Rotary, civic involvement a labour of love for Kippens woman

Jamie Bennett
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 Stephenville Citizen Of the year Rosa Dollard, left, accepts her award from Dr.Debbie Brake Patten at the Stephen Awards Sunday night.

Being busy is a way of life for Rosa Dollard.

The Kippens native is an active member of the Stephenville Rotary Club and recently spearheaded a campaign which saw the return of the Stephenville Rotary Music Festival after a one-year hiatus.

This work was recognized Sunday when Dollard was named Citizen of the Year at the Stephen Awards banquet at the Royal Canadian Legion in Stephenville.

She admitted the honour was rewarding and humbling.

“You don’t expect any reward for volunteering, so this really is quite an honour,” Dollard said Friday. “I guess loving to be busy might be the key to it. I enjoy doing it, so to get any reward is a nice little bonus.”

The music festival is special to Dollard since her three adult daughters were participants as young girls.

Once the event was suspended last year, she said she was driven to help breath new life into the showcase of local talent as soon as possible.

“Whenever there’s a project that comes on, I don’t mind taking the lead on it,” she said.

A college instructor before opening an independent financial advising firm from home, Dollard said she decided to become a Rotarian when she retired because of the chance to make a difference both locally and internationally.

She said while individual Rotary clubs may be small, when efforts and funds are combined, it’s possible to make a difference in communities around the world. Her club has sent young professionals on international exchanges to such places as South Africa, Nigeria and France.

Dollard also chairs the Stephenville club’s local dinner and auction each fall and always gets some help fromher husband Joseph, a semi-retired businessman, who also volunteers in the community.

Although it’s increasingly difficult to attract new members to service groups, Dollard views volunteership as her civic duty.

“We are the community,” she said. “So if we can volunteer and give something back, it makes the community a better place. As long as your healthy and have energy ... I feel there’s some responsibility there.”

Organizations: Stephenville Rotary Club, Royal Canadian Legion

Geographic location: South Africa, Nigeria

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