Evelyn Banks presented 2017 Garden of Saskatchewan ring

In a unanimous decision of the trustees of the Garden of Saskatchewan (GOS) Citizen’s ring committee, Evelyn Banks was selected as the recipient for 2017.

“People like Evelyn are what make small communities work,” said Audrey Horkoff on behalf of the Trackside Garden volunteers, the group which nominated Banks for the GOS ring. “Evelyn has been a huge part of our community for many years. She is supportive in many aspects, and always works toward the betterment of Kamsack.

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Banks was presented with the ring at the Trackside Gardens annual fundraiser Strawberry Social event held on July 25. Audrey Horkoff, who had nominated her on behalf of the Trackside Garden Volunteers, made the presentation.

“Evelyn worked at the TD Bank for 32 years,” Horkoff said in the nomination. “With her experience she has served as treasurer for a variety of organizations in Kamsack. A strong community supporter, she attends most fundraisers held in Kamsack and is a generous contributor. She takes a leadership roll in our annual Strawberry Social fundraiser for the Trackside Garden.”

Banks has been with the Trackside Gardens for more than 20 years and is one of the original volunteers. She has served as a volunteer at the Eaglestone Lodge for 25 years and has been on the board for 20 of those years. She is currently treasurer of the Eaglestone Lodge ladies auxiliary. For the Kamsack reunions of 2005 and 2010 she was a member of the organizing committees and treasurer for both, which Horkoff described as a “huge responsibility.”

“Evelyn is a lay minister in her church, St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic, and has done communion at Eaglestone and for shut-ins for many years,” said Horkoff. “She is the president of the St. Stephen’s womens’ group, as well as sitting on numerous church committees, helping with the weekly church bulletins and helping schedule events at the church.

“Evelyn lost her husband when their children were very young, and as a single parent she continued to work and raise her young family. She was very involved and supportive in all the children’s’ activities, including president of the figure skating club,” said Horkoff.

“An active member of the Kamsack cancer Self Help Group, Evelyn provides support and works as a volunteer at all their events. She has been an active member of the Kamsack Horticultural Society for many years

“You will find Evelyn at most community events including the Arts Council events, Community Choir concerts and the many teas and fundraisers for all the churches.

“She has been a tireless volunteer at the Trackside gardens that can always be counted on to help with our projects, whether it is planting, maintaining, painting, etc. In her 83rd year, she is beginning to find it difficult to make her usual contribution, and has talked about retiring from the group. In my opinion it is time to recognize all that she has done there, as well as the many other areas she has supported.

“It’s time for us all to say ‘well done’ and ‘thank you.’”

“As a long-time resident of Kamsack I feel volunteering is very important and it is a way for someone to give back to the community we live in,” said Banks. “It is certainly an honour to receive the ring.”