May 1, 2017

Blackfalds nominees announced: Carol Simpson Volunteer of Year, Dylan Stork Award and Leaders of Tomorrow

National Volunteer Week is April 23 – 29 this year.
This year’s winners will be announced at a Volunteer Appreciation Event on Wednesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at the Blackfalds Community Hall located at 4810 Womacks Road. If you would like to attend please RSVP by emailing fcss@blackfalds.com or call 403-600-9066 by April 21.
The nominees for : Carol Simpson Volunteer of the Year Award; the Dylan Stork Youth Ambassador Award; and the Leaders of Tomorrow Award are as follows:

Nominees for Blackfalds’ Dylan Stork Youth Ambassador Award
Riley Lobert
Riley Lobert is a Grade five student who attends Iron Ridge Intermediary Campus. He is involved with Pond Hockey, Minor Ball and was a delivery person for The Lacombe Globe. He is an outstanding citizen at the age of eleven, and is a leader in both his school and his community. He exemplifies the qualities promoted at school, and these qualities carry out to the public. He is approachable and makes others smile. He is inclusive and strives to make people feel welcome. He is kind, passionate, and his desire to help others comes from the heart. He has perseverance, is strong and continuously puts others needs ahead of his own.
Riley is a good citizen helping others with lawn care, and snow removal through his lawn care and snow removal business serving residents of both Blackfalds and Red Deer. His services provide a positive message to the youth in Blackfalds, he is a great kid and others can see that through his efforts. Through services offered in Red Deer, he is promoting the positive things the youth in Blackfalds are capable of. Riley also volunteers his time at school by being a patroller. He has donated toys to the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer supporting families with children at the local hospital. Riley’s actions have been recognized by his school, friends and family through certificates and phone calls.

Cadence Gordon
Cadence is a great role model for citizenship at her school, Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus, and in her community. Cadence volunteers for the girls club, patrolling club for the schools cross walks, she takes piano lessons, enjoys gymnastics, and is excelling at swimming lessons. Cadie sees the needs of others naturally and quickly. She never hesitates to assist others and help in any capacity. She is a very mature independent young lady and leads by example by showing people in our community they can contribute in big ways. Cadence shows how compassion and kindness can improve our wold and is a shining representative in our community. Cadence uses her good judgement and kindness often in her interactions with others and can relate to her peers and adults equally. She continually tries her best and always goes out of her way to make sure everyone is included making them feel happy, safe and welcome. She is a role model, leading through example, and is quick to assist others with tasks that require follow through to completion.
Cadie has been an ambassador for Blackfalds through her various philanthropic activities. Cadence has helped communities in need during natural disasters such as Slave Lake and Fort McMurray fires by donating her gently used toys and clothing to the Red Cross. She has made and given away pink bracelets in Trocu and helped paint her families fence with pink ribbons for “The Pinkest Little Town in the West” event. She also sold pink lemonade and donated all the money to Breast Cancer Research. Cadie also helped raise money for a fellow classmate suffering with cancer by setting up a Popsicle stand, and has also grown her hair out multiple times and cut it to donate it to organizations like Wigs for Kids. These activities were brought to the attention of local media and she was interviewed for her volunteer work and the compassion she showed when organizing her fundraisers. Food security is also important to Cadie. She has been involved with several fund raising activities for the Blackfalds and Red Deer food banks. Cadie has volunteered her time and services to paint faces at the local farmers market, donating funds to surrounding food banks.
Cadie excels academically and yearns to learn on her own initiative. She is compassionate and strives for self-improvement and for the betterment of her school and our community. Cadie will fight for what she believes in and shows qualities of leadership with her many altruistic acts of kindness. No matter how big or small the act may be it comes from the pure heart of a ten-year-old.

