Nick and Marion Haramis are Cornwall's Citizens of the Year
Cornwall is blessed with a number of its own who give selflessly of themselves to make the community a better place to work and to live and there are no better examples of that community spirit than in Nick and Marion Haramis. They have been chosen as Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce’ prestigious Citizens of the Year for 2011. This distinguished acknowledgement of their community commitment has a unique twist; it is only the second time in the 40 history of the award that a couple has been chosen. In another interesting twist, Marion Haramis's brother, Father Rudy Villeneuve, was the first person selected as the Citizen of the Year many years ago.
Nick and Marion both come from a service background in terms of their respective professions and it appears that service has become part of their community life. From service clubs to the church, from sports to all manner of charities, there are few agencies that have not been touched by our dedicated 2011 Citizens.
"We're very estactic about this.This is unbelievable for us, said Marion Haramis "We have received so much in our lifetime, we could not possibly give back enough to make up for that. We have to offer the City of Cornwall and the area our thanks and appreciation."
The couple’s community commitment did not begin in Cornwall but rather, in one of the villages that dot the S. D. & G. landscape. Although they were blessed with a large family and the commitment that family life can bring, they nonetheless found the time to become involved in the affairs of their community with each one holding key positions in a number of local organizations.
As they became involved, they faced the many challenges that come with making their community the best it could be and with children of their own, working with local youth seemed the natural thing to do. They committed themselves to all manner of activities involving young people and worked diligently to make sure they were well served.
Then, there was the larger community and the Haramis’s were only too aware of the difficulties some of their neighbouring families. In particular, they became keenly aware of the difficulties facing these families during the Christmas season and they made it their mission to acquire toys, and thanks to the volunteer firefighters who stepped up to the plate, got the toys refurbished and ready as gifts. To top it off, they also got some help through the generosity of local farmers who provided foodstuffs to be part of the Christmas hampers. It is impressive to note that over 100 families benefited from their generosity.
Girl Guides, Brownies, Lion’s Club, a long term care facility, Cornwall Community Hospital, the Children’s Treatment Centre, the United Way, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation — the list goes on. Then, there is the Knights of Columbus and the annual Benson Golf Tournament. Top that off with involvement in local sports along with Big Brothers - Big Sisters and you have an amazing couple who are totally committed to their community.
It is fitting to note that Nick and Marion Haramis’s commitment has become contagious as members of their family are following in their parent’s footsteps. Their sons and daughters are making their own marks by getting involved in all manner of volunteer activities, just as their parents have. It is a tribute to Nick and Marion that they have instilled such a level of commitment in their offspring and both the Cornwall Chamber and the entire City are proud of them and their achievements.