile, and helping hand. Richard truly embodies what it means to be an engaged, active, and dedicated participant in his Family Council. We are happy that his efforts to encourage Family Council attendance and organization were recognized by staff and fellow members.
The most heartwarming part of the award ceremony was undoubtedly the message Richard shared during his tear-jerking acceptance. He talked briefly about his experience as a caregiver and how his commitment to being involved in the St. George Care Community benefited his dear wife and the other residents. Richard spoke about how he sees himself as a 'flag bearer ' for all Councils members an took the opportunity to express gratitude for all the hard work Council members across the province do to support LTC residents. Not only was Richard stunned that he was selected as this year’s winner, he was modest about his many contributions. It was a pleasure awarding yet another inspirational Family Council member!
We thank all of the guests that attended our banquet, Richard, and his nominator Nancy!
Award winner Richard Kruse with FCO's Tiffany Fearon.