2020 Volunteer Awards

This year, the Town of Peace River Volunteer Awards attracted 13 nominations, which is the highest number since the program launch in 2017. The Volunteer Awards initiative is a way for the Town of Peace River to recognize the extraordinary contributions volunteers make to our community.  The events of 2020 and their ongoing impacts helped underscore the critical role that volunteers play in our community. It is our pleasure to announce the winners and nominees for 2020.

Nominations for the awards are accepted in the late-summer and fall from the community, they are voted on by the Community Services Advisory Board. Typically, the winner of each category is granted $500 to donate to a local non-profit or charity of their choice. The award limit was raised for this year only, to $1000, to reflect the significant impact that the pandemic has had on local non-profits and to provide them with additional financial support during these difficult times.

Award Winners

Nominees and award winners were given the opportunity to submit a photo of themselves for this announcement. Provided photos are below. Information on nominee contributions was provided by the nominators and may contain omissions.

Lifelong Achievement Award

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

Congratulations to Leslie Ayre-Jaschke. She has spent 60 years as a volunteer with 40 of them in the town of Peace River. She selected the Friends of the Peace River Municipal Library Society as the recipient of her $1000 donation.

Leslie was nominated for the following contributions:

  • Boards and Committees in Town of Peace River,
  • 1980’s Peace River Women’s Group,
  • Newsletter Editor, Canadian Lactation Consultant Association (1986-89) La Leche League Canada –LLLC Board Member/Chair,
  • The Open Door,
  • Parent Resource Centre,
  • Family Life Council Mother’s Support Group,
  • Peace River Kindergarten Society,
  • Peace River Childbirth Education Association,
  • La Leche League – Volunteer Leader (1981-2011),
  • 1990’s Peace Health Region Canada Prenatal Nutrition,
  • School Councils at Magrath, TA Norris and Peace River High School,
  • North Peace Music Festival of the Performing Arts (Formation committee, but not on board; volunteer at venues),
  • 2000’s Peace River Municipal Library – Director; Board Chair – Oct 2007 – 2016,
  • Peace River Outreach Campus – Board member Pow Wow/Aboriginal Interagency Committee (as Town Council rep but also put in volunteer time 2007-09),
  • Peace Association for Lifelong Learning (2009; 2012-15),
  • 2010’s Friends of the Peace River Municipal Library Society – Chair – January 2010 to present,
  • Event Volunteer 1980-2020 Pow Wow,
  • North Peace Music Festival of Preforming Arts,
  • Peace Fest,
  • Peace River Playgroup Society,
  • Provincial/National Boards, Committees, etc.,
  • Member of Health Quality Council of Alberta’s Patient Family Advisory Committee – July 2013 to 2019,
  • Alberta Party Constituency Association President (2015-16),
  • IMAGINE Citizens Collaborating for Health volunteer since 2015; Society Board member and Board Secretary 2018 to present,
  • Co-chair Operations Committee – Feb 2018 – present,
  • Alberta Health Services Connect Care – Patient Advisor – 2018,
  • Citizen representative on North Zone Primary Care Network Governance Committee (2019 to present), and,
  • Public member on board member of M.S.I. Foundation (2018 to present).

Community Recognition Award

Awarded to a dedicated individual who has volunteered in our community for the 2020 year.

Congratulations to Jodie Cooke. She has spent 10 years as a volunteer with 6 of them in the town of Peace River. She has decided to split her donation in two and contribute $500 each to the Servant’s Heart Initiative and Salvation Army.

Jodie was nominated for the following contributions:

  • Jodie always helps seniors individually with their errands. As well as sweet surprises for so many, delivered with love and compassion,
  • She never judges who to help or why, she just makes each person she knows, meets, or nurses top priority,
  • Seeds for Seniors—donations from community to buy bird seed for senior’s birdfeeders and her family fills the feeders for them,
  • Runs errands for seniors and helps them get to appointments,
  • Salvation army foodbank,
  • Servant’s Heart Initiative,
  • Picnic in the Park,
  • Salvation Army Kettle Drive—Bell Ringer, and,
  • Brings pets to visit seniors at the Lodge.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Awarded to a dedicated individual who has gone above and beyond in supporting our community throughout the 2020 year and has inspired volunteers, has led volunteer groups or has made other exceptional achievements through volunteering.

Congratulations to Cheryl Fitchie. She has spent more than 22 years volunteering in the town of Peace River. She selected the Servant’s Heart Initiative as the recipient of her $1000 donation.

Cheryl was nominated for the following contributions:

  • Coordinating and organizing volunteers to provide bagged lunches to be delivered to families in need,
  • Expanded assistance to families in need when the COVID Pandemic started and throughout the year,
  • Provision of food and essential supplies to isolated elderly – hampers dropped off at their doorsteps,
  • President, Vice President and/or Treasurer of Toy Library – 6 years,
  • Various executive positions for Peace River Winter Swim Club for 12 years,
  • Various Executive positions for Peace River Gymnastics Club for 5 years,
  • Soccer Coach for 4 years,
  • Sunday School teacher for 15 years,
  • Church Council Secretary – 4 years,
  • Missions Committee – Chair – 4 years,
  • Good Shepherd School Council – Chair – 5 years,
  • Glenmary School Council – exec. positions – 5 years,
  • Glenmary’s first Career Fair,
  • Created an after-school reading program at Good Shepherd,
  • Buying gym shoes for kids in need,
  • Bringing a hot meal to surprise families in need once in a while, and,
  • Helping moms get set up after they leave the Women’s Shelter.

Emerging Leader Award

Awarded to a youth volunteer 18-years-old or younger who has demonstrated leadership and helped build a stronger community throughout the 2020 year.

Congratulations to Hannah Taplin. She volunteered for 10 years in the town of Peace River. She selected the Out of the Cold Shelter as the recipient of her $1000 donation.

Hannah was nominated for the following contributions:

  • Adopt A Senior Christmas Hamper,
  • Altar Server,
  • Sunday School helper,
  • Basketball Coach Assistant (Jr. B Girls),
  • Carnaval de St-Isidore,
  • Christmas Kettles,
  • Peace Players – Children’s Production of Beauty and the Beast,
  • Peace River Wahoo Swim Club – timer, runner, and, marshal,
  • Peace River Welcomes Refugees Fundraising Dinner,
  • School mass – set up and take down,
  • Score keeper for basketball and volleyball,
  • Track and field – set up and take down,
  • Math tutoring,
  • Currently she is attending University of Alberta (Augustana Campus),
  • Honor student and still made a priority to volunteer in her school and local community, and,
  • She enjoys hiking, sewing, baking, playing basketball, swimming, and composing music.

Award Nominees

We would also like to recognize the contributions of everyone who was nominated for the 2020 Volunteer Awards. We are truly grateful for the time, energy, and dedication these volunteers give to better our community.

  • Wendy Goulet,
  • Donna Brunham,
  • Lynden Waites,
  • Graham Smyth,
  • Carole Boucher,
  • Kristy Jackman,
  • Jody Bekevich,
  • Jayme Griffith, and,
  • Darien D’Orsay.


Volunteer Awards