Congratulations to the Recipients of the 36th Annual Volunteer Awards!

  • March 22, 2019

    Posted by: Dawn Bourbonnais

    For over 40 years, Volunteer Manitoba has proudly promoted, supported and celebrated community engagement in Manitoba and we are thrilled to be able to recognize the hard work and commitment of Manitoba's volunteers at the 36th Annual Volunteer Awards Dinner.

    Every year, thousands of volunteers across the province dedicate their time to the many non-profit and charitable organizations here in Manitoba. Without the help of these tireless individuals and groups, many of our non-profits, community groups and charities would no longer be able to provide supports and services to thousands of people across the province. From hands-on volunteers to those leaders who serve on boards, it's next to impossible to calculate the value that volunteers bring to our communities. The annual volunteer awards recognizes these outstanding individuals and community groups for their achievements, their dedication to the community we share and their excellence in volunteerism.

    Join us on April 11th as we honour these deserving Manitobans who represent excellence in volunteerism and community engagement in our province!

    Congratulations to the Recipients of the 36th Annual Volunteer Awards!

    Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Family Award

    The Gutierrez Castellon Family (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of their commitment to making volunteerism a priority for their family after arriving in Canada less than a year ago. The entire family, including 6 year old Isai, volunteer together in the clothing room at Siloam Mission. Griselda and Hancell also volunteer their time as Tenant Leaders with the Immigrant and Refugee Centre of Manitoba (IRCOM). The Gutierrez Castellon Family have contributed to the overall well-being of their community by demonstrating compassion and encouraging community belonging.

    Association of Manitoba Municipalities Community Leadership Award

    René Gauthier (Arnes)

    In recognition of his many volunteer roles with Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in Selkirk, including sitting on the board, organizing and planning renovations, fundraising, and overseeing volunteer engagement. The award also recognizes René's volunteer efforts in the community of Selkirk, including donating his time to the Community Kitchen to prepare meals for the less fortunate, working with the school breakfast program at the Healthy Living Together Program, and finding affordable housing for people through the Putting People First Coalition.

    CTV Champion of Mental Health Volunteer Award

    Brent Rosnoski (Brandon)

    In recognition of his volunteer commitment to the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, Westman Region where Brent facilitates peer support groups, assists with educational presentations, and participates in community outreach. He also co-facilitates a monthly From the Heart presentation on mental health. Brent volunteers his time to share his experiences and spread a message of hope to anyone struggling with mental health issues.

    IG Wealth Management Financial Confidence Champion Award

    Carol Tripp (Bowsman)

    In recognition of over 30 years of volunteer work with Junior Achievement (JA), sharing her knowledge and experience with students at Minitonas Middle School. Carol has facilitated JA programs at four different grade levels, helping students learn and improve their financial literacy. She has donated her time to facilitate the More Than Money program, which helps students think about their financial futures, the Our Business World program which shows students how to become Canada's future entrepreneurs, and the Dollars with Sense program where students make smart, lifelong financial choices. Her continuous support and her expertise in financial literacy have created a legacy in the community of Minitonas, where students remember Carol's advice and guidance years later into adulthood.

    RBC Bright Future Award

    FortWhyte Farm Mentors Group (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of their volunteer work in engaging youth from diverse backgrounds in hands-on, sustainable urban agriculture, to help them gain school credit, employment training and healthy living skills. The FortWhyte Farm Mentors work with the youth to build their teamwork skills, develop their self-confidence, and show them how to make positive decisions for their community. These volunteers are dedicated, versatile individuals who offer youth the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and discover their full potential.

    Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Consultant Award

    Dinis Prazeres (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of his pro bono volunteer work with BUILD, a social enterprise and trades-based employment training program that hires inner-city residents who are facing significant barriers in their search for employment. Dinis' work as an industry mentor helped BUILD participants bridge the gap between the completion of their training and finding the right employment opportunity. Dinis donated a year of his time to help BUILD establish relationships and build support within the construction industry.

    William Norrie Arts & Culture Volunteer Award

    Brenlee Carrington Trepel and Brent Trepel (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of their commitment to making volunteerism and philanthropy one of the cornerstones of their family life. For over 30 years, Brenlee and Brent have donated their time to numerous organizations, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Manitoba Opera Gala. They have also supported the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, CancerCare Manitoba, the Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba, and many, many other causes and organizations in the province. Brenlee and Brent are extraordinary Manitobans who have spent their lives working towards the betterment of their community.

    Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) Shelter Foundation Award

    Sherrie Winstanley (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her volunteer work as the founder and driving force behind S.H.A.D.E. Inc. (Safe Housing and Directed Empowerment). S.H.A.D.E. works to provide second stage housing for immigrant and refugee women and their children. Sherrie donates her time to ensure that these women and children are safely housed and healed from domestic/family violence. Her contributions include fundraising, recruiting volunteers and board members, developing programming, and fostering partnerships to ensure the strength and longevity of S.H.A.D.E.

    Lieutenant Governor's Make a Difference Community Awards

    Nick Paulet (Winnipeg)
    Also the Recipient of the 2019 Lieutenant Governor's Vice-Regal Award

    In recognition of his volunteer role as founder, race director and volunteer committee chair for the Winnipeg Police Half Marathon, a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. Over the past 15 years, Nick and the dedicated volunteer team, have engaged with over 40,000 runners, harnessed the power of hundreds of volunteers, and in 2019 will have surpassed the $2 million fundraising mark in support of cancer research. The Winnipeg Police Half-Marathon is one of the most recognized and most successful fundraisers in Manitoba. Nick's legacy of giving has saved lives and supported Manitoba cancer patients and their families.

    Lyle Crain (Opaskwayak Cree Nation)

    In recognition of over 15 years of volunteer work in his community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, including his work organizing a variety of events for the yearly Indian Days Festival, training youth to use canoes for the Canoe Club, coaching soccer and hockey, working for the Christmas Hamper program, fundraising for both youth and adult sports teams, planning and assisting with the summer Pow Wow, and his work with the OCN Youth Centre programs and projects. Lyle is a dedicated community volunteer, whose work ensures that these programs and events continue to be offered to everyone in Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

    Bernice Feledechuk (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her volunteer commitment to the North Centennial Seniors Association of Winnipeg (NCSA). Her volunteer work includes program development, coordinating volunteers, and raising funds for the organization. This award most especially recognizes Bernice's work in organizing the Grandma and Grandpa Swim Program, which provides young, pre-school aged children with a swim partner/instructor from NCSA. Bernice's passion for this program, and her 40 years of volunteer service, have made a lasting impact in the community.

    Trina Bandura (Brandon)

    In recognition of her volunteer work with KidSport Manitoba-West. Trina began her work with KidSport as a volunteer-at-large and then quickly moved into the role of Vice-Chair and then Chair. During her tenure, Trina has revitalized their fundraising event, advocated for the work being done by KidSport, and rebuilt the volunteer committee. Her dedication to KidSport Manitoba-West has kept the work they do in the minds of the community, and also ensures that all kids in the community have the opportunity to participate in sports even if they do not have the means.

    Joel Grenier (St-Labre)

    In recognition of his dedication to the community of St-Labre, Manitoba, including his volunteer work with St-Labre 200 - the one-of-a-kind dirt track race held every year in St-Labre. With spectators numbering in the thousands, volunteers are needed to help run every aspect of the event and Joel gives his time to ensure the event and the volunteers are well managed. He is also an avid community volunteer, donating his time to facilitate workshops for the Franco-Manitoban School Division's 3-day camp, fundraising for STARS, collecting monies and items for the regional food bank, and helping raise awareness for Habitat for Humanity, the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre and the Ste-Anne Hospital Foundation. His selflessness, vision and determination offer an incredible example to others in the community.

    Nimmi Ramgotra (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her lasting and meaningful contributions to her community, including establishing the first Gurudwara - a place of worship for the Sikh community, working as a volunteer translator for the Winnipeg Police Service, advocating and translating for community members who were suffering from domestic violence, and assisting newcomers with employment, education and housing. Nimmi has also volunteered her time to help those diagnosed with cancer navigate the healthcare system, and access transportation to get treatment. She is also the key coordinator for the Punjab Pavilion at Folklorama. When Nimmi sees a need in her community, she takes action and improves the lives of others.

