Last week, the Morden Area Foundation named Kathy Ritchie as the winner of Morden's 2022 Citizen of Distinction.

"I was very surprised," admitted Ritchie. "I never considered myself as a person who would be considered for such an honour, and I do believe it is an honour. I know there are many people in this community who do more than I have done, who have done amazing things in our community over the years to help move it forward. To be even considered in that kind of company is really quite humbling."

Ritchie and her husband moved to Morden 50 years ago and felt at home immediately.

"We had our family involved in certain activities, certain organizations. My husband and I both were involved in the curling club, out at the golf course, in different adult pursuits as well, and always felt that whatever we had to offer or. contribute was respected. I don't think that was my plan at all to make a big difference, but to be part of it and give back to organizations that gave to us and helped us fulfill our lives as a family."

According to her nomination papers, Ritchie is a former MAF member (2007-2015) and volunteer and mentor (2015-2023). While raising her two children, she was involved in multiple sport leagues including minor hockey, baseball and ringette. She sat on the Ringette Executive and MB Regional Ringette Executive. She was on the Morden Ladies Curling Club Executive and was the Registrar for Manitoba Summer Games hosted in Morden. She was instrumental in developing the Women's Giving Circle, which later transformed into what is now, The Power of the Purse fundraiser. Additionally, Kathy is a long-time volunteer for the Corn and Apple Festival, Morden Library and Thrift Store.

Ritchie says she's always enjoyed being involved with the organizations she has served in, and for the most part, everyone has given back more than she has put in.

"Over the years, and I'm sure most people who have had the joy of being involved in different organizations and committees, find that they meet people in different times in their lives, that they'll meet later on again. They inspire you to keep volunteering, to keep being involved, because you see these people find the joy, find the satisfaction of being involved in the community, to help you feel like you're moving it forward."

In recognition of her co-nominators (Jim Hunt and Della Duncan) and others who have reached out, Ritchie says she appreciates how people in the community help a person feel that what they are doing is important and has an impact.

"I don't know if that happens everywhere, but I feel it happens in the community of Morden."