2019 Volunteer of the Year Awards

On December 5th 2019, residents of Grande Prairie and Area attended the annual International Volunteer Day Celebration Breakfast to show appreciation to the volunteers in our community and around the world. The Grande Prairie Volunteer Service Bureau and sponsors presented the Volunteer of the Year Awards. Watch the Awards being presented at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcOTjzqIWxE.

The 2019 Winners are:

Servus Credit Union's Trijesh Thakur presents the Volunteer of the Year Award to Leanne Van WagnerVOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Leanne Van Wagner
Leanne Van Wagner is an energetic and passionate supporter of her community and her gift is helping people. She comes from the tiny community of Hinton Trail and is inspired by seeing what committed individuals can accomplish no matter their home location. Best known for her vibrant personality and warmth, she has been appropriately nicknamed “The Rainbow Lady”. She has supported her community in many ways, first as a business owner for over 18 years operating the Poodle Parlour as well as her work as a holistic practitioner, which gave her the avenue to do what she loved most, helping people. This passion for helping people lead Leanne to find her way to the Beaverlodge and Area Rural Crime Association, where she now serves as President. Her pivotal role in helping the association grow from a defunct group in 2018 to the vibrant association it is today lead her to be recognized this morning. Leanne is quick to share credit, though. She speaks highly of her amazing team of volunteers and was adamant that award is a TEAM award and she shares it equally with all those that have put in the hard work along with her. Leanne is excited to continue to learn and promote Rural Crime Associations as important partners in ensuring that rural citizens feel safe and secure in their communities and on their properties. Our communities are better because of people like Leanne.
Award sponsored & presented by Servus Credit Union - Servus Credit Union represented by Trijesh Thakur.
Prairie Mall's Kristin Hurtbrise presents Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award to Executive Driving Services Inc.'s Gezim VeliuCORPORATE VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Executive Driving Services Inc. 
(Award accepted by Gezim Veliu)
Executive Driving Services and its owner Gezim Veliu have spent many years quietly doing the hard work behind the scenes for many charities, non-profit and community groups in our area. Gezim and his family landed in Grande Prairie as refugees in the late 90’s and now as a local business owner, he has worked tirelessly to give back to the community who gave him so much.His company is quick to offer support wherever he sees need. On any given day you might find an Executive Driving Services vehicle delivering milk to a mom who needs it for free, or quietly meeting with city councillors to offer help during hard times.Over the last year, dozens of organizations have benefitted from their dedication to help others. So many in fact, it is difficult to truly capture it all in the time we have. Their work with the United Way ensured that hundreds of local kids had the supplies they needed for school by not only donating supplies; but also rallying the community behind the project, delivering the supplies, and ensuring that the volunteers stuffing backpacks were fed. When Camp Heal-A-Heart was in need of donations, he once again rallied the community behind the project and ensured that those who needed transport to attend the camp were taken care of. This is only a small snapshot of the many things Executive Driving Services does for our community. We are so grateful to have leaders like them doing this important work and setting an example for us all to give a little and help a little wherever we can.
Award sponsored & presented by the Prairie Mall - Prairie Mall represented by Krisitn Hurtubise


Award accepted by Debra Raiwet, Award presented by GPVSB's Chancie Cook
Jamie Rigler
Jamie Rigler is a long-time community volunteer. She is quiet about what she does and is an ardent supporter of agencies that address human need and the most vulnerable in our society. (Jamie's award accepted by Debra Raiwet.)
Outstanding Volunteer Cheryl Weaver, Award presented by GPVSB's Chancie Cook
Cheryl Weaver 
Cheryl Weaver is a long-time board member and volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is always the first to step up, and her level of vision and dedication is valued by the many organizations she volunteers with. We are so pleased to present her with our Outstanding Volunteer Award.
Gail Lamoureux receiving award from GPVSB's Chancie Cook
Gail Lamoureux 
Gail Lamoureux’s community spirit is second to none, she has a warm heart for the poor and sick and spends hours of her own time to provide for those in need at the many organizations she volunteers with.
iSeevOptical's Marco Keller receiving award from GPVSB's Chancie Cook
iSee Optical
iSee Optical spends their time supporting and giving back to the most vulnerable populations in our area. At-risk youth, seniors, those struggling with homelessness and addictions, and those fleeing domestic violence are of special focus for this local business. (Award accepted by Marco Keller.)
Mario Paradis receiving award from GPVSB's Chancie Cook
Mario Paradis
Mario Paradis has spent decades supporting dozens of non-profits and community groups in our area. He works tirelessly to ensure local groups, especially those that are youth-involved, have the support and hands they need to deliver their important programming.
 Steve Madden receiving award from GPVSB's Chancie Cook
Steve Madden
Steve Madden is a long-time community volunteer and President of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie. He dedicates an extensive amount of his time to multiple groups and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty every now and then too. Grande Prairie is a better place to be because of people like Steve.

Outstanding Volunteer Awards presented by Carol-Anne Pasemko & Chancie Cook of the Grande Prairie Volunteer Service Bureau.

Individual Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by: 
Prairie Mall
Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by: 

Servus Credit Union

The GPVSB would like to congratulate this year's award winners, thank everyone who attended to celebrate International Volunteer Day with us and a special thank you to our wonderful sponsors for supporting the annual breakfast. For More on the International Volunteer Day Celebration Breakfast Click Here.


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