Sonia Guthrie wins 2017 Gord and Arbie Holnbeck Award for helping people with disabilities in Peterborough

By Joelle Kovach

Sonia Guthrie, centre, receives the 2017 Gord and Arbie Holnbeck Award from Mayor Daryl Bennett, left, and the Holnbecks' son Brian Holnbeck, right, on Monday, June 5, 2017 at Peterborough City Hall. Joelle Kovach/Peterborough Examiner/Postmedia Network

Sonia Guthrie, centre, receives the 2017 Gord and Arbie Holnbeck Award from Mayor Daryl Bennett, left, and the Holnbecks’ son Brian Holnbeck, right, on Monday, June 5, 2017 at Peterborough City Hall. Joelle Kovach/Peterborough Examiner/Postmedia Network

 

Sonia Guthrie has won the Holnbeck Award for 2017.

Guthrie was presented with the award Monday night at City Hall in honour of her efforts to help people with disabilities, in Peterborough.

“I was so shocked to hear I’d won,” she said. “It’s very overwhelming.”

Guthrie, 34, has been volunteering to help people with disabilities since she was 17. What started as a co-op course when she was a student at Kenner Collegiate has turned into a lifetime endeavour.

Currently, Guthrie helps run the Tuesday Night Friendship Group at Cephas Christian Reformed Church on Goodfellow Rd.

It’s not a church program, Guthrie says: people with disabilities gather to socialize on Tuesday evenings.

She says she’s loved volunteering to help the fellowship. How can she not volunteer, she says, when it brings her “so much joy”?

“So many people need help in the community,” she said, adding that it’s truly her pleasure to pitch in.

The Holnbeck Award was established in 1989 in the name of Gordon and Arbie Holnbeck, a couple that devoted their lives to helping adults with physical disabilities and children with intellectual disabilities.

The Holnbecks’ son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Wendy, were in the gallery at City Hall on Monday.

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