2018 Volunteer Awards

On December 3, the Town of Peace River celebrated volunteers and all they contribute to our community during the second Volunteer Awards.

The Volunteer Awards Program is a new program that Council, the Community Services Advisory Board and Administration are very passionate about. Our first year was in 2017, this year was our second year recognizing community volunteers through the Volunteer Awards Program. Each winner received a gift bag and a $500 donation was made to the charity or non-profit of their choice by the Town of Peace River.

Award Categories

Life Long Achievement Award

  • A dedicated individual who has volunteered for at least 20 years, has inspired other volunteers and/or led volunteer initiatives.

Volunteer of the Year Award

  • A dedicated individual who has gone above and beyond in supporting our community throughout the 2018 year and has inspired volunteers, has led volunteer groups or has made other exceptional achievements through volunteering.

Emerging Leader Award

  • Recognizes youth volunteers 18 years and younger who have demonstrated leadership and helped build a stronger community throughout the 2018 year.

Selection Process

The public nominated volunteers from June 1 to October 1, 2018. From there the Community Services Advisory Board reviewed and scored each nominee individually and recipients were determined. All the nominations were extremely powerful and inspiring. The Community Services Advisory Board had a difficult time scoring each nominee. In total there were seven nominees.

Rourke Whalen – 2018 Emerging Leader Award

Rourke has been volunteering for 5 years. Organizations he has volunteered for include:

  • Peace River Pioneers Football Team
  • Sutherland Place Nursing Home
  • Our Lady Peace Pancake Breakfast
  • Music ministry (for funerals, weddings and Sunday liturgies)
  • PeaceFest

*Catherine Whalen – Accepted the award on behalf of Rourke Whalen

“As a high school student Rourke was not only an academic but also an ambassador to his school and community. He has always been willing to help anyone in need whether that be students, staff or community members.” [Quote from nomination form]

Rourke will be donating to the North Peace Performing Arts Festival.

Courtney Hughes – 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award

Courtney has been volunteering for 25 years. Organizations she has volunteered for include:

  • Rotary Club
  • Namibia Cheetah Conservation Fund Work
  • Coordinating and collecting soccer supplies for kids in Africa
  • Grizzly Bear Foundation
  • Junior Forest Wardens
  • Peace River Restorative Justice
  • Mighty Peace Barbell Club
  • Miserable Miles
  • In The Woods Animal Rescue

“Courtney is incredibly generous with her time, and makes a point to spend a lot of her free time helping to enhance the lives of vulnerable people and animals. Everywhere she goes, Courtney touches lives—not just in her actual physical, but in her provision of motivation and vision to others to pitch in and join a cause. She really is 100% committed to every cause she undertakes, and is so worthy of recognition.” [Quote from nomination form]

Courtney will be donating to In The Woods Animal Rescue.

Janine Laliberte – 2018 Life Long Achievement Award

Janine has volunteered for 35+ years. Organizations she has volunteered for include:

  • Sutherland Place Nursing Home
  • Grimshaw Long Term Care
  • Flu Clinics
  • Breast Screening Mobile Mammography Unit
  • Better Choices Better Health
  • Baby Cuddlers
  • Peace Palliative Care Society
  • Autumn Lodge
  • Peace River Soup Kitchen
  • Heritage Towers
  • North Peace Stampede Association

“From cuddling a newborn baby in the morning to sitting in the evening with a palliative patient as they take their last breath, the nominee approaches every volunteer opportunity with nothing but care and compassion for those she is helping. No matter who it is or which organization it is that needs her, the nominee will always jump right in to help.” [Quote from nomination form]

Janine will be donating to the Peace Palliative Care Society.

Volunteer Recognition Awards

Volunteer Recognition Awards are given to those who were nominated but did not win of the three award categories. These volunteers also have put in numerous hours and contributed much to our community, the Volunteer Recognition Awards are meant to celebrate and recognize those contributions.

Ethan Lounsbury – Emerging Leader Award Nominee

Ethan has been volunteering for 3 years in our community. He volunteers as a Jr. Coach for the Glenmary Saint Jr. Basketball Team, the Steve Nash Basketball Program and the Warriors Basketball Club.

Julia Berreth – Emerging Leader Award Nominee

Julia has been volunteering for 2 years. She volunteers at the Peace River Seniors Centre.

Joan Pullin – Life Long Achievement Award Nominee

Joan has been volunteering for 35+ years. She volunteers at the Peace River Seniors Centre and the Police Commission.

John Vandenberg – Life Long Achievement Award Nominee

John has been volunteering for 35+ years. He volunteers at the Peace River Seniors Centre.

Thank you!

We enjoyed getting to know everyone through their applications. Thank you for all you do for your community.


Volunteer Awards

2017 Volunteer Awards