MARY Reus says she could have been knocked down by a feather after she was named the United Way Volunteer of the Year for 2012.
The tireless community worker was recognised as Ballarat’s top volunteer at the annual awards on Saturday night.
The 57-year-old said it was an absolute honour to receive the award, one that came as a total shock.
She was nominated for The Courier Community Service Award, but when that award went to Child and Family Services Foster Carers, she thought she had no chance of receiving the main award.
“It was such a shock. It was such an honour just to be a finalist,” Mrs Reus said.
A member of the St Alipius Parish, Mrs Reus also volunteers by counselling people who suffer multiple sclerosis, of which she too is a sufferer.
When she was diagnosed with the disease 15 years ago and was no longer able to work, she took it upon herself to help others in a similar situation.
“I get more out of it than they do,” said Mr Reus.
“There are so many thousands of volunteers in Ballarat alone who all do a great job. There are things people are doing out there that we don’t even know about.”
Mrs Reus said Ballarat’s current volunteer situation was more than promising, but stressed the need for young people to also get involved.
WIN Network Community Health and Care Award: Ballarat Community Health Volunteers
The Courier Community Service Award: Child and Family Services Foster Carers
Western District Employment Access Community Organisation Award: Sovereign Hill Museums Association
Peter Kervarec, Ballarat Professional Photography Arts Award: Royal South Street Society Volunteer ‘2011 Competition Disaster Team’
Southern Cross Business Machines Community Event Award: 2011 Ballarat Churches Eureka Carols
Sports Central Sports Individual Award: Anthony Vanjek
Power FM Emergency Award: Craig Coulter
Sports Central Sports Group Award: Wendouree Cricket Club
City of Ballarat Youth Award: Olivia Johnstone
Volunteer of the Year Award: Mary Reus