A Montrose resident who has been volunteering since her candy striper days at the Trail hospital has been recognized for nearly 30 years of dedication.
Linda Randall was awarded the Montrose Community Service Award this month in front of her neighbours during a ceremony at the Montrose Hall.
She moved to Montrose with her husband Todd in 1985 and has made a difference ever since.
“Sometimes community spirit is hard to define but not in this case,” said Montrose Mayor Joe Danchuk. “This person is one of those individuals, who, through her actions, makes this an easy choice.”
At 16 years old, Randall headed to the hospital after school to volunteer as a candy striper and later spent time in the gift shop. After taking some time off from giving back to have children, Randall went on to serve for 27 years with the Beaver Valley Girl Guides.
She started because her daughter needed a Brownie leader but then took part in Pathfinders and later acted as secretary for the district and finally as district commissioner before hanging up her hat.
Then the avid card player fell into hosting the village’s crib and whist card party for seniors every second Monday, a program the 56 year old has organized for the past 13 years.
“We’re just like a little family now,” she laughed. “They’re all like my aunts and uncles because we’re really that close.”
Randall has served on the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada for 25 years and has also been part of the provincial body.
Born with the birth defect, Randall has been passionate about helping others who suffer from the same disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube.
“Because of my personal experience living with Spina bifida, I’ve had a great interest in education and public awareness,” she said.
“We try to better the lives of people living with Spina bifida or Hydrocephalus by bringing awareness to things like the need to use folic acid during child-bearing years because it reduces the risk of neural-tube defects in children.”
Randall hopes that others will give volunteering a try and realize that with it comes joys like making new friends and learning new skills.
“If you don’t have volunteers, you just know that you can’t rely on things happening,” she said. “Without it, you can’t have little events and things that make a community a better place.”