huronfringefest

One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Posts Tagged ‘Norah Toth

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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A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL

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THE FOLLOWING IS A PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE THAT WILL APPEAR IN THE JUNE 4 ISSUE OF THE SHORELINE BEACON SERVING SAUGEEN SHORES, PAISLEY, TARA AND TIVERTON

THE HURON FRINGE BANQUET AND PRESENTATION

A unique award, a silent auction, special presentations by Bradley Fauteux and Peter Middleton, recognition of sponsors and volunteers plus a generous gift from Bruce Power, highlighted the Huron Fringe Birding Festival Banquet on May 25. Over time The Festival itself has grown substantially and is recognized as one of North America’s premier Birding Festivals.

The banquet paid tribute to original and present volunteers, leaders, sponsors and participants who have helped make the Festival what it is today. A sub-committee of The Friends of MacGregor Point Provincial Park, the Festival is now known for new and innovated programs and events featuring first-class leaders.

Organized and operated totally by a volunteer committee, the Festival’s events showcase MacGregor Point Park and the Bruce Peninsula. All revenues go towards new initiatives by the Friends of MacGregor.

Bradley Fauteux, Managing Director, Ontario Parks

Bradley Fauteux, Managing Director, Ontario Parks

In his opening address, Bradley Fauteux, Managing Director of Ontario Parks, said, “…in environmentalism and conservation, I don’t think there is a higher calling than being part of a ‘Friends’ group. Nothing happens in Park infrastructure without volunteers…the ability and desire to volunteer is one of the most important things people can do. Ontario Parks is grateful for your time and support.”

The introduction of the new Norah Toth Award underlined Mr. Fauteux’s comments. This award carries Norah’s name because she represents the values that underlie its origin. Norah is an originator of the Festival as well as a leading and driving force in its successes.

North Toth presents the new award named after her to its first recipient Mary Rapati.

North Toth presents the new award named after her to its first recipient Mary Rapati.

This Award will be presented annually to the individual who has made a significant difference to the Huron Fringe Birding Festival or other local nature activities. The first and obvious recipient is Mary Rapati who for years has made unselfish service to and involvement in the Festival and the Friends of MacGregor a model for volunteerism.

Plaques were also presented to long-time volunteers Doug Martin, Joan Crowe, Mark Wiercinski and again, Norah Toth, for their help in driving the Festival forward.

Bruce Power present a big cheque to Norah and Jim

Bruce Power present a big cheque to Norah and Jim

Bruce Power acknowledged their important, long-term relationship with the Festival and Friends of MacGregor with a generous contribution of $4700.00. Their involvement and donation go a long way in the development of Festival programs and keeping registrations costs low.

Peter Middleton ended the evening with his entertaining answer to the question “Why Do Gulls Perch On White Rocks?”

Peter

Peter presented insights gleaned from a long career in Ecotourism that began in the early 60’s. In a striking, visual and often humorous presentation he showed how, “one ventures into the field with a sense of anticipation and discovery. No two days are alike and the wonders of a living planet unfold in remarkable and unpredictable fashion.”

120 people attended yet another successful Huron Fringe Birding Festival Banquet. The Festival ends June 2nd. Planning for the 2014 Festival begins shortly thereafter.

John Cummings was our usual masterful Master of Ceremonies

John Cummings was our usual masterful Master of Ceremonies

Norah Toth and Mark Wiercinski with their award for contributions to HFBF

Norah Toth and Mark Wiercinski with his award for contributions to HFBF

Doug Marti9n - founding president of The Friends of MacGregor Point Park and his award.

Doug Martin – founding president of The Friends of MacGregor Point Park and his award.

Joan Crowe and her award

Joan Crowe and her award

Doug Pedwell gives Norah Toth an award of her very own

Photos (except that of Peter Middleton) courtesy of Steward Nutt and Doug Pedwell