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Northern Lights recipient – Peter Gwinner

On February 17, he was recognized for more than four decades of community service.

Portrait of Northern Lights recipient Peter Gwinner and mascot

Location: Edmonton, Alberta

In a race to see who would be the first to step up as a volunteer, odds are that Peter Gwinner would be a sure-fire winner.

Peter has been sharing his time and talents as a volunteer since 1978 and in more than 4 decades of community service, has covered a wide range of volunteer activities. In his work with the Fraser and Horse Hill community league boards, he has brought a wealth of experience and a sound, reasoned voice to policy and bylaw development and budget discussions. Since no job is complete until the paperwork is finished, Peter also helps ensure that operations run smoothly with regular reviews of the files and procedures – a critical task for the success of any community organization.

Demonstrated over the countless hours he has contributed, Peter’s administrative skills are well known, but it is when he is helping to bring joy to young people that his real talent shines through. As a volunteer with the Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering club, Peter has helped countless youth and a fair share of adults discover just how much fun a map and a compass can be.

For more than 30 years, Peter has donned the red suit and his visits as Santa have become as much a Christmas tradition at Horse Hill Community League events as presents under the tree. Not even the COVID pandemic could deter Santa, aka Peter, from his appointed rounds. With some help from the elves at the Horse Hill Community League, ‘Santa’ arranged to slip down 96 virtual chimneys each weekend leading up to Christmas to share Zoom video visits with local kids. And whenever possible, Peter pays a visit to community area assisted living centres, bringing cheer to residents.

Peter’s generous and giving spirit shines as bright as the Christmas Star 12 months of the year, so it is fitting that he be honoured with Northern Lights recognition!

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