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This article was published 4/4/2016 (2116 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A trio of local volunteers are among the honourees at Volunteer Manitoba’s 33rd annual Volunteer Awards, taking place at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg on April 28.
Transcona resident Lisa Webinger earned the Premier’s Volunteer Service Award for her many contributions to public life.
When her daughter attended Bernie Wolfe School Webinger joined the parent council and led an effort to replace the school’s play structure, raising more than $80,000 in less than one year.
"That’s when I realized how easy it was to rally a community," Webinger said.
Webinger has since volunteered with CancerCare Manitoba’s Challenge for Life, Movember, the CEO Sleepout and Transcona Food Bank. She has also directed drives to deliver Thanksgiving meals and a cube van full of food to guests at Siloam Mission, provide 165 backpacks to Winnipeg’s homeless, and gave Halloween costumes to children.
Webinger’s secret weapon is social media, which she describes as "an incredible tool".
"Building a network is about being engaged with your community and neighbours," Webinger explained. "Be interested in other people’s issues and help them too."
Webinger also said it is important to have an end goal which people can rally around. Create a Twitter hashtag that arouses curiosity and allows people to keep tabs on your efforts.
"People are more than willing to help if you show them a way," Webinger said.
"The good feeling you have afterwards is a reward unto itself and you will want to do it again."
North Kildonan resident Aynslie Hinds will receive the Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for her work with Art City, a not-for-profit community art centre founded in 2006 by Wanda Koop. Art City provides free, high quality art programming to all ages in the West Broadway area.
"It is one of the most happy, creative places in the city," Hinds said.
Hinds has enjoyed working with children since her teens. With Art City she has done everything from helping run workshops to assisting at monthly meetings to serving on the board. Even though she is currently recovering from health issues, Hinds is still helping by correlating survey results and helping run a raffle.
"I love how Art City brings the whole community together," Hinds said. "People take pride in it. Everyone’s accepted."
Hinds was nominated by Art City and was shocked when she was told she won an award for doing something she loves.
"To be acknowledged this way is unbelievable. I am so grateful and honoured."
East Kildonan’s Duncan Cox will be presented with the Manitoba Real Estate Association Quality of Life Award for his work with Hateless, a volunteer-powered initiative spreading love, hope and acceptance through music and interactive presentations. During the events audiences are provided resources on bullying, mental health and positive relationships.
Cox, currently enrolled in the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film program, started as a speaker on homophobic bullying and now performs as the organization’s musical director. He said he often hears from audience members who thank him for speaking out.
"When I talk to people, I tell them everyone goes through tough times," Cox said. "If I can take mine, shape them and make something good out of it, it’s a positive."
"I realize how blessed I am to be able to help other people."
Community correspondent - East Kildonan
Tony Zerucha is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. Email him at email@example.com