Union Gas Employees receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award

Union Gas Employees receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from President Scott Williston, and Director Tim Mifflin. 

L – R – Scott Williston,  Union Gas Staff –  Paul Rietdyk, Vice President of Engineering Union Gas, Jeff Wesley (hidden behind Paul Rietdyk), Lyda Anderson, Mark Lacina, Brian Cox, Bridget Cox, Ann Preston, Angela Scott, Dave Simpson, Vice-President of Lands and  Public Affairs Union Gas, and Goodfellows Director Tim Mifflin. 

In 1954 Chatham Goodfellows embarked on its campaign that had a simple motto, “No Child Without a Christ­mas”. Through donations and volunteer ef­forts, the Chatham Goodfellows have helped brighten thousands of people on Christmas morning ensuring there are toys for children and food for a holiday meal.

During the 1950’s Chatham Goodfellows modest budget of a few thousand dollars provided boxes of food and toys to approximately 200 families in Chatham.  This year, the 62nd year of operation,  the Chatham Goodfellows budget of well over $125,000 will provide boxes of food and toys for over 1400 families in Chatham, the former townships Dover, Chatham Harwich, and Raleigh as well as Merlin in partnership with Merlin Legion.

Since 1954 Chatham Goodfellows has seen the need rise along with the budget.  One constant that remains, Chatham Goodfellows is a volunteer organization that depends totally on volunteers to sit on the Board of Directors, purchasing goods, organize events,  raise funds, collect, pack, and deliver toys and food. 

Volunteers are vital to Chatham Goodfellows success.  In recognition for their work, volunteers are rewarded with a hot bowl of soup, sandwich, hot drink and a sweet treat.  In addition, the Chatham Goodfellows Board of Directors recognize volunteers with Certificates of Appreciation, volunteer businesses with President’s Award, and the coveted Mrs./Mr. Goodfellow Award. 

This year the Chatham Goodfellows Board of Directors is introducing the “Lifetime Achievement Award” to recognized individuals or organizations who;

  • Provide no less than 25 years of continuous service
  • Extraordinary philanthropy by an individual or organization
  • Continues to encouraged the development of leadership among staff, colleagues or family
  • Is an inspiration to others, displaying professionalism, a consistently positive and motivating attitude, and demonstrating ongoing respect for others
  • Has inspired, shared and developed a vision for the future for development of philanthropy
  • Is a good citizen that contributes to the well-being of the Community

It was a difficult decision deciding which person or organization would be the inaugural recipient of the Chatham Goodfellows Lifetime Achievement Award.   After long deliberation, the Chatham Goodfellows Board of Directors chose Union Gas Employees.

The Union Gas Blue Flame Club has been involved with Chatham Goodfellows as far back as 1975.   During the early years, bins were placed in the lobby at head office and employees donated food and toy items.  For every pound of food collected the Sales and Marketing department donated $1.00 through their “Care-A-Ton” program.

Union Gas employees developed and maintain partnerships with Heinz Food, Kraft in Dresden and the Bulk Barn to fund raise, purchase food and deliver food each year. Employees use unique fund raising events, such as jersey days, pizza days, bake sales, raffles, breakfasts, lunches, glass turkeys, gift baskets, golf packages and hot turkey lunches, and Halloween Spooktacular to raise cash, food and toys for Chatham Goodfellows. Union Gas employee have donated  thousands of hours of sweat equity, and over $500,000 in toys, food and cash to Chatham Goodfellows.

In 1999 the Union Gas Blue Flame Club/Employees’ Charities received the Chatham Goodfellows Presidents Award, and in 2005 long-term Union Gas Employee, Lynda Anderson received the Mrs. Goodfellow Award.    Union Gas employees continue to be good citizens that contribute to our community, and they demonstrate long term community of practice for philanthropy to all of the citizens of Chatham-Kent.

The Employees of Union Gas exceed all of the requirements for the Chatham Goodfellows Lifetime Achievement Award, and they are an excellent choice for the inaugural Award.