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'If you find something that’s near and dear to your heart, give back to it,' says volunteer

Longtime volunteer finding new ways to get involved

After giving back to the community in numerous ways over the years, Steve Meunier is one of the first recipients of the Heart of Gold Civic Award. The award recognizes volunteer community service, youth community and civic engagement as well as achievements in sports and science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. 

Meunier is a full-time police sergeant with the OPP, but divides his time outside of work between a number of organizations in Timmins. He has been president of the McIntyre Curling Club since 2019 and was on the board of directors for several years prior to that. He was nominated for the award by members of the club’s board.

“I find it rewarding to give back to the community. I think it’s impactful to help out in any small way we can and give back in whatever way we can. I enjoy that, and I love volunteering in any capacity that I can,” Meunier says. 

In addition, Meunier is a school board trustee with District School Board Ontario North East (DSB1). He has also been a volunteer firefighter with the Whitney Fire Department on and off over the years, starting in the late 80s. He was also the campaign chair for Cops for Cancer, which hosted head shave events to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. 

Meunier is a founding member of the Timmins chapter of MADD, where he served as a board member, then as president for about five years before stepping away in 2021. Meunier says that his wife, who was also involved in MADD in various roles, including a term as president, is a great supporter of his volunteer work.

“I’m very fortunate that she’s supported me in anything and everything I’ve ever done. She’s my number one supporter and that’s what’s given me the opportunity to be able to give myself to different organizations, so I’m grateful and thankful for that,” he says.

Despite his long history of community service, Meunier says the call about the civic award came as a surprise. 

“I was quite shocked. There are a lot of very worthy volunteers who freely give their time in our city, so to be chosen was very humbling,” he says. 

Meunier was one of over many volunteers who organized the 2023 Canadian Under-18 Boys and Girls Curling Championship, which saw 42 teams from across the country descend on the McIntyre Arena in what was likely the biggest event the club has ever undertaken. 

“I was chair of the committee but we had 140 amazing volunteers who came together. Just seeing how that worked with all of our volunteers and how excited they were was just a really good feeling, and that’s how I feel from giving back in any way I can. I think it inspires us to be better people,” Meunier says.

“If you want to do something rewarding, there’s so many different areas that people can volunteer, and if you find something that’s near and dear to your heart, give back to it. It’s a testament to the power of community and the impact we can make, even if it’s just a very small way of giving back. I would recommend it to anybody.”