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Edghill Gerrick Nominated by Amanda Hickok

Gerrick CIAOn a wet and cold September evening the GP Raiders, of the Peace Country Bantam Football League (PCBFL), run drills to warm-up before they start practice at the Alexzander Forbes School football field.  Volunteer Coach Edghill Gerrick, this month’s ‘Caught in the Act’, helps arriving players with their gear and took some time to talk with the GPVSB about his volunteer work.

Gerrick, a lifelong football fan, started playing the sport in high school and the game has been an active part of his life as both a player or volunteer ever since.  Helping with his son’s Atom Football team (ages 7 to 10) coaches there asked if was interested in coaching a team in the Bantam league (ages 12 to 15).  Inspired by the dedication of his son’s coach and others who volunteer within both leagues, Edghill accepted.  Coaching the Raiders for a year now it is evident that Gerrick loves football and wants to share his passion for the game with younger generations.  Fairly new to being a coach he hopes he can portray what the game is really about to his team, commitment, teamwork and fair play.  He is surprised at how talented these kids are at such a young age.  “It’s wicked to see the development at this age, you show them something or make a suggestion and they adapt their game instantly” enthuses Gerrick.  He really enjoys watching the kids succeed playing the game and having as much fun has he does coaching them, and knowing that he is helping the kids in the community is an added benefit.

Read more: Caught in the Act - Edghill Gerrick

Michelle Sutley Nominated by Spinal Cord Injury Alberta

Michelle Sutley - Caught in the ActWhen meeting Michelle Sutley for the first time at the Spinal Cord Injury Alberta office, located at the Eastlink Centre, she was hard at work writing a letter to Chris Warkentin, M.P. for Grande Prairie – Mackenzie, about Accessible Canada, which promotes equality, services, and initiatives related to accessibility and persons with disabilities.  Michelle has a long association with SCI Alberta, and after volunteering at the QEII Hospital after 91/2 years, visiting patients with Alberta Health Services, Michelle was asked if she was interested at volunteering for SCI Alberta.  Already a weekly visitor to the office to use their special computer equipment Michelle agreed and now picks up and delivers the organizations mail every week.  She also volunteers with the Wolverines Wheelchair Basketball Association located next door.

Michelle’s volunteer work is more than just getting the mail. Speaking with Mieke de Groot, SCI Alberta’s Regional Program Coordinator and Team Lead, she says, ”Michelle offers a subtle form of community development”; de Groot states, “Michelle is a good Self-Advocate and her presence at the Eastlink Centre helps to break down barriers by engaging the staff & patrons and by creating awareness of life with spinal cord injuries.” Michelle enjoys her time interacting and meeting new people at the Eastlink Centre, she likes the feeling of self-worth and independence helping others and raising awareness gives her. 

Read more: Caught in the Act - Michelle Sutley

Petey the Dog Nominated by Bear Creek Funeral Home

CIA Petey

It’s not uncommon to see volunteers and their therapy dogs visiting senior homes, hospitals and care centres, helping ease the pain and loneliness the residents and patients face there.  A new growing trend is finding these animals in funeral homes helping those dealing with the loss of a loved one and easing the stress of planning the final arrangements and saying goodbye.  At Bear Creek Funeral Home, located here in Grande Prairie, this role is filled by their resident comfort dog Petey.

Over a year ago, Doug and Eunice Friesen, the owners of Bear Creek Funeral Home were thinking about getting a dog but with opening a new business and working long hours it did not seem possible.  Then the idea struck that if they could find the right canine, the animal could not only enrich their home life but also help benefit the grieving customers at work. Upon a visit to the SPCA they found a Staffordshire-Terrier mix, who seemed to match what they were looking for.  After having SPCA staff bring him out to the reception area at the shelter to see how he acted with strangers coming and going.  The Friesens saw he had the right personality and was perfect for both their home and organization so they decided to adopt Petey.

Read more: Caught in the Act - Petey the Dog


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