Lalonde recognized with Sovereign’s Medal

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By Nick Seebruch
Lalonde recognized with Sovereign’s Medal
Jeff Lalonde outside of Rurban Brewing on Thursday, May 30,2019 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Since his teenage years, Jeff Lalonde has been involved in his community. Community involvement and volunteerism is something that runs in Lalonde’s family. Earlier this month, Lalonde found out that he had been nominated for the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, an award that recognizes those that support their community and is bestowed by Canada’s Governor General or by a proxy.

“At first when I saw my phone ring and saw it was the Government of Canada, I thought it was a scam, but then when I heard the message, I thought, “Wow,”” Lalonde said.

He started as a volunteer with the Agapè Centre, taking applications for their Christmas Basket program and helping out where he could.

As he got older, Lalonde found new causes to support. He spent five years raising money for local Blazers soccer clubs to help send them to tournaments. In the last year, his fundraiser supported six teams, and raised $40,000 over five years.

After he moved on from that fundraiser, Lalonde and his wife Cherie started the Crafting a Cure Fundraiser in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). In Lalonde’s family, there are two children who live with Type-1 Diabetes.

In his five years running Crafting a Cure, the fundraiser brought in $100,000. A new team took over Crafting a Cure for it’s sixth year in 2018, and it brought in $25,000 in one night.

“It was nice to know we created something people wanted to carry on,” Lalonde said.

When asked why he decided to volunteer in his community for so many years, Lalonde says that it is the type of thing that once you start, you do not want to stop.

“I think when you help people, it is addictive,” he said. “When you volunteer you get to surround yourself with really good people. In the end, it just feels good to help our your community and give back.”

Lalonde said that winning the Sovereign’s Medal is something he never expected.

“I was really shocked, it is an honoured just to be nominated for something at this level,” he said. “No one who volunteers ever expects to be recognized.”

Lalonde noted that those who have won the Sovereign’s Medal can conduct Citizenship Ceremonies, something which he feels is an honour.

“If it wasn’t for the support of my wife, family, and friends, I would never have made it to this point to receive this award,” he said. “Surround yourself with good people and good things will happen.”

Jeff Lalonde is a Constable with the Cornwall Police Service, and has served for 20 years. He is also Vice President of the Cornwall Police Association.

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