Morinville gathers to recognize its volunteers

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From left: Award winners Sandra Stolson, daughter Alyssa, father Francis Fryters, Gary Pool, Laura Hennie on behalf of the Jessica Martel Foundation, Leah Elzinga, Cynthia Wandler, Blair Brown, and Staff Sergeant Tom Love on behalf of the Morinville RCMP.

Lucie Roy photos

Morinville – Hundreds of local volunteers gathered for food, entertainment and recognition Friday night. The annual Volunteer Appreciation Night took place at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre once again. This year’s theme was I Just Called To Say Thank You.

Below are this year’s award winners.

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The 2013 Unsung Hero Award was presented by Councillor Rob Ladouceur to Cynthia Wandler. Wandler changed the way waste management was conducted in town and surrounding area. Morinville and area participated in the first “Reuse it or Loose it” event in May or 2013. The event was so successful it was held again in October. The Program goals fit within three of the five pillars of the Morinville Municipal Sustainability Plan: Governance, Infrastructure and Environmental categories.

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Coach/Mentor of the Year was presented by Councillor Stephen Dafoe. The recipient for the 2013 Coach of the Year Award was Tasha Potiuk. Accepting on her behalf was Sarah Hall. Tasha Potiuk saw a significant need in coaching and picked up the slack. She has four children, coaches three different teams, and is employed full time while attending school. She serves as a board member for the Minor Soccer Association.

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The 2013 Youth Volunteer of the Year was presented by Councillor Brennan Fitzgerald to Blair Brown. Brown has been shovelling snow and performing other tasks which are greatly appreciated by those receiving his assistance.

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The 2013 Volunteer Family of the Year Award and Morinville Lions Citizen of the Year Award went to the Fryters family. The Volunteer Family of the Year Award was presented by Councillor Barry Turner. On hand to receive the award was Francis Fryters, his wife Anna, daughter Sandra and her daughter Alyssa. Francis has been a volunteer in the community since at least 1968 and is still very active volunteering in the community. Whether it is the Blood Donor Clinic, fundraising at meat draws for the kids to have a School Lunch Program, cleaning and maintaining the Lions Park for the community to enjoy, raising money for high school students to receive scholarships or working to help sponsor the largest Western Canadian High School Volleyball Tournament he is always there.

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Fryters was also the recipient of the 2013 Citizen of the Year Award, presented by the Morinville Lions Club.

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Volunteer of the Year was presented by Mayor Lisa Holmes. The Volunteer of the Year Award had two recipients: Ms. Rebecca Balanko (absent) and the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation(JMMF) Accepting the award on behalf of the JMMF was Vice-President Laura Hennie.
Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an active volunteer or group who has demonstrated generosity of spirit, leadership and enthusiasm in one or more community projects during 2013.

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The 2013 Heritage Award recipient was Gary Pool. It was presented by Diana Moquin. Pool is an active Rendez Vous member who organizes bridge tournaments, military whist evenings and clears sidewalks he serves on the board of directors and has served as secretary and President. He was involved in the beginning stages of the creation of the walking trails. He has had a long time involvement with the Alberta Council on Aging and is the Edmonton representative and current president.

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The Morinville News Community Spirit Award was renamed the Paul Krauskopf Community Spirit Award this year and will carry that name from this date on. The award was presented by Morinville News owner Stephen Dafoe, emcee and family friend Joe Gosselin, Mayor Lisa Holmes and Paul Krauskopf’s daughter Lisa Piche. The award was presented to Leah Elzinga (above middle) and Staff Sergeant Tom Love (below middle) on behalf of the Morinville RCMP.

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