Nominees for Blackfalds’ Carol Simpson Volunteer of Year Award

Sierra Fitch
Sierra has assisted in delivering preventative social programming for youth within the Blackfalds community. She volunteered with Blackfalds Youth Crew, an after school program for youth ranging in age from Grades 4 – 12. She volunteers with our Youth Cooking Club, a program offered in partnership with Alberta Health Services.
Upon completion of the first Youth Cooking Club she moved into a facilitator role through the Serving Communities Internship Program. Sierra has also volunteered her time to support several special events in the community including Blackfalds Days, Winterfest and Youth Night Out.
Sierra is very energetic and displays a willingness to get involved in a wide variety of community activities. She encourages youth to get involved and make a positive impact within their own families and community. She consistently leads by example to all youth participants she interacts with.
Sierra began volunteering with Blackfalds Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) in order to meet the admission requirements for post-secondary social work programs, she has far surpassed the expectations of volunteer services required, and continues to help whenever asked. Sierra demonstrates the spirit of community service through her desire to make a difference in the lives of the youth participants. Her passion and commitment to the program have made a positive impact on those individuals that have had the pleasure of interacting with Sierra on a regular basis.
As a result of Sierra’s volunteer efforts with Blackfalds FCSS, several youth have inquired about how to get involved in the community. Her passion and enthusiasm have encouraged youth to get involved and lead by example to their peers as well as other community members.

Theressa Franko
Theressa is a huge supporter of the kids in town and is always looking at ways to improve facilities for the youth in Blackfalds. Theressa will go above and beyond what is required to ensure her endeavours are a success. She is constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve the community for youth and families.
Theressa has worked with a number of different organizations in Blackfalds. She has been involved with Parents of Iron Ridge Intermediate Society (PIRIS) and the Optimist Club of Blackfalds. With PIRIS, she helped with fundraising efforts to raise the necessary money to pay for a new playground. Theressa has been an Optimist for three years and has proved to be a very focused and caring person in Blackfalds. Her efforts with the Optimist Club were a big help in the final push of fundraising for the skateboard park.
Her dedication and commitment to Blackfalds are motivating and inspirational to others.

Kelly Thiesen
Kelly is involved with the community through the Blackfalds Girl Guides. Kelly exemplifies volunteerism through her dedication and enthusiasm to building strong, independent, community minded and spirited girls through the countless hours she dedicates to the program.
Kelly is a leader through her action by the community programs she facilitates for all the guiding units in Blackfalds including Sparks, Brownies, Girls Guides and Pathfinders. She supports and encourages strong leadership among the participants. Kelly is dedicated to the community, she is very intentional with her guiding programs and encourages all participants to care about and support their community.
She dedicates many hours to promoting the efforts of the participants. Kelly is passionate, enthusiastic, and determined to support the participants in the guiding program to help make Blackfalds better every day. She provides opportunities for the girls to improve the quality of life in Blackfalds by showing and encouraging them to get involved.
She believes in each of them and encourages them to believe there are no limits to what they can achieve. Kelly has encouraged others to get involved as leaders for the Girl Guiding program in Blackfalds, to help with community events they participate in, and of course provides opportunities for the girls to get involved with their community.
Kelly is passionate about all the participants and recognizing their individual talents. She is able to help them build on their skills by providing opportunities that will best suit their abilities. She is a fantastic role model who cares deeply about the participants in the program.

Larry Ellis
While Larry worked locally last year, Blackfalds Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) saw him many times throughout the week. He would stop into FCSS on a regular basis to see what was happening in the community so he could get involved. He volunteered for many programs through FCSS, he was an active member of the AG Society and involved with Beavers and Cub Scouts.
Larry also helped with special events, and with the FCSS Vibrant Living program helping to set up pedometers for participants. Larry was a huge supporter of the Crosswalk Program at Iron Ridge Elementary Campus, helping out most mornings with ensuring students attending the school were able to cross safely, and shoveling the sidewalk when needed.
He is a great role model to his children, both Larry and his wife Jody instill in their family the importance of community service. They are a great example of leading through their actions. Larry has helped improve the quality of life for residents in Blackfalds through his generous donation of time. His dedication to the Crosswalk Program, Scouts, and FCSS have had a ripple effect. His efforts with the crosswalk keep our children safe, his efforts with our Scouts provide guidance to our youth, his knowledge of growing food has helped feed people in Blackfalds, and his willingness to get people involved help demonstrate the amazing youth and seniors we have through invitations for intergenerational events. Larry is such a happy welcoming person, people gravitate to him and want to help him help others.

