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Siblings named co-recipients of Citizen of Year award

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

Sisters Jeannine Krupicz and Yvette Mahieu have been named co-recipients of the 2017 Delhi Citizen of the Year by the Delhi and District Chamber of Commerce. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

Sisters Jeannine Krupicz and Yvette Mahieu have been named co-recipients of the 2017 Delhi Citizen of the Year by the Delhi and District Chamber of Commerce. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

DELHI, ON - 

The 2017 Delhi citizens of the year haven't just done plenty of work within the community but brought hundreds to it as well.

The Delhi and District Chamber of Commerce recently announced sisters Jeannine Krupicz and Yvette Mahieu as co-recipients of this year's most prestigious award. The duo has long been involved with a host of worthy causes, most notably Le Tour de Norfolk – a yearly distance cycling event running for more than 10 years.

“I came back (to town) about 14 years ago and that's when things were really kind of going downhill here,” said Mahieu.

“It was obvious we needed something. Everyone was saying we need another event to bring people to town and I didn't want to do something everybody else has done.”

Being a cyclist, Mahieu decided on an event that would showcase the landscape of Norfolk County. A group of about 70 volunteers have returned each year to greet riders that hail from across the province and beyond. In fact, over 80 per cent of participants live outside of Norfolk.

“It's amazing how word gets around,” said Krupicz, a volunteer with the tour since Day 1. “Every year we see a lot of the same people but we certainly see a lot of new people.”

Le Tour isn't all Mahieu and Krupicz are involved in. Krupicz alone referees minor sports, sits on the Norfolk Soccer Club executive and is a member of the Delhi District Secondary School and Our Lady of La Salette parent councils despite her three children having long graduated. She even helps with bingo at the Delhi Long Term Care Nursing Home.

“She's got a lot of energy that's for sure,” Mahieu said of her sister. “She's got a lot of balls up in the air and she's got great time management skills.”

Volunteering became a staple in the Krupicz household just as soon as their children got involved in extracurricular activities.

“(My husband) Paul and I always said that if we're going to put our kids into something we're not going to complain about what the process is, what the background is, we're going to be at the forefront and help out,” Krupicz explained. “That's why we do it – now they're all grown and out of the house and I continue to do it (because) I enjoy doing it.”

Mahieu may well lead the charge when it comes to Le Tour but she's also been a familiar face as the Delhi BIA revitalization team coordinator and Legion volunteer.

“I think she's done quite a bit to help the community,” Krupicz said, quickly adding her sister has set a positive example for folks in Delhi. “People need to step up and do things. If we don't have people stepping up we would be a poor community. We have a great community, we have great people in town and I think we need to continue doing it.”

The chamber will also honour the Delhi Sub Shop – now in its 41st year – and Caffery Hardware and Electric Ltd., also known as Home Hardware downtown (established in 1952) with the long standing business award. Recent improvements to the building's facade have garnered Delhi's KFC with the business improvement award. No nominations were submitted for the Junior Citizen of the Year but the chamber board hopes to bring the award back in 2018.

Krupicz, Mahieu, and all three businesses will be celebrated at the Chamber Awards and Gala Night at the Delhi and District German Home on May 17 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Second Mouse Cheesetique.

Both Mahieu and Krupicz admitted to being shocked by their selection and delighted to be recognized alongside one another.

“I was thinking I had won something in the BIA Easter Draw because that would be big news for me,” Mahieu smiled.

“It was pretty sweet.”

jrobinson@postmedia.com