An Ingersoll, Ontario, woman who started a Friendship Club in her church has been honored as the Citizen of the Year in her community.
Hilda Berghuis, a member of Ingersoll Christian Reformed Church, was given the J.C. Herbert Citizen of the Year Award by the Ingersoll Community Foundation.
Berghuis, a special education teacher, started the Friendship ministry in her church in 1985 primarily for three teens in the congregation who had cognitive impairments, but the club has since grown to include 30 such young people who meet each week.
Officials from the community foundation decided to present Berghuis with the award after hearing about the enthusiasm the students have for Friendship.
“I never expected anything like this. When I started the Friendship group I was doing it for the Lord and for these children I loved. My heart was just in it,” Berghuis said.