Sprague, Ste Agathe volunteers awarded

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This article was published 30/11/2020 (619 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Volunteers from Sprague and Ste Agathe were among those honoured earlier this month for longstanding contributions to their community.

Recipients of the 37th annual Volunteer Manitoba Awards were announced Nov. 18 during a virtual ceremony that featured messages from Lt. Gov. Janice Filmon, Premier Brian Pallister, and Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman.

The annual gala normally takes place in April but was postponed, then moved online, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

VOLUNTEER MANITOBA Doris Hovorka of Sprague received two awards from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor during the 37th annual Volunteer Manitoba awards gala, held virtually on Nov. 18. Jeannot Robert of Ste Agathe was also honoured.

Doris Hovorka of Sprague was one of six recipients of the Lieutenant Governor’s Make a Difference Community Award, which recognizes “exceptional contributions to the community through voluntary service.”

Each year, one of the six recipients also receives an additional honour: the Lieutenant Governor’s Vice-Regal Volunteer Award. Hovorka received that too.

Representatives of Volunteer Manitoba and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor delivered the awards to Hovorka on Oct. 22, following a phone call from Filmon that Hovorka didn’t quite believe at first.

“I thought it was kind of a joke,” Hovorka said. “Is this for real?”

Hovorka has volunteered for many years with the Sprague Community Centre, Sprague and District Historical Museum, and East Borderland Community Housing committee.

She was principal of Ross L. Gray School until 2007, but she didn’t wait for retirement to start volunteering.

The 14th of 21 children born to the Cote family of Vassar, Hovorka watched her mother find time to volunteer and decided she could too.

“Volunteering has been part of my whole life,” she said. “It just feels good when you do something to help others.”

Hovorka thanked her fellow RM of Piney volunteers, noting there are many others whose work deserves recognition.

“Especially in a small community like Sprague, if it wasn’t for the volunteers, we wouldn’t have the museum, the Sprague Community Centre wouldn’t exist, and East Borderland, we wouldn’t have our housing.”

Municipal association honours Ste Agathe volunteer

During the virtual gala, Jeannot Robert of Ste Agathe was also announced as the recipient of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities Community Leadership Award.

The former school trustee and municipal councillor donated his time for more than 50 years to Ste Agathe organizations including the minor hockey board, parish finance committee, and the Ste Agathe CDI (Community Development Inc.), which he helped establish in 1994.

Jackie Hunt, executive director of Volunteer Manitoba and the former mayor of Ritchot, presented the award to her former council colleague at his home in Ste Agathe on Sept. 1.

Robert also received a medal from the Manitoba 150 host committee.

On Nov. 23, Springfield-Ritchot MLA Ron Schuler delivered a tribute to Robert in the Manitoba legislature, calling him, “a visionary who has dedicated his life to improving the community of Ste Agathe.”

Manitoba has the second highest rate of volunteerism in Canada, according to Manitoba 150. 

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