    Mayor's Volunteer Service Awards

    WHFC - Woman Healing for Change MB (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of over 25 years of dedicated volunteer work in Winnipeg's North End, and their expanding circle of over 80 volunteers, who come together in the belief that Indigenous and non-Indigenous women need to support each other. WHFC is instrumental in the ongoing development of the Little Stars Playhouse, a childcare centre in the North End, and they successfully fundraised over $100,000 for the project. The volunteer work being done by WHFC benefits the North End and addresses the needs of the community, and their example benefits the City of Winnipeg as a whole.

    Kevin Freedman (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of a lifelong commitment to volunteerism and community involvement. Kevin started volunteering for Meals on Wheels as a young boy, and then with Special Olympics, Friends of Sherbrook Pool, and with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He has also volunteered as a speaker for Canadian Blood Services and for Volunteer Manitoba. Recently he has donated his time to the Jimmy and Roslyn Carter Build for Habitat for Humanity, and the 2017 Canada Summer Games. Whether it was as a coach, mentor, educator or counselor, Kevin's volunteer work has impacted many people over the years.

    Brenda Okorogba (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her volunteer work helping people access scholarships and educational opportunities, and for her passionate advocacy of quality education for youth and women. She donates her time to offer support and coaching to young girls living with trauma, depression and PTSD, helping them navigate resources, access services, and overcome barriers to feel empowered. Brenda has taken it upon herself to guide these youth and help them access quality education through scholarships and funding opportunities.

    Margaret Peters (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her countless volunteer hours and dedication to the Thrive Thift Shop, a social enterprise of Thrive Community Support Circle. Margaret has made over 1500 quilts for the shop since 1996, and her incredible work has raised over $20,000 for Thrive's programs and support services. Known as the Quilt Lady, Margaret's work has directly benefitted the residents and community of Winnipeg's West End, customers even pre-order the quilts as holiday gifts for family members! Margaret continues her quilting with the wish of someday sharing her knowledge with the community in order to continue producing these loving works of art.

    Susan Algie (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her full-time volunteer role with the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation (WAF) and commitment to educate the public about Winnipeg's heritage buildings, and its architecture. The award also recognizes Susan's commitment to creating accessible public programming by developing and delivering free public tours during the summer that emphasize Winnipeg's architecture. She also organizes lectures, exhibitions and film screenings, all free to the public.

    Premier's Volunteer Service Award - Individual Category

    Francis William Crew (Birtle)

    In recognition of his lifelong commitment to helping others and volunteering in the community of Birtle, Manitoba. Frank is a tremendous asset to his community, and was nominated for his work with the Twin Valley Co-Op Board, the Manitoba Pool Elevator Board, the Birtle Community Hall, the Birtle Legion, the Birtle and District Lions Club, and for being a founding member of Lions Village and Lions Corner. He also volunteered his time with the Pioneer Lodge, the Birtle Drop-In Centre, and the Snake Creek Wildlife Association. Frank also donated 400 acres to the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation to help conserve, restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in Manitoba.

    Yan Jiang (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her volunteer work as the co-founder of the Winnipeg Chinese Senior Association (WCSA), and her passion for its mission to promote health topics and well-being to the community. With her help, WCSA developed a health series and various public seminars that addressed a range of health topics. These free seminars, given by medical specialists, quickly became a community highlight and attracted many residents. Ms. Jiang also leads a weekly Tai Chi club, a Ping Pong club and an Aerobics & Fitness class.

    Letty Lawrence (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her dedication and volunteer effort in starting the Loved and Were Loved project, honouring soldiers from Winnipeg who died during World War I. Letty researched the names and personal histories of each soldier and then created a personalized memorials that were displayed across Winnipeg until the end of 2018. This project was a work of heart for Letty, and it deeply impacted the community. Letty has also volunteered to support various arts organizations, including Virtuosi Concerts, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Opera, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

    Lynn Scott (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her volunteer work with The Wrench, and her commitment to helping the organization deliver free programming to youth, community organizations, schools and the public. Lynn donates her time supporting and training new volunteers, teaching patrons how to fix their bikes, and answering questions from participants. She also helps out with the weekly Public Open Shop day at The Wrench. During the open shop day, Lynn works with many patrons who live with disabilities and need assistance with their bikes. Her connection to the patrons, volunteers and staff at The Wrench is profound and her dedication is both motivating and inspiring.

