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“Volunteers do not get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.”
This famous quote, once spoken by a woman by the name of Sherry Anderson, was the theme throughout the speech portion for the 2014 Orangeville Fall Fair Ambassador competition.
The three young ladies, two of whom were in the running for Senior Ambassador and one for Junior, spoke passionately about their heart for volunteering, for involvement in spreading awareness of agriculture and why they would like to be the 2014/2015 Orangeville Agricultural Society (OAS) Ambassador.
Each year, the OAS holds the competition at the beginning of the Fall Fair, and both a junior and senior ambassador are crowned to represent Orangeville and the OAS over the coming year.
“This year we crowned Holly Bus as our Senior Ambassador and, Nicole Desaulniers as our Junior,” wrote Patricia Bus on behalf of the Ambassador Committee in an email Wednesday. “They will represent the OAS and Orangeville through out the year visiting other fall fairs and events across the province.”
Prior to the start of the competition, the OAS welcomed several ambassadors from neighboring communities to join in the festivities of the event. Some were preparing to hand over their crowns to their successors, while others were newly crowned over the last month.
This year also marked the 160th anniversary of the Orangeville Agricultural Society, and to celebrate, they invited past ambassadors and queens (who were chosen prior to calling the position “Fair Ambassador”) to celebrate with them and attend the 2014 competition.
“In celebration of this incredible milestone, the Ambassador committee invited all of its past ambassadors to this year's competition,” said Ms. Bus. “Our past ambassadors have spread out all across Canada after following their chosen career paths, so not all of them could make it, but it was a great success.”
Senior Ambassador Holly Bus will be given the responsibility of representing the OAS at the Association of Agricultural Societies' Convention in Toronto at the Royal York in January as well as the Canadian National Exhibition next year in Toronto to compete for the title of Ambassador of the Fairs.
Earlier this year, Ms. Bus was also awarded the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada's (FWIC) Peace Garden Scholarship, which provides an opportunity to one woman from each province across Canada to participate in a one-week educational program at the International Peace Garden. The garden is unique, as it sits on the border of Manitoba and North Dakota.
“The FWIC is about empowering and educating women around the world,” explained Joy Trimble, Ontario Executive Officer for the FWIC. “We partnered with the International Peace Garden with the idea to bring in one young lady from each province into the program.”
While they were not able to have girls attend from all the provinces in Canada due to timing, they were able to have a small group of girls that went through the venture together.
Ms. Bus explained that being accepted to the scholarship program was a huge honour, especially since she wasn't sure if she would be successfully chosen by the provincial board. “It was really exciting,” said Ms. Bus. “When I was in the midst of applying, I really didn't think I would get it, because it's a pretty big deal to be able to represent Ontario in this program. When I was told I was accepted I was really excited and so happy.”
The scholarship was awarded to young women between the ages of 17 and 19 who held an interest in tourism, retail horticulture, photography, creative writing and music and who had both community and volunteer experience.
“It's really about teaching young women to become leaders and passing down our knowledge to them,” said Ms. Trimble. “The FWIC has always been women teaching women, because it helps to prepare them to be leaders in our country and in the world. It's about equipping them to make a difference.”
According to Ms. Bus, the experience was one of the most inspiring and enjoyable things she has ever done.
“It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed myself,” said Ms. Bus. “I really love meeting new people and learning new things. I felt like I learned a lot about agriculture and the difference between the way things are done in Canada and the states due to being on the border.”
She added that while she still isn't positive what she wants to do in the future, the experience of learning about different horticultural and agricultural styles, amongst all the other aspects of the program, will prepare her for what it's like to constantly be learning in the future.
“Right now I've changed what I wanted to do about a million times,” she said. “At the moment, I think I am wanting to work with the Red Cross, so getting to go and meet all these different people and learn different things was really amazing, and kind of gave me an idea of what it would be like to work in a career where I'm doing that all the time.”
Overall, she found that the experience was rewarding and would definitely help her out on whichever path she chooses to pursue.
“It really did help me being able to explore and experience something,” said Ms. Bus. “It helps you get away from what you know and be able to learn something completely different outside of your comfort zone.”
After Ms. Bus received her crown at the Ambassador competition on Friday night, she spoke to the audience about her excitement to carry on her newfound tradition of representing her home through the Senior Ambassador position with the OAS.
Anyone interested in becoming a future Ambassador for the OAS is encouraged to contact them through their Facebook page or by going to their website at oaseventcentre.ca and going to the ‘Ambassador' section under the Fair header.
Post date: 2014-09-03 20:01:28
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