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Leaders of Tomorrow honoured at Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau hopes other youth will follow the example of the Leaders of Tomorrow Award recipients.

Nine local youth have been recognized for the impact they make on their communities through volunteerism.

Melissa Yewell was nominated by Beaverlodge High School for her commitment to improving the Pediatric Unit at the QEII Hospital.

“I was in there and they had really weird, blue wallpaper and it wasn’t a happy place to be for me, and I asked my mom and they said that maybe we could paint this; maybe we could make it better and happier place for children to be.”

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Her family started up the Melissa Makeover Foundation, which has so far raised around $88,000 for paint, TVs, and laptops for young people with disabilities.

Nick Bailey was nominated by the Grande Prairie 4-H Club.

In addition to his involvement with the club, he also organized a fundraiser with his band.

“We organized a show with a bunch of other local metal bands from around here at the Legion and it was all the money from the tickets that went to the Stollery Children’s Hospital and there was door prizes and that stuff there.”

18 year old award winner Alexandre Bilodeau says his time volunteering has made a huge impact on his own life, as well as those he’s helped.

“I was anti-social. I started out doing the Kin Club bingo and afterwards I just got more involved as I started growing up a bit more and now I’m getting an award of the Duke in Edinburgh.”

He encourages youth to start volunteering early, which can be as easy as babysitting.

Also receiving awards were Keyana Anderson, Courtney Douglas, Rylan Stark, Ashley McDiarmid, Kallum McDonald, and Nicole O’Flaherty.

Recipients receive a trophy and $100 award, as well as a matching donation to a charity of their choice.


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