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The Stitch Club of Grande Prairie Nominated by Marilyn Woloszyn

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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.

The club relies on contributions of yarn from the public in order to create items for donation but when needed they have bought materials themselves but this is quite costly as each items can cost 10 dollars or more to make. Their goal this year is to make 1800 items for donation and hope that they community can help them reach this goal by donating the needed materials. If you wish to help out the Stitch Club of GP you can make arrangements to donate yarn by contacting any of the following Club Representatives:

Anne at 780-505-2252

Alice at 780-532-6662

Cindy at 780-897-2338.

The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau would like to thank the Stitch Club of Grande Prairie Members; Darlene Anderson, Marilyn Balderson, Kay Balmer, Diana Burgess, Aileen Cormack, Irene Gitzel, Gwen Melnyk, Ethel Miller, Doreen Nichol, Anne Sawchuk, Donna Sawchuk, Gloria Sirman, Claudia Smathers, Liz Steinke, Betty Stokes, Eloise Tharp & Cindy Wendorf for their work helping the community and being ‘Caught in the Act’ of volunteering. 

Mick Bayko Nominated by Scouts Canada

Mick CIA

On a warm mid-March evening, at the Elks Lodge, the GPVSB surprised our latest Caught in the Act nominee Mick Bayko, while he was preparing for his Scouts Group meeting.  Nominated by Scouts Canada Mick volunteers as the organization’s Group Commissioner of the 3rd Grande Prairie Scout Group.

Mick started his scout volunteering as an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader when his son joined their local group.  Spending time with his son, enjoying the great outdoors and helping other youths, Mick moved on to become a Cub Leader for 3 years then a Scout Leader for 1.  Now Mick is currently in his 2nd year as Group Commissioner were he supervises the group’s weekly events, activities, meetings and quality programs, ensuring a safe environment for 72 youths in the group and providing support to section leaders.  While working a full time job, taking care of his family, and volunteering at the Wapiti Nordic Centre’s Mountain Bike and Biathlon programs, Bayko still manages to be a fulltime Scout.  Mick states he wouldn’t know what to do with his free time if he wasn’t volunteering.  “Being part of Scouts is very rewarding not only do you get to share your knowledge with the younger generation but you have the opportunity to learn new things as well” states Mick.  As local interest in Scouting grows Mick hopes more volunteers will join Scouts as there is a waiting list of kids wanting to sign up with the group.  

Read more: Caught in the Act: Mick Bayko

Grande Prairie Legal Guidance 2nd Annual Legal Advice Blitz

By Tanya Ruigrok

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On January 21, 2017, 9 volunteer lawyers provided a total of 35 hours of free legal advice to Grande Prairie’s low to moderate income population at our 2nd Legal Advice Blitz.   

The blitz was born with one lawyer, Derek Van Tassell of Stringam LLP, volunteering to come in for an entire day to help clean up a backlog of clients that had accumulated.  The GPLG coordinator sent out a request to the other lawyers to come and give him a hand and was delighted to see responses from 5 lawyers immediately volunteering to help out.  We quickly gave it a name – “The Legal Advice Blitz” (thanks to Nathan Fry of Hayes & Fry) and decided to open the day up to the community.  It went very well with 30 clients booked and seen in a 5 hour period.  The feedback from the lawyers and the clients was extremely positive so the decision was made to make it an annual event.

Read more: Caught in the Act Special

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