The Grande Prairie Regional Association of Volunteer Organizations launched the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009. The award honours an extraordinary individual living in the Grande Prairie region for their volunteer contributions in the most recent twelve-month period for their considerable impact within the community.
In 2013 we added the Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award to recognize a company or business that, through its staff and policies supporting volunteerism, created an impact on a not-for-profit organization(s) in the last twelve months.
Along with the Volunteer of the Year Awards, the Association presents the Outstanding Members of the Community Awards. These awards pay tribute to individuals, groups and businesses who have improved the quality of life in the community through volunteer work. Nominations for the Awards open late August early September.
The Individual Volunteer of the Year Award is sponsored by Servus Credit Union and the Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award is sponsored by the Prairie Mall.
2021 Volunteer of the Year Recipients
Volunteer of the Year - Sandy Richardson
This year’s Volunteer of the Year is Sandy Richardson from Eureka River.
Sandy was the recipient of the Clear Hills County Volunteer Award 2 years ago. They said, “Sandy is a prime example of what one Volunteer can accomplish.”
They are right. Sandy is on approximately 15 boards in her community. She is on one 4-H club and the District and Regional School Council, Eureka River Ag Society, Eureka River Cemetery board, Valley Riders Saddle Club, Clear Hills Saddle Club. These, she tells me, are the major ones. What is so inspiring is that these clubs are all over the county and require travelling to Volunteer.
One of her fellow board members said, “this woman is vital to the boards in our community; she keeps us going and involved. We are very neighbor and family oriented, and it is people like Sandy who keep these small rural communities connected.
When Sandy was asked why she volunteers, she said, “because each club has things that interest me, so I just do.”
The Volunteer of the Year Award is sponsored by Servus Credit Union.
Corporate Volunteer of the Year - Grande Prairie Royale LePage The Realty Group
About Royal LePage:
Your Royal LePage – The Realty Group REALTORS® live, work, and play in this community. So, not only do they have the neighbourhood knowledge, they love this city, and they’re always looking for ways to give back. We all want to keep making the beautiful city of Grande Prairie a great place to live and grow.
About Angie Peters:
As Royal LePage Broker, Angie Peters strives to lead a professional group of Realtors to success by providing a positive work environment, leadership training and leading-edge social marketing.
Her Property Management team manages over 750 residential rental properties, giving people a positive place to live by taking care of over 375 people’s investment properties.
About John Krol:
Whether you are looking at buying or selling a home, John is an experienced professional. He knows Grande Prairie and the surrounding area market very well, as he has been helping clients buy and sell homes for over ten years in this region. He enjoys connecting with people and genuinely wants to help them with their real estate needs.
This year their office raised $28,290 for the local shelter Odyssey House and National Domestic Violence Prevention Programs!
Angie Peters raised $18,392 for Odyssey House and $4,598 for National Domestic Violence Prevention Programs from her Trek for Shelter!Royal LePage raised $5300 from their Golf Fore Shelter Tournament!
Their office was the title sponsor for the Grande Prairie Rib Fest and the Pumpkin Festival in 2021. The Pumpkin Festival was an event they co-hosted with Jeffrey’s Cafe to raise the local food bank funds.
Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce Business of the year 2014
City of Grande Prairie Passionate Heart Award 2016
Royal LePage Shelter Foundation Philanthropist of the Year 2019
Thank you, Royal LePage – The Realty Group, for your commitment to this community.
Outstanding Citizens in the Community
Clifford Mitchell is an inspiring volunteer as he has decades of volunteering experience.
He is very involved with the GP Seniors Reading Theatre as a reading coach, organizing readers, presentation places and audiences. He has a knack for finding the best role for each reader. The group has performed to many audiences including Heritage Lodge, Wild Rose Manor, Pioneer Lodge and many more. The most recent being for the Heritage Village Folktales Tour.
If that is not enough Cliff also volunteers for The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign, Knights of Columbus, and several ministries with his church. He also on the board of North West Alberta Retired Teachers Association.
Cliff has volunteered for Spring Fling, Festival of Trees and even built a playhouse of a Habitat for Humanity fundraiser. He is also more than willing to share his carpentry talents with any who ask.
