An unsuspecting Paul Campbell was caught off guard at Orillia Public Library when former colleagues and students honoured him with an award at a surprise gathering.

“I thought I was coming to help move around furniture,” joked Campbell, who retired as principal of the Monsignor Lee School in summer this year, in his thank you note to those attending the simple ceremony. “There are a lot of deserving people who could’ve gotten this, I’m really touched to have been chosen from among them,” he added.

The Kiwanis Children’s Safety Village presented Campbell with a certificate and the Oscar for Outstanding Support of Kids’ Safety in the Community for his instrumental role in opening doors for KCSV to bring safety training to kids ranging from kindergarten to grade eight.

“He became an extension of our message to children at Monsignor Lee school,” added James Maxwell, a former president of the Orillia Kiwanis Club.

Additionally, a cheque of $2,500 by the Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group was presented to KCSV.

“Since I’ve been teaching as a community service officer in elementary schools, Paul has been an inspiration and guide for me,” said Gerry Dwyer, a retired OPP officer and executive committee member at KCSV. “He truly believes in children’s safety programs.”

The KCSV brings together community partners committed to childrens’ security in a comprehensive manner, providing training related to fire, water, electricity, school, and with the help of the Child Advocacy Centre Simcoe/Muskoka, online safety as well.

Others in attendance at the event on Friday included Mayor Steve Clarke, Councillor Pat Hehn and Stephen Charbonneau, superintendent Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.

Photo: Campbell received a certificate and the Oscar for Outstanding Support of Kids’ Safety in the Community

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