Verbeek recognized for generous and nurturing spirit

Filed under: In Our Community |

TarasNatyshakby Sylene Argent

In recognition of years of making a difference within the community through volunteerism, youth mentoring, and fostering youth in need, MPP Taras Natyshak presented Essex resident Kim Verbeek with the Leading Women, Leading Girls, Building Communities Recognition award on Monday evening.

This special award recognizes exceptional community leaders who help to improve the lives of girls and women in Ontario.

Natyshak said he was excited to host the recognition event at his constituency office for an individual who he described as, “One of the community’s most valuable and inspirational persons.”

Natyshak, who has known Verbeek since childhood, knew she was a perfect candidate for the award offered through the Province. “I thought she was someone deserving of recognition.”

“You have done so much and continue to do so much,” Natyshak said to Verbeek. “It seems you have 28 hours in your day when everyone else has 24. I can’t believe how much you get done without fanfare.”

Verbeek been a long-time foster parent with CAS for 15 years, a leader with the Holy Name of Jesus Church youth group for 25 years, sits on the Essex Fun Fest Committee, and has been appointed as a member of the Essex Police Services Board since the beginning of this term of Council. She has also worked as a revisions supervisor for Elections Ontario.

“Kim is always there to encourage me, motivate me,” Natyshak said. When Verbeek asks for a favour, “How do you say ‘no; to Kim when she gives so much of herself? Her fingerprints are on many aspects within the community.”

Holy Name Church’s Father Dave Boutette said the parish is grateful to have Verbeek. He described her as having, “Tremendous input on the community with tremendous reserves of energy.”

Her passion for helping youth is seen in the leadership abilities, self-confidence, and generosity of spirit of the youth she has mentored.

As MP Tracey Ramsey was in session in Ottawa, she sent a video message of congratulations, and noted she could not think of anyone more deserving.

An emotional Verbeek thanked her group of supporters that is comprised of her friends and family members, especially for the support her husband Steve, shows. She added fostering has always been a family effort. She also thanked her church for allowing her to minister the youth there and Holy Name Catholic Elementary School for allowing her to be a volunteer.

“Everyone in this room is very special to me in one way or another,” Verbeek said of her support squad in attendance.