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North Simcoe Victim Services celebrates 20 years

Former OPP Commissioner Gwen Boniface was guest of honour


North Simcoe Victim Services (NSVS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The agency was started in 1999 and kicked off its celebration of two decades of service with a special event Tuesday night at Bayside Restaurant at the Barnfield Point Recreation Centre.

The guest of honour was Senator Gwen Boniface. When the local victim services agency originated, Boniface was the OPP Commissioner and was an ardent supporter of the program.

While volunteers both past and present were on hand for the anniversary kick-off, which included dinner, special presentations and speeches, Jack Shell was honoured for his lengthy volunteer service.

NSVS provides assistance for victims of crime, tragic circumstance or disaster 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Offering emotional support and practical assistance, NSVS is a community-based charitable organization where specially-trained volunteers help with a victim’s immediate needs and provide referrals to existing community services if longer-term care is required.

The idea for the agency actually pre-dates 1999. A four-person steering committee began the process of establishing the agency in 1997.

The steering committee expanded to a board in 1998, and after many hours of work and dedication to research, the organization was ready to train its first two classes of volunteer crisis responders in the spring of 1999. The first 45 volunteers graduated with Commissioner Gwen Boniface present in June of that year, and began their first victim crisis services shifts on the July 1st Canada Day long weekend.



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