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Red Rock Urban BBQ Caught in the Act

Lois Kurlovich nominated by Finishing Touch Grad Society

Lois Kurlovich - Finishing Touch Grad SocietyAs the snow finally begins to slowly melt away, young adults here in the city and county of Grande Prairie prepare for their upcoming graduations and proms.  Celebrating this momentous occasion can be expensive for many individuals, luckily the Finishing Touch Grad Society is able to help those look their best. On a grey skied second day of spring, the society held their annual Boutique Day, an event where volunteers set up a store front with dressing rooms and let the soon to be graduates shop and try on outfits and accessories to find the perfect look for their graduation. At the start of Boutique Day, at the Dunes Golf & Country Club, GPVSB staff was on hand to surprise & catch Lois Kurlovich in the Act of Volunteering, and she kindly spoke to us about her volunteer work.

 A lifelong volunteer Lois first learned about the Finishing Touch Grad Society, in 2013, while attending a Student/Parent Graduation meeting with her son, the non-profit group was there to raise awareness of their services. Seeing the value in their mission, and wanting to experience the joys of helping a young lady find the perfect prom dress, something she couldn’t do only having a son, Lois quickly joined the agency. Serving as the Society’s Secretary from 2013 to 2016, Lois is still a prominent volunteer in the group, being called “our go-to volunteer” by Finishing Touch Grad Society President Michelle Wudkevich. Lois continues to enjoy her time with the society helping students prepare for their ‘big day’, she states “these kids work really hard to reach this accomplishment of graduating high school, they deserve to look amazing and celebrate with their peers despite any financial difficulties they or their families may have”, and Lois is happy to help any way she can.  She even involves her family who assists with Boutique Day clean up, luckily they are happy to help as they also volunteer around the community. Aside from helping with Boutique Day Lois helps with fundraising for FTGS and hopes to increase awareness and support for this worthy endeavor.

The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau would like to thank Lois Kurlovich for her work with Finishing Touch Grad Society, helping our community and for being ‘Caught in the Act’ of volunteering. For more information about Finishing Touch Grad Society visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FinishingTouchGradSociety/.  The GPVSB would also like to thank new Caught in the Act sponsor Red Rock Urban BBQ for helping to recognize the great volunteers in our community.

If you’re interested in finding a volunteer opportunity visit http://gpvsb.volunteergrandeprairie.com and create a free profile. If you know an outstanding volunteer that deserves to be ‘Caught in the Act’ send your nomination to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Please include 2-3 sentences about your volunteer.)

Mikenzie Batke nominated by HIV North Society

Mikenzie Batke nominated by HIV North Society

On an uncommonly warm & windy February afternoon in Grande Prairie, Mikenzie Batke started her volunteer shift at the HIV North office, where she helps the organization three days a week. Hoping for a future career in social work, Mikenzie started volunteering with HIV North after a nursing student suggested to her that volunteering with HIV North might be a good opportunity for her. During an online search Mikenzie discovered a volunteer posting on http://gpvsb.volunteergrandeprairie.com that the non-profit was looking for Harm Reduction Specialist volunteers and quickly contacted the agency.

After the initial training and the surprise of learning about all the services HIV North provides to the community. Mikenzie helps the organization with interacting with clients, organizing & distributing supplies to clients, and assembling harm reduction kits.  She also helps with taking care packages to organizations, like the St. Lawrence Centre, and general admin duties like answering the phone.  She hopes to start doing more interaction with clients on community walks and doing needle sweeps in the future.  It’s obvious talking with Mikenzie that she really enjoys her time with the HIV North team stating that the agency is a very open and inclusive place. Her work has confirmed her interest in becoming a social worker, which makes her mother beyond happy that she has found something she enjoys so much.  In fact her positive experiences with HIV North have her friends wanting to volunteer with the organization when a new opportunity becomes available. Mikenzie encourages people interested in volunteering to do so, just look for opportunities in areas that interest them as it can be very rewarding helping others and educational.

HIV North team member Cindy Belcourt stated “Mikenzie’s efforts volunteering for HIV North has been a great help for the team.   Her cheery and bright disposition lightens up the room and her kindness towards others doesn’t go unnoticed.  Her dedication and commitment to volunteerism is outstanding.” Cindy was also surprised to learn Mikenzie volunteered at other organization in the community she spends time with a resident at Mackenzie Place, Helps AHS Clients recover missing ID with the Alberta Health Services ID Program and walks in-training service dogs for Hope Heels, with hopes of fostering a puppy in the future if her Dad will let her have a dog in the house.

The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau would like to thank Mikenzie Batke for her work with HIV North, helping our community with her many other volunteer activities and being ‘Caught in the Act’ of volunteering. For more information about HIV North Society visit their website at http://www.hivnorth.org.  If your interested in finding a volunteer opprotunity visit http://gpvsb.volunteergrandeprairie.com and create a free profile.

The Stitch Club of Grande Prairie Nominated by Marilyn Woloszyn

stitchclub

Last year in Grande Prairie, 1540 knitted items which included hats, scarves, mittens, blankets, and more were donated to charities like Rotary House, Coats for Kids, Elder’s Caring Shelter and 7 other organizations by one hard working group.  The Stitch Club of Grande Prairie knit away and socialize for a few hours once a week at the Heritage Lodge. Compromised of mostly retired ladies the Stitch Club started in 2001 as a way to past the time and make new acquaintances. Realizing the amount of items produced and, according to some members, being told by family and loved ones they had enough knitted socks to last a lifetime the group decided to start donating to 10 local non-profit agencies that distribute the items to those in need.

The Stitch Club members enjoy their time knitting and chatting with one another.  The shared hobby has led to long term friendships among the group and has helped the individuals as well.  Knitting actually has many health benefits it helps improve anxiety, stress and depression, slows cognitive decline, helps prevent arthritis and more. The ladies take great pride in their work and continue to help the community with their crocheted creations.

Read more: Caught in the Act: The Stitch Club of Grande Prairie

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