Andrea Hiebert
Andrea is an open, friendly and enthusiastic person, dedicated to her community. She brings energy to any project she leads or helps organize!
She is involved with the Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus (IRIC) school lunch program, Parents of Iron Ridge Intermediate Society (PIRIS), IRIC parent council, Blackfalds Minor Hockey as a team manager, The Optimist Club of Blackfalds, and hosts an annual Easter Egg Hunt event for friends and family.
Andrea participates in conversations around how to make the school and Blackfalds better and stronger. She seeks out the ideas and opinions of others, gladly giving her time to any group that asks for help or support. At IRIC, she volunteers with the School Lunch Program on Wednesday and Fridays, she helps in classrooms when needed, and advocates for the school with local businesses, including Cosmos.
After Andrea spoke with Cosmos, they provided bins for each classroom, large collection bins, and a regular pick up service. With PIRIS, Andrea has initiated and participated in many fundraising efforts to support the school. She has applied for grants through Aviva, and has created a cookbook securing sponsorship funds and funds from sales.
Both fundraisers are to secure funds for playground equipment for the school campus. As a representative of school council, she presents a positive disposition to everyone in Blackfalds and always encourages others to participate in our school community. She is very aware the school is only part of the larger community, and that her efforts do not only make IRIC a better school, but they also make Blackfalds a better community. Andrea also facilitates an annual Easter Egg Hunt, inviting friends and family to participate. Through this event, she accepts donations for local charities, this year she will be collecting funds for the Central Alberta Victim and Witness Support Society.
Andrea is fiercely determined and passionate, she takes on tasks she knows she can accomplish and gives it 120 per cent every single time.

Natasha Ferris

Natasha is a dedicated and engaged community member in Blackfalds. She has supported families at the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer and brought the Action for Happiness initiative to Blackfalds. Natasha has recruited volunteers to help cook meals in the Ronald McDonald House, supporting families with children receiving medical care at the local hospital. Through her Action for Happiness Blackfalds initiative, she encourages actions of kindness to uplift others through the Action for Happiness movement. She provides guidance through this initiative to show appreciation to mail delivery personnel, library staff, and local dentists. The suggested actions are simple, easily achieved, and appropriate for all ages. They encourage kindness, connection, and support for local businesses. Local businesses have become part of the actions each month and have supported Natasha with this endeavour. The efforts Natasha puts into the Action for Happiness has a ripple effect, reaching out to the community through those following the program, and those on the receiving end of those doing the actions. Natasha’s effort demonstrate her community spirit. She involves community members, community organizations, and community businesses, reaching many people in Blackfalds.

