CORNWALL, Ontario – A man with a genuine desire to help others has been named the 2015 citizen of the year.
Herman Rogalsky, who has helped more than a dozen local agencies with everything from fundraisers to event judging and volunteering, was feted at a gala ceremony Saturday night during the Cornwall Chamber of Commercen Business Excellence Awards.
Rogalsky, fresh off bypass surgery for an ailing heart, could only spend a few minutes at the event, but the memories of the evening will last a lifetime.
“I’ve never believed this could happen in my life. I really, really feel honoured,” he said. “My biggest thing – it was an honour to (volunteer) because 99 per cent of it was for kids. Every time I got involved in something it was for kids.”
Rogalsky’s numerous achievements, including as a board member, 50-50 ticket seller and a host of other activities, were noted.
Rogalsky said when he was named a Big Brother of the Year, thanks for countless events where he raised thousands of dollars for the local agency, the feeling was immeasurable and resonates to this day.
“When I won the big brother of the year, I was never a big brother. To win that award, and what I had done for them, it made me feel so great,” he said. “I just kind of gave it my all because it was for my kids. What would you do without kids?”
Rogalsky has also volunteered at the Bowl for Kids Sake, Relay for Life, Special Olympics and the Liver Foundation.
In addition Rogalsky has also been named Optimist of the Year and a Government of Canada Award as a top volunteer.
He thanked his family.
“I couldn’t have done it without them. I don’t know if they knew anything about it. No one wanted to tell me anything,” he said.
In addition to Rogalsky’s honour the following local businesses and events were recognized Saturday night:
Above and Beyond: Dr. Michel Dubuc
Ambassador of the Year: Randy Sauve (Fantasy Realm)
Business of the Year: RMP Construction (Bob Pelda)
Entrepreneur of the Year: Mike Baird and R.J. Payette (Esca Gourmet Pizza)
Lifetime Business Achievement: Morbern Industries (David Bloomfield)
Small Business of the Year: Wilson Funeral Home
Tourism Excellence: 2015 International Plowing Match
Economic Impact: Walmart Canada
Breakthrough: Cornwall Summer Beerfest