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December 5th, 2018 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 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 (sponsored by Servus Credit Union), 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.

This year’s recipients are:

The 2018 Volunteer of the Year is CAYLA KUSHNIRAK 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.

The 2018 Corporate Volunteer of the Year – presented by Kirstin Hurtubise of Prairie Mall, is REVOLUTION AUTO GROUP nominated by Grande Prairie Sport Council.

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.

The 2018 Outstanding Members of the Community – presented by Carol-Anne Pasemko of Grande Prairie Volunteer Service Bureau, are: James Aasen nominated by North Peace Bracket Racing Association; Tracy Allard nominated by the GPVSB; Carlos Grisales nominated by Hoku Sei Kan Judo Club; Sharon Lejeune nominated by the Grande Prairie Centre for Newcomers; David Olinger nominated by the GPVSB; and Lionel Robbins nominated by Grande Prairie Sport Council.

The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau would like to thank the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie BBQ Crew for providing & preparing this year’s breakfast, Safeway for providing juice, Tim Hortons for providing the coffee, and the Richmond Reception Centre for allowing us the use of their facility. Special thanks to: the Prairie Mall and Servus Credit Union for sponsoring the Volunteer and Corporate Volunteer of the Year Awards; and our door prize donors - MLA Wayne Drysdale; Centre for Creative Arts; Domino's Pizza; Golden Age Centre; Grande Prairie Crime Prevention; GP DownTown Association; 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; and Western Star Freightliner.

The GPVSB 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 especially those who brought socks, toques and mitts for our Christmas Sock Drive for the Community Basket at the Community Village – they will be greatly appreciated especially with the COLD temperatures we will have! All Sock Drive Donations will be distributed to the homeless and those in need. Contributions to the Community Basket are always welcomed.

Article provided by the Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau.