Surrounded by children blowing kazoos, TCAG staff surprised Director of Child Care Shelly Damude with a cake and gifts Tuesday morning, to celebrate her 30 years of continuous service with the Thorold Community Activities Group.
She began as a placement student and Registered Early Childhood Educator in the TCAG’s licensed child care program, fresh out of college in 1989. She's worked with four executive directors through the years, starting with the organization’s founder, Garth Hollett.
“Shelly has positively impacted hundreds of children and their families,” said current TCAG executive director, Dan Pelletier. “At least one of her current staff (Meghan Cecchini) was in Shelly’s direct care, as a child.”
“Working anywhere for 30 years is an achievement,” he said to Damude; “but to have a TCAG career for 30 years exclusively … We’re just glad you’ve been here.”
“It’s been an amazing ride,” she replied. “I’ve seen a lot of changes, a lot of good staff, and a lot of progress, and I’ve been happy to be a part of it.”