Province honours shining Star volunteers
Six of Alberta’s outstanding volunteers were in the spotlight as recipients of the 2015 Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards.
Receiving the prestigious awards at a ceremony held at Government House in Edmonton were:
Ravina Anand, Edmonton (Youth Category)
A committed volunteer since the age of 12, Ravina has supported numerous non-profit organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hope Mission, Ronald McDonald House, Misericordia Hospital Villa Caritas and Royal Alexandra Hospital. A member of the City of Edmonton Youth Council, Ravina is also active in the Edmonton chapter of the World Health Organization and was selected as a delegate to the 2015 National Model United Nations Conference in Prague, Czech Republic.
Mohit Kumar, Edmonton (Youth Category)
In conjunction with his work at Frontier College, a national non-profit organization supporting youth and adult literacy, Mohit was instrumental in establishing a partnership program between Frontier College and the Boyle Street Community Services Water Wings Employment Readiness Program. The program has assisted more than 3,500 clients in the past two years in their efforts to obtain and retain stable employment.
Deanna Lennox, Fort Saskatchewan (Adult Category)
A 16-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Deanna dedicates her time and efforts in support of first responders who suffer the debilitating effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other occupational stress injuries. She also founded the War Horse Awareness Foundation to provide information, unique equine experiences and potent peer support to injured first responders throughout Alberta.
Roberta Rehill, Hanna (Adult Category)
With thousands of volunteer hours contributed over the years, Roberta has already crafted an amazing legacy of community service. While her involvement is cherished by numerous community organizations, it is her work with youth that is closest to Roberta’s heart and her faith in youth as the promise for Alberta’s future has motivated her involvement with the Hanna and District Youth Club since 1989.
Dawning Boston, Edmonton (Senior Category)
Since joining the Lifestyle Helping Hands Seniors Association (LHHSA) in 2007 as an “official” volunteer driver, Dawning has put her passion, drive and determination in promoting the cause of senior mobility. With almost 25,500 hours behind the wheel and as a past board member and President of LHHSA, Dawning has been influential in taking seniors-assisted transportation to a new level in Edmonton. When not navigating city streets, Dawning has also found time to support organizations like Strathcona Lions Club, Nosy Neighbours Program, the Diabetes Association, the Cancer Society, and Heart and Stroke and Kidney Foundations.
Dwayne Hlady, Vegreville (Senior Category)
Dwayne has become the voice of senior citizens on a number of Vegreville boards, and numerous local community organizations have benefited from his dedication. Under Dwayne’s leadership, the Vegreville Transportation Services Society Taxi Voucher program and handivan service has expanded by 30 per cent. And local seniors are reaping the benefits of a rejuvenated Senior Citizens Sunshine Club, which offers a wide range of program options. Dwayne has also stepped up to lend a hand in support of the Vegreville’s Lion’s Club, Agricultural Society, Two Hills and District Historical Society, Crisis Association, as well as numerous community events, including the Senior’s Health and Wellness Fair, vEGGfest, and Senior’s Week.
“I am proud to join all Albertans in saluting our Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award recipients and the tens of thousands of volunteers who make up the heart and soul of our communities. As we enter the holiday season, I encourage all Albertans to get out and honour our award recipients by doing volunteer work in their own neighbourhoods.”
Six provincial Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards are presented annually on or around International Volunteer Day, a global initiative established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 and celebrated December 5. Two awards are presented in each category of youth, adult and senior. Since the inception in 2000, 103 Alberta volunteers have received the honour.
The Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards program is an integral part of the Government of Alberta’s commitment to the province’s voluntary sector. Volunteer recognition programs help set a standard for service, encourage a sustained commitment to civic participation and inspire others to make volunteering a central part of their lives.