By Lucy Roy
Sturgeon County Volunteer of the Year Susan Evans is flanked by Mayor Don Rigney and Councillor Tom Flynn at the Sturgeon County
Volunteer Appreciation Evening held Tuesday night. Evans was nominated by the Cardiff Community Club and supported by Sturgeon Adult Learning Council, the Morinville Rotary Club and community members. Evans is Chairperson of the MCHS Council, secretary with the Rotary Club of Morinville, a member on the Youth Strategy Committee, CORE Lyncs and Big Brothers/Big Sisters for Legal and Morinville. Evans is also a member of the Provincial Joint Stakeholders Committee on Children and Poverty and numerous positions within
the Cardiff Community Club.
Evans was one of twelve nominated for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. Other nominees included Morinville resident Therese Gervais who volunteers with Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch, numerous positions of the board of the Morinville Rendez-Vous Centre and representative on the Senior Citizens Advisory Board, served on the board of the La Salle Program and Star of the North Retreat Centre. Brian Reed the Community Project Director for the Morinville Rotary Club was nominated by the Namao Community Agricultural Society and supported by the Namao School, Namao 4-H Trail Busters and Namao School Fundraising Association.
Harold Schroeder was nominated by the SRCW Association and supported by the Morinville RCMP. Schroeder volunteers with SRCW and serves as Communication Director and has led efforts to update technology used to inform members of criminal activity in the community. He promotes crime prevention throughout the County and town of Morinville and manages updates for the 700 SRCW members. The nine member West Sturgeon House Band was nominated by the West Sturgeon Aging in Place Foundation and supported by the residents of West Country Hearth. The Band performs every Thursday evening and bring a sense of joy and happiness to the residents. Kim Coles was nominated by the Camilla School Parent Advisory Council for her work in creating the Riv-Cam Snow School program that offers students in grades 4 to 9 the chance to participate in weekly ski trips to Rabbit Hill and also volunteers in numerous capacities with the Minor Hockey teams. William Chabaniuk was nominated for his work with the Namao Ag Society, Namao Community Hall, outdoor rink and volunteerism with the St Albert United Church.
Marcel Kerckhof was nominated for his work with the St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, two decades of volunteering with the parish, and work with the Villeneuve’s 4-H Club and Calahoo Golden Agers. Wanda Thompson was nominated for her volunteerism in the Mearns Seniors Club. Joan Okerman is a volunteer in the Namao community including the Happiest Club and Vice President of the Namao Sixties Plus Club. Jerry Belziuk has been a member of SRCW for 25 years and served as Vice-President and President, is an Associate Leader in 4-H Beef Club of Bon Accord for more than eight years, treasurer for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for more than eight years and former President of the Ivan Franko Education Society. Don and Faith Case were nominated by the Mearns Recreation for their years of volunteerism in the community, Marion Centre and at the senior’s lodges.
The Building Blocks of the Community Award were presented to Sturgeon Composite High School teacher Sheila Reed and Michelle Boucher. Just short of $400 thousand dollars in grants was presented to more than 50 community volunteer organizations, which included the Morinville Rendez-Vous Club and Sturgeon Victim Services Association Sturgeon Region and Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch.
The Community Association Grant was $71,010, Community Enhancement Grant $112,902,Family Community Support Services Grant$16,000 the Senior Association grant $10,450 and the Calahoo-Villeneuve Gravel Extraction Grants for $148,695 for total donations of $398,000.