Grateful hamlet
Kugluktuk recognizes those who volunteer their time and services in the community

Maria Canton
Northern News Services

KUGLUKTUK (Oct 11/99) - The Kugluktuk Community Centre was alive with more than 100 people two weeks ago when local volunteers were honoured for their work.

Some 34 individuals and 17 corporations were presented with plaques from the hamlet of Kugluktuk, presented by both the mayor and the recreation co-ordinator.

"It's a nice way to have all of the community see the work the volunteers do and maybe it will get others out to volunteer," said Joanne Taptuna, the mayor of Kugluktuk.

"We wanted to try and recognize everybody who is active in the community."

The hamlet decided to hold the awards ceremony after a lapse of almost 10 years without one.

Among the invited guests was Kugluktuk MLA Donald Havioyak and guest speaker Kane Tologanak.

Tologanak, a long- time volunteer originally from Cambridge Bay, was selected because of the endless volunteer work he does in whatever community he is residing in.

"The night was a night for volunteers," said Ernie Bernhardt, recreation co-ordinator for the hamlet.

"We read a brief outline of what they have done over the years and presented them with a plaque."

Recognized for his efforts in the community, Frank Ipakohak said the evening was a nice way to acknowledge people's volunteer work.

"It was well attended and there were youth groups helping prepare the dinner," he said.

Ipakohak, who has lived in Kugluktuk for all of his 48 years, has organized the children's town cleanup for the last four years.

"Every year I gather a group of children together and we pick a section of town and go and clean it up," said Ipakohak.

He has also been active for many years volunteering his time in fishing derbies, golf tournaments, seal hunts and most community events.

Ellie Adjun was another award recipient who was recognized for her work in establishing the local youth centre.

"When it first started we got it off the ground and found funding for the building and for furniture and games," says Adjun, who is now the manager of the Kugluktuk Chamber of Commerce.

"I resigned about a year ago to focus on my job, but I still help organize information about finding funding for the youth programs."

Several corporations that donate prizes, time and energy to the community were also honoured.