Photo of Alberta Northern Lights recipient Dean Fraser

Location: Ponoka, Alberta

When the pandemic came to Ponoka, Dean Fraser put her crafting skills to work, sewing masks to help stop the spread of the virus in her community. With the only return being the knowledge that she was able to help someone else, Dean chose to invest in the safety and well-being of her neighbours, paying for material and supplies out of her own pocket. As the need for masks grew, so too did the expense. Material donations from others in Ponoka helped, but Dean decided to implement a nominal fee with 100% of proceeds going to support the local food bank.

Having helped to address the need for masks and food securing concerns, Dean turned her attention to supporting the mental health of her neighbours. Borrowing the “take a book – leave a book model”, Dean launched a “puzzle station” in her front yard, inviting locals to grab a puzzle to help pass the time in isolation and to share a puzzle of their own once completed.

From her own home, with the contributions of those inspired by her generosity and goodwill, Dean was able to bring a bit of joy and optimism to what seemed a very bleak time in the early days of COVID and maybe even more so now.

Nominate a volunteer

Honour the contributions of an amazing individual or group.

Nominate a volunteer

Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program

Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-638-4699
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

How to volunteer

For contact information, visit Volunteering during COVID-19.

Was this page helpful?

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on