A workhorse is defined as “a person who works tirelessly, especially at difficult or time-consuming tasks” or “something that is markedly useful, durable, or dependable.” This definitions are a fairly comprehensive description of Richard Morris. Leadership and humility need to be added to be thoroughly comprehensive.
Richard has volunteered for the Meaford Scarecrow Invasion for more than 15 years. He serves and has served in many capacities:
- Decorating volunteer and co-chair
- Scarecrow Spine Maker and Cutter of Plastic for Bows
- Corn stalk cutting and hauling coordinator
- Family Festival Coordinator in charge of site issues including, electrical needs, setting up and tearing down, as well as, safety issues
- Family Festival Coordinator in charge of food vendors
- Member of Committee dealing with Municipal Public Works and OPP for family festival and parade
- Keeper of the harbour storage shed
- Grant committee member
- Executive committee member
The majority of the roles listed are still being done by Richard though the title may change. He no longer co-chairs decorating but is an active member on their committee assisting at the scarecrow building workshops, helping with decorating the town and still coordinates his beloved corn stalking cutting group. His truck is a symbol of the festival around town with “The Dude” logo on the door. Richard is always delivering, picking up and transporting items for the Invasion. His ingenuity is demonstrated by his solutions to various logistical and mechanical problems. His expertise in planning especially in relation to the parade and festival are used yearly by those committees. These tasks often start in February, months before the festival. The day of the festival is long for Richard since he coordinates and is a working member of the crews for setting up and tearing down of the festival. By 10 pm there is no sign a festival has occurred. Richard is always willing to take on an extra task to help the festival be successful.
Richard is a valued member of the executive and grant committee. He is wise and discerning in his deliberations. He is able to express his opinions respecting the views of the other members and his aim is always to make the best decision for the Meaford Scarecrow Invasion. He has a wealth of expertise and experience which he willingly contributes. He is extremely community-focused and his participation in other volunteer activities such as the Business Improvement Area Board of Management, the Meaford Chamber of Commerce, Meaford Community Living Board and Property Committee of Meaford United Church has brought beneficial knowledge to our group. He is always willing to take on a task – all committees are working committees to Richard.
Despite some health issues that have resulted in significant mobility challenges, Richard continues to do major physical tasks. He never complains and carries out his task with vigor and a smile despite the extreme effort needed. We would need five or six new volunteers to accomplish all the tasks and duties done by Richard.
There is a saying “Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.” Richard Morris is definitely “a do more person”. He exemplifies the best qualities of volunteerism