ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News
Sherrie Mitchell’s volunteer contributions have not gone unnoticed in Ponoka, but now her contributions are being noted across the province.
Mitchell has been named as one of four finalists for the Alberta Volunteer Citizen of the Year award presented by Direct Energy and the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA), winning her $1,000 for the charity of her choice.
She has chosen the Rising Sun Clubhouse Society for her donation. Mitchell had volunteered a lot of her time at the clubhouse before being seriously injured in an automobile accident.
Mitchell spearheaded a Ponoka Community Christmas dinner after seeing a major need for it in the community. Through help from sponsors and other volunteers, 15 years later the community dinner is still running strong. Many believe that Mitchell is the reason behind the success.
“It’s not everyone who can pull this off,” said Janice Mackie, volunteer resources co-ordinator at the Centennial Centre. “She’s truly a special person.”
Lynzey MacRae, who is a public relations rep for Direct Energy, travelled from Calgary to present the award to Mitchell.
“The idea behind the (volunteer of the year) program is to give back to the community,” said MacRae. “(The Rising Sun Clubhouse) and the community Christmas dinner wouldn’t be around without the help of great volunteers and they deserve to be recognized.”
Mitchell was grateful to Direct Energy, the AWNA as well as Ponoka News for their contributions to the volunteer community.
“It’s only because of companies like these stepping up and helping out that things like this happen,” said Mitchell.
“I’m speechless,” said Mitchell following the presentation. “It’s just very nice to think that someone thinks of me and gives me this honour.”
Mitchell says she always tries to do what is right through her volunteer work.
“I just kept seeing a need for (the community dinner),” said Mitchell. “I’ve always said that if you see a need, you should try to meet it.”