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Celebrating Volunteers in the Crowsnest Pass

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Apr 24, 2024

Volunteer Appreciation Night held on April 18

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass hosted Volunteer Appreciation Night on April 18 to honour this year’s recipients of the Volunteer awards.

There were four winners this year, Mary Anna Misseghers won the Order of Crowsnest Pass – Outstanding Volunteer award and Derek Fyten, Maya Veldman and Quinn Douglas won the Outstanding Youth award.

This year’s recipient of the Order of the Crowsnest Pass - Outstanding Volunteer award was described in a speech given by Mayor Painter.

This year’s recipient was born and raised in Bellevue. She was the third oldest in a family of eight children. She learned from a young age how to get along with others and help out. Mary Anna Misseghers started volunteering as a young mother on the MDM School Council, Turtle Mt. Minor Ball as both a coach and board member, a Cub and Beaver leader as well as a Catechism teacher. If anyone needed her to drive their child somewhere, she was up for the task. Mary Anna continued her volunteering as her three children became more involved in all school sports, Pass Piranha Swim club and the Crowsnest Pass Music Festival.  Mary Anna did all of this while working as a teacher for the local Kids Kollege nursery school. Her many talents included being an accomplished seamstress, quilter and a canner of many vegetables, pickles and especially salsa. She continued her volunteering for the community after her children moved on to university and their own communities.  Mary Anna is and has always been an active volunteer in her local church as a member of the CWL and volunteering for many church functions. She became a member of the Bellecrest Community Society and pitched in wherever she was needed. She is presently a very active member of the Blairmore Lions Club serving as secretary and recruiting chairperson.  As part of the Blairmore Lions Club, Mary Anna assists with weekly TV bingo, organizing bingo card drop-off and pick-ups, organizing Christmas parties and member functions, participating in community BBQs, work bees and fundraising events throughout the year.  Mary Anna is the Lions’ International District C2 Zone 11 Children’s Cancer Chair working to gather funds  for donation to Kids Cancer Care.  She also volunteers at the Community Markets, The Quad Squad and is an active volunteer for the Crowsnest Pass Curling club in the Seniors League. She does all of this while providing her amazing Peanut butter Chocolate cookies.

When accepting her award, Misseghers commented, “I appreciate the nomination and selection for this award, but I really do want to acknowledge all the other nominees as well as all the volunteers in the room tonight. Many here deserve this award. Thanks so much,”.

The Outstanding Youth award was created to acknowledge the contribution youth volunteers have made in the community and in their school. The Crowsnest Pass Outstanding Youth award recognizes youth between the ages of 12 and 18 years old who make positive contributions to the community and their school on a volunteer basis. It recognizes the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the achievements and involvement of youth throughout the year. 

The recipients of this year’s award each received a $1000 scholarship.

This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Youth award went to three students. The following is a speech given by Mayor Painter about each of the students. 

Derek Fyten – Outstanding Youth Award

This CCHS Grade 12 student is recognized as always willing to help other students with classwork, offers to help organize classroom supplies or offer assistance for other things.  He is known as a reliable, dependable, and engaged student and it is these characteristics that allow Derek Fyten to contribute positively to those around him, inside and outside of the classroom.   Derek supports the arts in the school , especially the music program where he was mainstay of the music class and in student lead performances  and rehearsals, helping new and younger students. 

Derek has been involved in student leadership through his time at Crowsnest Consolidated high school. He has participated in the planning of several student led events and activities, including; school spirit activity, pep rallies, school dances, other whole school activities and assemblies.  Derek not only addresses the entire school population , but organized activities, adapted them and led them. He exemplifies the importance of involvement and leadership.    Derek is described as an exemplary student volunteer. When not at school, Derek enjoys playing his bass guitar, design modelling and 3D printing.  In the future Derek plans to attend school for Aeronautical engineering. 

Derek does not participate, volunteer, or lead for recognition. Instead, he does this work to help those around him and make his classroom, his school, and his community a better place.  He applauds those around him  and cheers others on  and is always surprised when he himself is recognized for his accomplishments and contributions.   Tonight, we hope we have surprised him!  

Maya Veldman – Outstanding Youth Award

Our next Outstanding Youth Award recipient is currently in grade 12 and will graduate at the end of this school year. She has been an excellent student earning honours every year. Once she graduates high school she will continue her education at SAIT in the medical laboratory field. Maya Veldman is described as having  incredible school spirit!  Maya just doesn’t participate in school celebrations and activities….she actively encourages other students and staff to get involved and thoroughly enjoys being a part of the school community. Maya’s effort on student Council and in leadership never went unnoticed….she helped plan special events for the school community, bringing in speakers, and overall having a positive impact on the school atmosphere.  Maya shows up as a leader in sports as well, staying positive and working hard.    

 Maya has been involved in helping her fellow students with notes and advice over the years. She also volunteered as the morning announcer at CCHS for a couple of years and was also on the yearbook committee. Away from school she has helped  many times with the Bellecrest Society for their activities & events. Maya also has a love for volleyball and has played  every season with the high school team and competed at the zone level in badminton. Maya is an accomplished piano player and earned the honour of going to provincials more than once. When Maya is not in school, she can be found working at the  Cherry on top or at the pool as a lifeguard. She is known for a great attitude and quick to smile and always willing to chat. Maya brings joy to everything she does, whether it is solving a math problem, discussing her future, or talking about her favourite movie.  Maya brings a joyful approach to every conversation and has a special way of making others feel noticed and seen.  

Quinn Douglas– Outstanding Youth Award

Strong leadership and work ethic, focused,  and a passion for making a positive impact on his peers and community is how this Outstanding Youth has been described.    

His leadership skills were demonstrated in advocacy for environment science and sustainability.  He not only presented the topic to the Municipality and the 40 Development Assets organization, but actively engaged and successfully secured funding for three plant towers for the high school .    

Quinn Douglas’s commitment to volunteering  includes, coaching minor hockey, Food for Life Ambassador with AMA, Youth Representative for Crowsnest Pass on the Teck Resource Advisory Committee, and assisting to reinstate Student Council at CCHS.

In 2023, Quinn was chosen to be one of 1000 students in Canada to attend the prestigious academic SHAD program at York University in Ontario. 

When Quinn is not busy volunteering or working on his full course load in school he enjoys playing hockey, competitive swimming and has been a lifeguard at the Pass Pool.  Academics have always remained a priority for Quinn who is on the honour roll, Grade 11 Top Academic Student and was awarded the Pursuit of Excellence award by administration.   In the future, Quinn plans to attend university to study Mechanical Engineering at either Calgary, Edmonton or Waterloo. 

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