Many fine community minded people were celebrated as Morinville and Sturgeon County hosted awards ceremonies in conjunction with National Volunteer Week.
Morinville held its 28th annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening on Friday, April 4. Among the honourees was Leah Elzinga, who said that her award came as a complete surprise.
“I wasn’t even going to go. I was just going to support my other friends,” she admitted.
“I work as part of a team and the other two were nominated for other awards. I was kind of not even paying attention.”
She said that she was just eating dessert when her name was called to go up on stage. She was one of two co-winners of the newly renamed Paul Krauskopf Community Spirit Award. She earned her spot on the trophy for her work as chair of the parent fundraising association for the annual Community Carnival in support of the new Morinville Public Elementary School.
Elzinga was thrilled to be one of the first to receive the honour as it also paid tribute to the town’s former mayor who passed away unexpectedly last summer.
“That made it more important to me. It was not even so much about me but validating about what we’re doing with the community carnival and other things in the school.”
The other co-winner was the Morinville RCMP.
Other honourees at the event included Tasha Potiuk for Coach/Mentor of the Year, Cynthia Wandler for the Unsung Hero Award, Blair Brown as the top Youth Volunteer, the Fryters family as the top Volunteer Family, Gary Pool for the Heritage (Rendez Vous Club) Award, Frances Fryter as the Citizen Of The Year and Rebecca Balanko and the Jessica Martel Foundation as the co-winners of the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Sturgeon County also paid tribute to its community-minded citizens during its annual Volunteer Appreciation Evening event held on Tuesday, April 8 in Redwater. The town’s manager of community services Terry Cashin said that it was a wonderful event that served to warm many hearts and remind people of the value of giving back to their communities.
With the amount of volunteer hours and services they put into the county without the volunteers [the county]certainly wouldnt have the same number of activities, you wouldnt have the facilities he began. Theyre basically the backbone of the community.
“Volunteers are very much appreciated. You certainly can’t operate as a community without your volunteers.”
The county’s Outstanding Volunteers of the Year Award winners included Rita Hebert, Mary Giguere, Wes Farmer, Stan Eszczuk, Carol-Ann Eszczuk, Willie Chabaniuk, Phyllis Borle, Monique Aultman, Vera Huber, Susan Supruniuk, Dixie Soetaert, Richard Petherbridge, Glenn Ozipko, Roger Nykipilo, Ron McConnell and Ivan Spargo.
Namao School teacher Darren Dunsmore and staff at the Morinville Teen Centre were also honoured with the Building Blocks of the Community Award, and Kathy Rudyk and Lisa Trembath were also honoured by Sturgeon County’s Family School Liaison program.