Every day, Greater Sudbury's police officers, firefighters and paramedics put their lives on the line to serve the city's citizens.
The volunteers with Warmhearts Palliative Caregivers Sudbury/Manitoulin give their time around the clock to volunteer with those living their final days.
The Unsung Heroes Ball, which takes place starting at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Steelworkers Hall on Brady Street, honours both of these groups for their efforts.
The public is invited to an evening of food, silent and live auctions and live entertainment, including performances by Jeff Wiseman and the Firefighters' Choir and Sarah Craig.
Warmhearts hopes to raise $35,000 at the event, which is sponsored by Northern Life.
It's “very important” to recognize the men and women who provide emergency services in the city, according to Angela Paquin, who sits on the Unsung Heroes organizing committee.
“We like to salute them,” she said. “I don't think they're recognized enough. I don't think people can be thanked enough for saving lives and looking after people and being there for people.”
It's equally important for Warmhearts to say thank you to its many volunteers, Paquin said.
She began volunteering with the organization 20 years ago.
“I still didn't know if I could do it until I actually started,” Paquin said. “I think it's a calling.”
Although spending time with the dying and their loved ones can be difficult, it's also “really, really rewarding,” she said.
Warmhearts is grateful for the support of the city's emergency services personnel, who typically buy several tables at the event, Paquin said.
Greater Sudbury Fire Chief Dan Stack, the honourary chair of this year's ball, said the city's emergency services personnel believe in Warmhearts' work.
He said he's also appreciative of the organization's desire to honour police officers, firefighters and paramedics.
Stack said he always looks forward to the event.
“It's a fun night,” he said.
From 2002 until 2008, the ball took place at the old Steelworkers Hall on Frood Road.
After the hall burned down, the event was held elsewhere for several years. But earlier this year, the new Steelworkers Hall on Brady Street was opened, so the Unsung Heroes Ball has come home.
Steelworkers Local 6500 is providing the venue free of charge.
The union's president, Rick Bertrand, said many of his members have used the organization's services over the years. That includes his own father.
“My father had the opportunity to have Warmhearts to help him during his long battle with cancer,” he said. “I think it's a great community effort. I'm very proud to be here and to be the presenting sponsor.”
Tickets to the event cost $50, and can be purchased by phoning Warmhearts at 705-677-0077.