Longtime Peterborough labour activist Marion Burton is this year’s winner of the Scholfield Award of Community Distinction.
Presented by the United Way Peterborough and District since 2004, the award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding contributions and ability to mobilize change within the community. Longtime philanthropists Paul and Ina Scholfield were the first recipients in 2004.
Burton received her award on Thursday morning at the United Way’s office.
“It’s a great honour. I know the award has been in the community for a number of years, and some really great people that really give a lot to the community have been recognized. To receive this award is a great moment for me,” Burton said.
The late Margot Mashall nominated Burton for the award. She outlined Burton’s long list of volunteer efforts including serving as: president of the Peterborough and District Labour Council; a member of OPSEU Local 345 at Peterborough Regional Health Centre; chairperson of the Peterborough Workers Action Centre, co-chair of the Occupational and Environmental Health Coalition; past-president and current member of the Peterborough Legal Centre Board; and a volunteer at the Keene United Church and Lions Club.
“Marion does much of her work collectively,” Mashall said in the nomination material. “She doesn’t see that this is her work and her work alone. She invites people to join with her to add their voice and skills to the cause.”
Karen Wilson, chariperson of the United Way board, echoed Mashall’s sentiments.
“Marion’s commitment to building community and giving voice to important local issues are examples of the values the United Way wished to honour.”
Burton says she worked closely with Mashall, calling her friend her “left hand” because they were both south paws. Burton says volunteering is a fulfilling part of her life.
“I think it’s just the satisfaction in helping others and getting involved,” she said. “You learn so much as you get connected into various organizations and initiatives. I guess I’m a people person. I like to be out there.”
Past recipients include Bill Strode, John Martyn, People First, Survivors Abreast, Marie Bongard, Roy Brady, Stephen Kylie and most recently, Faith Dickinson.