by Lucie Roy
Morinville News Correspondent
Guylaine Jacques received an email Feb. 4 saying she’d won a Governor General’s award, and did not think much of it at first.
“You know we receive so many things by email,” Jacques said, adding emails in the inbox saying she’s won a cruise or other things are common. “I read the title and almost deleted it.”
The email, addressed to Guylaine Jacques, read “Prix du Governeur General pour l’entraide felicitations.” Jacques said it looked real so she saved it and did some research that night with her husband, Steve Daigle. After checking it out, everything seemed legitimate, but the next morning she called to see if it was a joke. When she learned it wasn’t, she cried.
Jacques is to be presented the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in March for her volunteerism and said she still does not know who nominated her. Many places where she has volunteered have all received phone calls from the Governor Generals’ office confirming her volunteerism and involvement.
Jacques said volunteering is a family thing and thinks it comes from her Mom. Her Mother got involved with the school when Jacques was young and together with a group of parents got a cafeteria built for the school.
“I think when we saw her very involved in the community she looked happy and since then we always help everybody,” Jacques said adding her parents always helped everybody around them.
It is something that is present in her home. She said her children are involved everywhere, and her husband takes a week of unpaid vacation time every year to do the sugar shack at area schools and events. He has done it for the last six years and recently took part at events at Morinville Public School and the Morinville Snowman Festival over the Family Day weekend.
“Every community needs some volunteers,” Jacques said. “If nobody volunteers in the community, the community is a dead community. If everybody is paid, they just pay them for so much. We need volunteers in a community.”
Jacques’ volunteerism includes but is not limited to four years with Tour de l’Alberta, volunteering with the ACFA since 2005, the Federation of Sports Alberta’s Francophone as Director for two years, and four years as vice president. She is also on the Organizing Committee for the Alberta Francophone Games, with five years as Zone 4 Coach for Zone 4.
Jacques and members of the Morinville Community Library initiated the Story Time program where she reads French books to children and Library employee Margaret Meetsma reads the English ones.
As a preschool teacher at École Citadelle in Legal, Jacques has also volunteered as the School Community Coordinator and organizes different activities for children to bring the community in the school and the school into the community. She also teaches Roots of Empathy and takes the students to the Chateau Sturgeon Lodge to do activities with the seniors.
“Time flies so fast,” Jacques said of her volunteerism. “I never count my hours. I never count the days. I never count anything. If I volunteer for something of if they call me for something, I give 110 per cent, and I am there until they tell me to leave.”