WCRG Executive Member Receives the Stuart & Marjorie Leschield Award

WCRG Executive member Ron Truant and his wife Noella were recognized at the Hospice’s annual volunteer awards with the Stuart & Marjorie Leschield Award for excellence in fundraising.

Stuart & Marjorie Leschield Award: Ron and Noella Truant

Jane Boyd Award: Mimi McPhedran and Ornella Bertoni

Companion Along the Journey: Francine Botton

Circle of Life Award: Janice McDonald

Spirit of Growth Award : Ted Paterson, Julka Vlajic and Jose Guzman

Ron Truant’s dedication to the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County has come full circle: as a major donor, volunteer and now a patient.

But the unfailingly positive entrepreneur won’t let his pancreatic cancer diagnosis get in the way of life — despite that doctors originally gave him four to six months to live. It has been almost three years now and Ron is more committed than ever to boosting Hospice.

“I’m blessed,” said Ron, who has sat on various hospital and health-care boards. “Where I’m at today defies the odds and I’m very pleased with that.”

Ron and his wife Noella on Tuesday night were given the Stuart & Marjorie Leschield Award for excellence in fundraising as part of Hospice’s annual volunteer awards.

The Truants’ experience with hospice care began in 2007 at Carpenter House in Burlington, where they spent time with a relative.

“We would jam the whole family into this nice gazebo and have wine and have the greatest time,” Noella recalled. “We would be hooting and hollering and laughing.”

The next year, Noella’s sister April MacKinnon spent 12 days at the Hospice of Windsor before dying of lung cancer.

“We wanted to make a donation and we wanted other families to enjoy the gazebo the way we had,” Noella said. “But we did it on a larger scale.”

The Truants — who co-owned the Electromac Group of tool, die and stamping companies — built the 600-square-foot April’s Garden, a stylish light-filled pavilion surrounded by greenery that provides the setting for everything from movie nights to weddings.

The Truants then spent 14 months creating a fundraising binder fittingly called The Wish List, detailing what Hospice wants, how it would benefit, and what it might cost. They also support a children’s program.

“Ron and Noella have been absolute champions of our Hospice,” executive director Carol Derbyshire said. “They have helped on so many projects.”

But in 2012, the Truants received horrible news about Ron.

“It was devastating,” said Noella, who has been married to Ron for 42 years. “The thought of losing my best friend, there was a lot of crying.”

But the Truants say they only allowed themselves a “five-minute pity party,” then moved on to figuring out what next, as Hospice taught them. Mission accomplished.

“My involvement with Hospice gave me keen awareness of how to cope,” Ron said. “People associate Hospice with death. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s about enhancing quality of life and accepting change so that you can live the best way you can. Hospice is about life.”

[Source: The Windsor Star]