As his final acts as 2020 Warden of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR), Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux recognized several important members and organizations within the Prescott and Russell community at the inaugural meeting in L’Orignal on December 16.

Leroux presented cheques totaling $6,000 with $3,000 each going to the Club Optimiste d’Embrun and the Russell Kin Club. These funds were raised this year through donations towards the annual charitable events that had to be cancelled in 2020.

This year, also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Leroux was unable to host the annual UCPR Warden’s Banquet, an event at which he would have presented the Warden’s Award and the J-P St-Pierre Award.

The J-P St-Pierre Award, a high municipal distinction that aims to celebrate the exceptional contributions of an individual within the UCPR, was awarded this year to all the front-line and health care workers across the community of Prescott and Russell, for their invaluable and essential support and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This has been an exceptional year, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on our health care system, our hospitals, our long-term care homes, and our day-to-day services such as education, childcare, and even our food supply,” said Leroux.

“It is thanks to all these essential workers that we have been able to limit the impacts and the spread of this pandemic, and that we will one day get through it, together.”

The Warden’s Award is also usually presented at the Banquet to recognize the dedicated work, outstanding contribution, and professionalism of a municipal employee toward the community and their colleagues. This year, Leroux chose to present two awards, the first being to Marc-André Drouin, Manager of Information Technology – Systems and Services. A much-appreciated colleague and an outstanding manager at the UCPR, Mr. Drouin has contributed to the implementation of several essential projects in collaboration with all of the counties’ departments.

“Marc-André is a source of inspiration and a true leader within the management team, sincerely dedicated in everything he does. He is proof that the success of a team is often ensured by those behind the scenes,” explained Warden Leroux. “Without the progress he has made over the past few years, the UCPR would not have been as well positioned and equipped to deal with the exceptional circumstances imposed on us in 2020.”

The second Warden’s Award for 2020 was bestowed upon the many front-line staff and the senior management of the Prescott and Russell Residence, which has experienced a COVID-19 outbreak lasting more than two months. Leroux chose to recognize the importance of these front-line staff, which include personal support workers, nurses, and doctors, in addition to maintenance, recreation, kitchen, laundry, and building management.

“Despite the recent outbreak that tragically affected our facility, we know that the men and women behind the gowns and the masks have worked – and continue to work – tirelessly, to support and care for our most vulnerable residents,” said Leroux.

“Thank you for being there for our residents – not only during this time of need, but every day.”