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Rachel Garber Par Rachel Garber

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They're hard at work year-round, unpaid and mostly unnoticed, yet saving scads of money for the government and the health and social services system. When you pay your taxes, breathe a prayer of gratitude you're not paying a lot more - and breathe it to a volunteer in your neck of the woods. Our services depend more and more on their free labour.

April 23-29 was National Volunteer Week, and it also marked the recognition of a very special volunteer in our midst: Florence Fréchette. In fact, she went to Quebec City to receive a Hommage bénévolat-Québec volunteer-of-the-year award from the hands of the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, François Blais. Congratulations, Florence!

Fréchette is hard to miss around the Bishopton and Bury area. At community suppers and events in Bishopton, she's always a key player. She's president of the Bury Sunrays, making life easier for seniors living alone. Through the Centre de loisirs in Bury, she provided shelter for visitors to the Saint Paul's Home, and provided used-clothing-and-stuff at almost nothing. And so much more! As volunteer coordinator Diane Grenier of the Centre d'action bénévole du Haut-Saint-François said, "Just because someone doesn't get paid for their work doesn't mean they're worthless - they're priceless!" Priceless Florence, thank you.

And thanks to all the other volunteers who make our community tick.

The Newport municipality is offering bilingual yoga classes for beginners aged 50 and older, using chairs instead of mats. The teacher is Vanessa Salvatore, the course begins Monday, May 15, at 3 p.m., and the place is the community room upstairs in the Municipal Hall, 1452 Route 212, Newport. Fee: $160 for 8 weeks. Info or to register: 819-889-1340 or

The 500 Card Parties are again underway at the Bulwer Community Centre, 254 Jordan Hill Road. The next two are on Thursdays, May 11 and 25, at 1:30 p.m. Cards and lunch cost $6, and prizes will be offered following the card games.

On Saturday, May 6, at 5:30 p.m., the Sawyerville FADOQ is having its annual closing-of-the-season supper at the Sawyerville Community Centre, 6 Church St., Sawyerville. On the menu are chicken, pork tornedoes, mashed potatoes, vegetables, three different salads, and lots of desserts. BYOWine. Tickets: $18. Info: Judy Stanley, 819-875-3422.

Lyme disease has not gone away. In fact, Lyme-infected ticks are now found across Canada, and the tick population is expanding. But Lyme disease is preventable. That's the message of Kadeja Lefebvre, N.D., doctor of naturopathic medicine. Via live videoconference, you can hear Dr. Lefebvre give an update on ticks and Lyme disease at the Eaton Valley Community Learning Centre at the far end of the Pope Memorial School, 523 Stokes, Bury, on Wednesday, May 10, at 10 a.m. to 12 noon. This is a Community Health Education Program offering, a CHSSN initiative funded by Health Canada through the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities. Info: 819-872-3771 x 2, or

Eleven million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. Chances are diabetes affects you or someone you know. The Health Link series has a date with diabetes on Wednesday, May 17, when Catherine Goulet-Delorme will speak about the types of diabetes, risk factors, symptoms and treatments. Goulet-Delorme is a nurse in the Centre de jour du Diabète de l'Estrie at the CHUS.

The event is at the Bury Armoury Community Centre, 563 Main St., Bury. Lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m. and is free of charge. The presentation begins at 1 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer period, ending at 2 p.m. Reservations are not necessary, but are appreciated if you plan to attend the luncheon. Info: Kim Fessenden at 819-872-3771 x 2 or

Health Link is a collaboration between the Eaton Valley CLC, Townshippers' Association, the CSSS du Haut-Saint-François and the Centre d'Action Bénévole (C.A.B.). This is a CHSSN initiative funded by Health Canada through the Roadmap for Official Languages 2013-18: Education, Immigration, Official Languages.

The bilingual Viactive exercise groups are winding down for the summer. In Bury, the last session is May 17. Info: 819-238-8541. In Cookshire, at the Manoir de l'Eau vive, the last session is May 10. Info: 819-875-5210. And in Sawyerville (Info: 819-889-2630) and Newport (Info: 819-889-1340 or 819-560-8565), the groups finished in April. Happy summer, all!

Baptist. In Sawyerville, the Sunday worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. Info: 819-239-8818.

United. The May 7th and 14th services are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. Also, an afternoon worship service will celebrate Mothering Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Bishopton United. Info: 819-889-2838 (listen to message).

Anglican. Oops. I got a note from Jane Bishop reminding me that St. Peter's Anglican Church in Sherbrooke is no more, and my notice last issue should have said the April 30th service in Bury was cancelled so people could attend the 150th Anniversary celebration at St. Peter's in Cookshire. So sorry for the slip up, and so grateful to Jane for the correction. Hope I just made everyone laugh, and didn't inconvenience anyone! Laughter is the best medicine, they say.

The May 7th and 14th services are at 9:30 a.m. in Bury and 11 a.m. in Cookshire. Info: 819-887-6802.

Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email by May 8 for publication May 17 and by May 24 for May 31.

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