    Nicole Soliman (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her volunteer work with Bairdmore School, helping out in the classroom and with the French program and the music program. Nicole is warm, patient, friendly and approachable, all excellent qualities in a school volunteer. Her interest in the arts has greatly benefited the music program's winter and spring productions. Nicole has sourced costumes, made props, managed behind-the-scenes, worked with the students, and developed partnerships with other organizations in order to share resources. Her devotion to Bairdmore School for over 20 years has made a lasting impact on the students, staff and the community as a whole.

    Premier's Volunteer Service Award - Youth Category

    Ravneet Brar (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of being one of her school's most active volunteers. Ravneet is the co-chair of her school group S.T.A.G (Stand Together and Grow), an initiative where high schools collaborate together to create positive mental health initiatives for students. Ravneet also volunteers for SEVA: The Act of Selfless Service, Kicks for Kids, Toys for Kids, and Samosas for Seva. She has also fundraised and spearheaded donation drives at her school to help provide food, toys, clothing and money to those in need. Ravneet believes in building community and helping those who are less fortunate.

    Trinity Nylen (Erickson)

    In recognition of her extraordinary efforts to raise awareness about discrimination and the leadership she has shown in affecting change. Trinity donates her time to various committees, including the Gay Straight Alliance, the student council, C.H.A.N.G.E (Citizens Helping All Nations Grow Equally), P.R.Y.D.E. (Please Respect Your Diverse Environment) and Dressember. Trinity has also volunteered her time with the local Junior Curling program, instructing young curlers and sharing her skills with them. She also advocates for mental health awareness and works to address the stigma faced by those living with a mental illness.

    Simryn Singh (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of her many volunteer commitments, including her work with Agape Table, Winnipeg Harvest and RaY Inc. Simryn is also the president of her school's Key Club, a service and leadership club, and vice president of her student council. She is the Youth representative for Point Douglas, a Youth Leader with RESULTS Canada, and is actively involved in the fight to end homelessness. Simryn has also gone beyond Canadian borders to help raise money for the Unique Home for Girls, a safe haven for female infants abandoned due to their gender.

    Shayne Merritt (Selkirk)

    In recognition for his tireless efforts and outstanding leadership in successfully mobilizing his community in the fight to end cancer. Shayne combined his passion for curling with his love of his community to create the fundraising bonspiel - The Selkirk Curl for the Cure. He recruited participants and volunteers, solicited donations and sponsorships, and promoted the event in newspapers and news stations, raising over $8,500 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Shayne now sits on the board of the Selkirk Curling Club, and he continues to volunteer his time coaching and inspiring other youth in the community.

    Premier's Volunteer Service Award - Community Category

    Cakes for Kids Winnipeg (Winnipeg)

    In recognition of their incredible dedication and tireless efforts to ensure that kids who need it the most have a birthday cake. Cakes for Kids Winnipeg founders, Christy Rogowski and Wendy Singleton, along with over 170 volunteer bakers, bake cakes for kids across the city who would otherwise not receive one. Cakes for Kids works with partner organizations such as Rossbrook House, Wahbung Abinoonjiiag, Together in Elmwood, the North End Family Centre, and Winnipeg Child and Family Services, to take requests for cakes. Over 300 cakes have been prepared and delivered, bringing smiles and sweetness to kids across Winnipeg, because every child regardless of their circumstances deserves a cake for their birthday.

    Prison Libraries Committee (Manitoba)

    In recognition of the dedicated group of volunteers working inside and outside of Manitoba prisons, organizing weekly book exchanges, author talks, and writing and reading programs. They build awareness of public libraries and their resources, to help inmates with reintegration into the community. Their work has had a positive impact not only in Manitoba, but also across Canada. In 2016, PLC embarked on a special project to develop a statement on a prisoner's right to read, which has since been adapted by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations and is used nationwide.

    St. Malo Quilters (St-Malo)

    In recognition for their tireless efforts and leadership in providing Alzheimer Touch Quilts to persons living in Long Term Care in Manitoba. The project began in 2010, with a special focus on those who have dementia. The quilts provide sensory stimulation that can increase happiness, enjoyment and relaxation. Collectively, 3000 Touch Quilts have been quilted in the last three years. Each quilt created is gifted to a resident as a way to say thank-you and that they are not forgotten.

    For media inquiries, or more information on the recipients of the 36th Annual Volunteer Awards, please contact:

    Dawn Bourbonnais
    Manager, Communications & Outreach
    P: 204-477-5180 ext 230


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