Louise Rellis
This past year, Louise has been involved with Blackfalds Family and Community Support Services as a board member and as a volunteer for multiple programs. She had been a volunteer with the Blackfalds Block Parent board as the chair, and Alberta Block Parent board as a director.
She has been involved with the Parents of Iron Ridge Intermediate board as the president, a casual volunteer for the Blackfalds Food Bank, the secretary on the Blackfalds Minor Soccer board, and an advisor as part of the Parent Link Advisory Committee. She has helped with the Iron Ridge Crosswalk program as a guard, she is a fully trained volunteer with Central Alberta Victim and Witness Services, and is in training to become a volunteer with the Red Cross as part of their disaster management team.
Louise is on the Friends of Iron Ridge Elementary Society as a director and the Iron Ridge Junior Society. Louise is always willing to help make Blackfalds a stronger community through her volunteering. She has taken on leadership roles, casual volunteering roles, and informal volunteering as well. Louise leads through her actions by getting people involved with the various organizations she volunteers for.
Louise is involved with various organizations at the local, regional, and at the provincial level. The information and experience she gains through these roles has benefited the community of Blackfalds as she is always willing to share the information and knowledge with those around her. The passion Louise has for her community demonstrates the spirit of community service. You can see this passion whenever you encounter her, she is always thinking of new ways to improve Blackfalds, from her involvement with the Crosswalk Guards, reaching out to different organizations Canada wide in an effort to find a program that educates crosswalk safety through the lens of the driver, to her dedication to The Central Alberta Victim and Witness Society. She is always there for whoever needs her.

Nominees for Blackfalds’ Leaders of Tomorrow Award

LEAH PODOLAS
Leah is an extraordinary student. She continues to amaze with her constant positive attitude, diligence, leadership skills and her kindness. Leah is enthusiastic, and helpful. She helps with a skating pre-school program, and runs a craft station every month at St. Andrews Church. Leah is an important member of the Student Wellness Activity Team at the Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus and is always willing to help make the school a better place.

REGAN BENJAMIN
Regan is a Grade 12 student attending Lacombe Composite High School. She is kind, thoughtful, empathetic and motivated to be her best self. She is positive and is a great example of growth mindset. Regan is involved with the Alberta Student Leadership Conference organizing committee and has represented Lacombe Composite High School as a delegate at conferences. She is involved with the leadership after school club, and is on the grad committee. Regan leads with quiet confidence through her actions. She is able to ask for help when needed and knows what she wants and needs. Regan is open and empathetic for others opinions, feelings, thoughts and actions. She is helpful, selfless and insightful. Her motivation encourages others to get involved and successfully recruits others often.

AYURA RAYMOND
Ayura is a Grade five student at the Iron Ridge Intermediate campus. She is a kind, and caring young lady. She is always willing to give of herself to others. Ayura volunteers at her school with almost any task to help build a culture of community. She models citizenship, responsibility, respect, caring, compassion and trustworthiness. Through her volunteering she shows others how rewarding it is to help. Ayura supports her peers and offers guidance on her own volition. She is actively involved with class and school activities and encourages others to participate. She leads by example and by directly encouraging others to volunteer or take part in activities.

KALE HORJUS
Kale is a Grade five student attending Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus. He is a selfless, caring, considerate young man. He often looks for ways to put others needs before his own. Kale understands the importance of promoting his school and has volunteered his time to participate in school events such as our Grand Opening. He constantly and consistently models how one should be taking initiative to offer assistance without being asked to do so. He enjoys assisting within the school to help build a culture of community at IRIC, which affects Blackfalds in a positive way. Others can see the intrinsic rewards of pride that Kale displays when he volunteers his time.

RILEY LOBERT
Riley is a Grade five student at Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus. He is an amazing, responsible, independent young man. He never hesitates to offer his assistance and is very good natured when asked to help. He has a small business where he offers assistance to those who may not be able to keep up with their yard work in the summer, or snow clearing in the winter. He consistently demonstrates the behaviour that exemplifies an individual who possesses the qualities of a good citizen. He is responsible, respectful, trustworthy, caring and hard working. Riley has an infectious personality and is always in good spirits. He is always willing to offer assistance, and others like to be around him and work with him. He believes in collaboration and cooperation, making him a great leader. Others see the intrinsic reward of praise and recognition that Riley receives for his efforts. This encourages others to follow his lead.

MASON CARMICHAEL
Mason is a Grade six student attending Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus. He is a kind, caring, and hardworking student. He is a friend to all his classmates, he is a diligent, respectful student and is enjoyed by everyone. Mason is always positive, he is enthusiastic, smart and a problem solver. He is a growing learner who understands the importance of perseverance. He is an important member of the Spirit Wellness Activity Team, and is always willing to help and is enthusiastic when undertaking all tasks.

