Caught in the Act

Dave Thiessen 

Volunteer with Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society 

by Fringina Mukaga, Communications

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The job of maintenance personnel requires flexibility, skill, and knowledge in a wide range of trades. For many non-profits, finding the right volunteer to provide maintenance support often proves to be a daunting task. Luckily for Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS), the right person found them. While dropping his daughter off at PARDS where she volunteered, Dave took a look around and noticed that “they could use a hand”. With that realization he offered his services as a facility maintenance volunteer.

Dave describes his first impression of the PARDS facility as busy. “[I saw] people working hard to get everything done,” he says. This atmosphere was a good fit for Dave who is described by the PARDS facilities Volunteer Coordinator Robyn Boudreau as “always ready and willing to help family and friends when needed”. As a facility maintenance volunteer Dave helps maintain the bobcat and other equipment on the farm. He stacks bales of hay and plows the snow in the winter months. “ Dave has spent countless hours out in the Bobcat keeping our facility’s parking area and sidewalk clear of snow and has also given hours of his time repairing and maintaining equipment,” says Robyn.

For Dave volunteering at PARDS has become an important part of his life, so much so that he describes juggling his time to meet his commitment to the non-profit. Despite the challenges of time management and old equipment Dave believes that “their cause is worth every minute.” He sees his volunteer efforts as a small component of the vehicle that allows the organization to “do what they need to [do] to improve the community” and in turn he feels better about himself for helping out.

Since volunteering with PARDS Dave has become somewhat of an ambassador for the organization. “[I] try to make the community more aware of what [PARDS] offers,” he says. He hopes that in raising awareness of the organization more people will be inspired to reach out and volunteer. “I feel that it is a constant effort to find people to help out as this is such a busy place to live,” says Dave. He urges all potential volunteers to pick up the phone and call PARDS as “there really is no better reward for your self-esteem”. 


Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society 

Organization Profile


Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS) is a not-for-profit therapeutic riding centre offering equine assisted therapy to children and adults living with cognitive, physical, behavioral and emotional challenges.

Therapeutic Riding Programs provide clients with the opportunity to increase social interaction, improve self-esteem and build confidence while experiencing physical benefits such as improved balance, posture, flexibility, sensory awareness and endurance.

For more information:


Tel: 780.538.3211

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Address: 8202 84 Street Grande Prairie, AB T8X 0L6





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