International Volunteer Day Celebration BreakfastDecember 5th is marked as International Volunteer Day by the United Nations, in recognition of this day the Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau (GPVSB) hosted the Annual International Volunteer Day Celebration Breakfast! Held at the Richmond Reception Centre, the free breakfast, prepared bt the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie Barbeque Crew, shows appreciation to volunteers in our community and around the world. The GPVSB presented the Volunteer of the Year Award (sponsored by the Prairie Mall), the Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award, as well as the Outstanding Members of the Community Awards to truly deserving volunteers in our area during the breakfast. “The GPVSB is pleased to celebrate the outstanding contributions of all the nominees during the last year. Without volunteers many agencies and clubs in and around Grande Prairie would not be able to offer the support and positive impact that they do for the community.”  Says Kris Podolski, President of the Grande Prairie Volunteers Services Bureau.

voyawards2018bThe Grande Prairie Volunteer Service Bureau and sponsors presented the Volunteer of the Year Award, the Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award and the Outstanding Member of the Community Awards.




Nominated by: Grande Prairie Friendship Centre
Mother of six Cayla Kushnirak is an active volunteer in the many programs offered by the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. She is always willing to help and is a very reliable volunteer to the organization.
When her eldest son joined NIHA Pitone Youth Group, 6 months ago, Cayla quickly became the programs top adult volunteer.  Spending over a 100 hours a month helping with everything from information booths, events to chaperoning, if Cayla can help in any way she will. While participating in the Aboriginal Head Start Program, with her kids, Cayla and her husband volunteered a total of 873 hours in the past year, this does not include hours she spent assisting other programs. Even now that she is no longer part of this program Cayla is always there to help out when she can.
Cayla is a very dedicated volunteer who always willing to learn and help in new ways. She is a great role model to her children and others for her willingness to always help her community.


Nominated by: Grande Prairie Sport Council
Award presented by Krisitn Hurtubise from the Prairie Mall
Revolution Auto Group recognizes the support it receives from the communities it serves and gives back through its involvement in volunteer programs, sponsorships of events and organizations, and gifts to charity.
They offer employees an incentive program that encourages volunteering - employees who volunteer 40 hours per year in the community receive an additional week of paid vacation.  Between November 2017 and October 2018 the 2018 Alberta Summer Games was the recipient of many Revolution Auto Group staff volunteers that included four employees that played key roles as  Directors on the local organizing committee. Each Director would have contributed a minimum of 500+ hours in their positions. The support didn’t end there, they loaned vehicles, donated fuel, office supplies, trucks, ad budget, and more. The entire company seemed to catch the spirit of the Games and their support was paramount to the 2018 Alberta Summer Games overall success!
The Revolution Auto Group continues to make a significant impact in the community as a strong corporate leader.


James AasenJames Aasen
From May to October James spends over a hundred hours a month volunteering with North Peace Bracket Racing Association. His love of cars and racing is evident as he helps maintain the racing facility at the Beaverlodge Airport and always willing to help where ever needed on race days. James is also a huge help during the NPBRA Spring Spectacular Car Show in April volunteering all 3 days.
Tracy AllardTracy Allard
Local business owner for over 25 years with her husband Serge, Tracy’s company Allard Food Ltd. - Tim Hortons supports many community organizations, programs and event in and around Grande Prairie. Tracy is also an active volunteer who is currently part of GP Regional Hospital foundation Capital Cabinet and Tim Hortons Children Foundation International Boar. She has also been part of the GP Boys’ Choir Board, McLaurin Baptist Church Board of  Elders other non-profit organizations.
Carlos GrisalesCarlos Grisales
Hoku Sei Kan Judo Club’s only Sensei Carlos Grisales donates countless hours preparing for and instructing judo classes in Grande Prairie and Wembley. He also travels to tournaments & training camps his students from the teen classes attends. With his tutelage students have competed and trained across the country & even Japan winning medals many competitions. Thanks to Carlos’ dedication his young judokas have learned discipline, respect & more.
Sharon LejueneSharon Lejeune
Sharon Lejeune is a life time volunteer committed to helping newcomers. For the past 20 years she has been part of the St. Joseph Church Refugee Committee. Since February 2017 the 3rd grade teacher has volunteered with the Grande Prairie Centre for Newcomers as a Tutor and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor. Sharon  currently helps a 10 year old Ukrainian Girl with her studies & English skills.
David OlingerDavid Olinger
David Olinger invests a significant amount of his time helping his community. This has ranged from Chamber of Commerce committee work, to being a parent council chair, to service as a Big Brother and volunteerism with live theater and the United Way. He is also the Chairman of the Grande Prairie Council for Lifelong Learning’s Board of Directors.
Lionel RobbinsLionel Robbins
As Chair of the 2018 Alberta Summer Games  Lionel Robins was integral part to its success and legacy it will leave in Grande Prairie and Area. Lionel put in upwards of 600+ volunteers hours into the games and encouraged many of his staff, friends and family to put forth time and effort as volunteers. Lionel’s companies also supported the event through Sponsorship.  In addition to this work with the Summer Games, Lionel has coached football for the past 19 years, held a Chair position on the STARS Board and has helped the community in numerous ways.

Thank you to our Award Sponsors:

Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award

Prairie Mall

The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau Board & Staff would like to thank the following Organizations for supporting this year's Breakfast:


Richmond Reception Centre




Tim Hortons




Special thank you to the following Individuals & Organizations that donated door prizes:
MLA Wayne Drysdale; Centre for Creative Arts; Domino's Pizza; Golden Age Centre; Grande Prairie Crime Prevention; GP DownTown Association; Grande Prairie Frienship Centre; Grande Prairie Live Theatre; Grande Prairie Sport Council; Habitat for Humanity Restore; Hi-Tech Business Systems; International Paper; IPAC; New Horizon Co-op; Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
Prairie Mall; STARS & Western Star Freightliner. 

We would also like to thank Tom Pura for being our MC, Sean Morrison for his musical performance and to everyone who attended this year’s breakfast


Every action makes a difference. Every hour counts.

The United Nations General Assembly created International Volunteer Day (IVD) in 1985 as an annual celebration of voluntary action for volunteers, volunteer organizations and governments. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the designated international focal point for IVD, and supports and encourages its worldwide celebration on December 5th each year.


About International Volunteer Day (IVD)

The United Nations General Assembly created International Volunteer Day (IVD) in 1985 as an annual celebration of voluntary action for volunteers, volunteer organizations and governments. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

Apart from mobilizing thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.


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