MAYA WIDEN
Maya is a Grade six student attending Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus. She is a leader in her classroom and loves to learn. She works well with all her classmates and is positive, kind, and respectful. She participates in ringette playing the position of goalie. Maya is a problem solver and handles every situation with a positive attitude. She cares about others and is conscious of their feelings. Maya is an important member of the Student Wellness Activity Team and is always willing to help make the school a better place.

SAM JONES
Sam is a Grade six student attending Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus. Sam is a kind, caring, helpful student. She is reliable, always respectful, responsible, and has a strong work ethic. She participates in swimming, has successfully completed both the babysitters and home alone courses, and participated in a cooking club program. She is eager to share her learning and knowledge with others. Sam is a leader in positive ways and is very reliable. She is always the first one to volunteer in any situation. Every day her effort to make the school a better place is visible.

KATUM THIESSEN
Katum is a Grade six student attending Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus. Katum is an extraordinary student, she always has a positive attitude towards learning, is diligent, and works very hard. She volunteers her time with the pre-school skating program, and is always positive and eager to help others, she is a true leader. Katum is also involved with the Student Wellness Activity Team and puts effort into making the school a better place.

CADENCE GORDON
Cadence is a Grade five student attending Iron Ridge Intermediate Campus. She is a very patient young lady and handles most situations with the utmost of grace. She is dependable and extremely helpful. Cadie took it upon herself to start up a popsicle stand to raise money for a friend diagnosed with cancer. She encourages others to get excited about the things she is passionate about and they can see how doing things for others is so rewarding, she is a true leader through her actions. Cadie has very interactive parents who encourage these altruistic behaviours and support Cadie in her philanthropic endeavours. She gets excited about helping others and she encourages those around her to do the same. She shows how good it makes you feel to help others.

KELTON OLFERT

Kelton is a Grade 10 student at Lacombe Composite High School. He is an animal lover with a huge heart. He is dedicated, laid back, easy going and a good person. He is responsible, respectful, empathetic, cooperative, caring and reliable. Kelton is shy, but often steps out of his comfort zone to help those who need it. He is quick to offer support to seniors in the community by cleaning their gutters, clearing up pine needles from properties, and despite his fear of heights, helping to replace a roof. Kelton’s demeanor draws people in, he is actively involved with Faith Community Church helping to teach Sunday school, and the children love him. He is a great role model to the children there and to his younger sister. He shows them how easy it is to help through his willingness to help out at the church with setting up for snacks, coffee and assisting with anything that needs to be brought out to vehicles. Kelton helped Faith Community Church with their garage sale during Blackfalds Days in 2016 by helping to collect donations, setting up, and participating in the sale. Profits were then donated to the Blackfalds Food Bank. Kelton’s actions themselves inspire volunteerism in others. His willingness to help at Church provides the younger children with a role model to look up to. They see his actions on a weekly basis and because of this, inspires them to help out as well.

KENDALL COOPER
Kendall is a kindergarten student at Escuela Pines School in Red Deer. Kendall is a five-year-old boy who plays hockey at the initiation level.
Before Christmas, his mother expressed to him the importance of helping others and suggested he think of some way to support members of the community during the holiday season. He had recently participated in a food drive at school and decided he would collect 100 items for the food bank. He worked very diligently collecting his items, sorting, and storing them in the family garage. He was front and centre packing the items in the vehicle when it was time to deliver them to their destination.
His initiative exemplifies the spirit of community and volunteerism with his dedication to follow through with his food drive. His success has motivated him to double his goal for next year and hopes to collect 200 items in 2017!
Kendall’s actions are inspirational to other children his age, it shows young people that there is no limit or restriction on what you can accomplish when you put your mind to helping others.

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