In 2020 Cliff and the Studio 50+ group got “schooled” in new technology. The project being a tribute through film to the late Mary Nuttings book “A Grande Education: One Hundred Schools in the County of Grande Prairie” Cliff has a major role in making this happen.
Age does not slow this gentleman down, so we can’t wait to see what he will do in the future to make our community a better place.
Never having met a challenge she didn’t like, Brenda is a wonderful go-to person when a group needs a little extra help. She appreciates how effective teamwork makes a difference; notices when people need extra support and can be relied upon at all times. Her warmth and gentle approach, initiative and collaborative leadership style are always evident in all her activities.
Brenda volunteers with various organizations throughout the community and is also an active Rotarian. Ready and willing to pitch in where ever she is needed her commitment to giving back and fundamental belief in the power of community volunteerism is an inspiration to us all.
We are very pleased to recognize Brenda as an Outstanding Volunteer for 2021.
Sexsmith and Area Foodbank
This is a group of dedicated individuals who have come together over the COVID pandemic to make the Sexsmith and Area Food bank bigger and better.
It began with the pandemic and a need to move the existing food bank into a bigger, more accessible location, and to be able to deliver food to families in need, safely and efficiently as well as accept donations and keep the volunteers safe.
The group of caring individuals came together forming a committee quickly and began making needed hampers for families with easy connections and contactless pickup. They arranged drop off food drives to keep the bank operating. They organized and delivered needed COVID hampers to families organized thru the schools, to help those not able to access breakfast programs at the school.
After the initial COVID restrictions, this group began to form and be recognized as a Society, this group of community members went farther and with the help of the GPRAVO is obtaining their Charity status.
Each Wednesday evening you will find them hard at work filling requests for Hampers and going thru donations…. Then Christmas season comes, and they again stand out –
This enormous project of putting together approximately 160 Christmas hampers, 5 Finning boxes high complete with food for the family and toys for the children all coordinated perfectly. The amount of volunteer time and coordination that goes into this project alone is worth mention. Hours and hours of pickups, deliveries and sorting to make these hampers. A lot of LOVE goes into each one, each family is thought of as individuals as they pick toys for each member of the family.
This volunteer group has definitely made their mark in our communities.
Congratulations Sexsmith and Area Foodbank!
We would like to express our gratitude to Starbucks # 4838 (Cobblestone) during this difficult time. In the spirit of kindness, and unity, the employees of Starbucks # 4838 reached out to local businesses that remained open during the pandemic. They delivered refreshments to these businesses as a gesture of gratitude.
One of the employees had the idea of doing a “Taking and giving table” Inspirational cards were placed on the table and you could take one to brighten your day, or leave one to brighten someone else’s day
Employees from Starbucks #4838 took the initiative to pick up trash from a couple of parks and fields in their area over the summer.
Thank you to the staff of Starbucks #4838 for everything they do to spread kindness in our city.
Swan City Snowmobile club has nothing but praise for Randy. He maintains the trail systems to keep them safe for all rides, works on the equipment and ensures we are ready for the winter season. He is the parts guy, equipment operator and overall Jack of all trades.
Without his efforts they would not have warm up shelters, out houses, and an organized shop.
His selflessness has been demonstrated over and over with everything he does.
Randy puts in at least 30 hours a week for the club (rumor has it he may be hiding from his wife).
The club appreciate and value him and his efforts which have helped them to get to where they are today.
Kory created the Grande Prairie Norsemen Football club in 2015 and has been instrumental in its successes and continued ability to bring new players into the game.
His reason for starting Grande Prairie Norseman Football Club was that pre-existing clubs in GP were at total capacity.
With Kory’s enthusiasm for the game and his coaching he helps students develop fundamentally though his primary goal is to instill confidence, respect, friendship, self-worth and pride in his players.
That is admirable and inspiring.
Kory coached pewee in 2010 – 2019 but says the reason he retired from pewee was that his wife demanded that he slow down. (his words)
The community of Grande Prairie is fortunate to have individuals such as Kory Gravengard.