huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

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OUR NEW NORAH TOTH AWARD WINNNER

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Recently Norah Toth sent the following email to Bette Jean (BJ) Martin.

“I’m pleased to let you know that your name has been selected for the Norah Toth Award, which will be presented at the Huron Fringe Birding Festival banquet on May 24, 2014. BJ, The Norah Toth Award recognizes people who have contributed to the Festival in a way that makes a difference. Your contributions to the registration process are unparalleled. You have also become a valued asset to our program and organizing committees. Your concern for customer service from the beginning of the process to on site at the registration tent is exemplary. Thank you”

BJ005 BJ’s first reaction to the news was:

“Oh my goodness…when did they do that?”

Closely followed by her second reaction:

“This is overwhelming!”

Norah went on to explain the Award Committee’s decision.

“The Huron Fringe Birding Festival has grown from a one-day event where people just “showed up” hoping for room on events, to eight days of events within a 14-day period than now requires a pre-registration process. This transition would never have been possible without the commitment for excellence and customer service demonstrated by Bette Jean (BJ) Martin.

As Mary Rapati retired from her duties with the Festival, BJ moved in. For a couple of years she worked with paper registration – the final year for this involved learning how to develop a fillable form. With determination, she did it! However, this involved a lot of volunteer time, BJ’s time; and she was still working full-time as an audiologist at the Kitchener hospital and had children at home.

A stickler for detail and with a desire to develop a system that would make life less hectic, BJ worked with the Friends of MacGregor internet provider to create the automated registration program that we use today.

BJ001

BJ – A happy and surprised Norah Toth Award Winner.

Many people will know BJ as the person on the other end of the phone answering questions about the program or registration process. She has also been one of the common denominators at the registration desk, where, in recent years, she has committed many hours to being there before you arrive for your day to ensure that each registrant has a positive Festival experience.

Left to right:at the Registration Tent: Anne Cathrae, BJ herself.  a registrant, Carole Lupton, NOrma Nanni

Left to right at the Registration Tent in MacGregor: Anne Cathrae, BJ herself. a registrant, Carole Lupton, Norma Nanni

More recently, BJ has accepted the challenge of helping with the program committee where she has followed up on guest leader recommendations.

Several years ago she even shared her profession by talking about hearing loss and birding; a topic many of us find challenging as we get older.

It is with pride and thanks that the Norah Toth Award will be presented to BJ Martin at the Festival Banquet (A23) on May 24, 2014.”

Thanks to husband Doug for the photographs.

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HURON FRINGE BIRDING FESTIVAL  – MAY 23 to MAY 26 – MAY 29 tor JUNE 1 -2014

MCGREGOR POINT PROVINCIAL PARK –  PORT ELGIN, ONTARIO

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