Gateway Gazette

Honouring Volunteers for Service to Seniors

The province is recognizing nine individuals and organizations for the difference they make in the lives of Alberta seniors.

The 2018 Minister’s Seniors Service award recipients pose for a photo with Her Honour, The Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and Minister of Seniors and Housing Lori Sigurdson. L-R: MLA Jason Nixon, Dolores Dercach, MLA Bruce Hinkley, Della Robertson, MLA Denise Woolard, Bill Chrapko, Gregory Steiner, Waqar Manzoor, Bill Wulff, Betty Sewall on behalf of Fairview and Area Seniors Check in Line Society, Jim Swift, Kathleen Nakagawa on behalf of Fairview and Area Seniors Check In Line Society, MLA Kim Schreiner, Dawna Morey on behalf of the Lending Cupboard Society of Alberta, Gary Pottage on behalf of the Lending Cupboard Society of Alberta, Amanda Blair on behalf of the Lending Cupboard Society of Alberta, Chris Hume on behalf of the Lending Cupboard Society of Alberta, the Honourable Louis E. Mitchelle, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Minister of Seniors and Housing Lori Sigurdson.

For more than 20 years, the Minister’s Seniors Service Awards have recognized volunteers and groups that improve the lives of Alberta’s older generation. Normally, eight nominees are recognized. However, this year, the quality of nominations warranted an additional award in the individual category.

The recipient of the Alice Modin award will also be recognized. Thirty years ago, Modin campaigned to launch a seniors day in Strathcona County that paved the way for a provincewide Seniors’ Week. The Alice Modin Award was created in her name to honour a senior who has contributed long-term service to their community.

“Alberta is a province of dedicated and talented volunteers who work day after day to improve seniors’ lives. Congratulations to the award recipients. Thank you for everything you do to serve seniors in your community.”

~Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing

2018 Minister’s Seniors Service Awards recipients

  • Bill Chrapko, Edmonton
  • Bill Wulff, Drumheller
  • Della Robertson, Cochrane
  • Dolores Dercach, Sundre
  • Jim Swift, Calgary
  • Waqar Manzoor, Chestermere
  • Fairview and Area Seniors Check-In Line Society, Fairview
  • The Lending Cupboard Society of Alberta, Red Deer

Alice Modin Award recipient

  • Gregory Steiner, Calgary

Award recipients were selected from 50 nominations.

Biographies of Recipients

2018 Alice Modin Award

The Alice Modin Award recognizes an individual Albertan or couple who is 65 years of age or older and has been volunteer in their community for 20 or more years. Their work can actively promote volunteerism among seniors and/or have a provincial impact.

  • Photo of Gregory Steiner

    Gregory Steiner – Calgary

    Greg has spent 40 years as a community volunteer for many organizations and committees in Calgary. In just a few months, he fundraised $150,000 to contribute to building the Genesis Centre, a recreation building for the Northeast Calgary community. Greg advocates on behalf of seniors issues, helps organize and work events, and has contributed to building parks.

2018 Individual awards

This category recognizes an individual or couple of any age who provide volunteer services to seniors. These volunteer efforts have a great impact, from serving seniors to building communities and support services that improve the lives of many seniors in Alberta.

  • Photo of Bill Chrapko

    Bill Chrapko – Edmonton

    Bill Chrapko has been an instrumental part of Edmonton Meals on Wheels for more than 27 years. In March 1990, he was elected to the Edmonton Meals on Wheels Board of Directors, bringing his expertise as a health inspector to the agency. He currently volunteers at Edmonton Meals on Wheels organizational events and provides expertise to the board. His past experience includes training staff and volunteers on food safety and proper handwashing as well as delivering meals to housebound seniors anywhere throughout the city. He is passionate about improving the quality of life for seniors and is a Meals on Wheels champion as well as a senior’s advocate.

  • Photo of Bill Wulff

    Bill Wulff – Drumheller

    Bill Wulff has served his community for more than 30 years and is willing to lend a hand and support to seniors in any way he is able. Bill utilized his skills in the film industry to spearhead an initiative to broadcast council meetings on the local community channel so seniors could watch council proceedings from home. Bill also serves the seniors in his community through his involvement with fundraising events and BBQs, preparing tax returns, completing financial audits for seniors’ centres and lodges, and through senior visits.

  • Photo of Della Robertson

    Della Robertson – Cochrane

    Della Robertson has led many key initiatives supporting seniors and the community of Cochrane as chair of the Cochrane Seniors Advisory Committee. Della has advocated for issues important to seniors such as transportation, universal health plan, and elder abuse awareness. Her dedication to service led to the creation of a non-profit society to manage the development of a hospice for Cochrane. She has liaised with community leaders in building a focused and collaborative group with one common goal – improving services for seniors.

  • Photo of Dolores Dercach

    Dolores Dercach – Sundre

    Dolores Dercach provides volunteer service to the Sundre and District Historical Society and is active in their events from the planning stages to the execution and clean-up. She is also a longstanding advocate and active board member for the Greenwood Neighbourhood Place Society, whose mandate is to provide connected, thriving and engaged support to the seniors within the community. Dolores also promotes active living by teaching older adults to be more active through a new walking program.

  • Photo of Jim Swift

    Jim Swift – Calgary

    Jim Swift has been a volunteer with the Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society’s Escorted Transportation program since 1990. For the past 28 years, Jim has been driving isolated seniors with low income to medical appointments, for groceries, and to the bank. Jim continues to go above and beyond with the seniors he serves, and many of his clients have expressed that he has helped them both emotionally and physically.

  • Photo of Waqar Mansoor

    Waqar Manzoor – Chestermere

    Waqar Manzoor has more than 18 years of volunteer experience in his community. He has organized numerous workshops, seminars and forums on the issues of seniors’ financial abuse, seniors’ benefits, pension information and many other topics of interest to seniors. He has worked with multiple organizations and many seniors to build leadership, encourage civic participation, and raise awareness on several issues affecting seniors. Waqar has also organized events to help reduce social isolation for seniors.

2018 Organization awards

This category recognizes Alberta organizations that are not-for-profit and rely on volunteers to support seniors. Organizations are recognized for the positive impact their volunteer services have in supporting seniors, locally or provincially, to help them participate in their communities and stay healthy and engaged.

  • Photo of Fairview Seniors Check-in line Society
    Fairview and Area Seniors Check-In Line Society

    The Fairview and Area Seniors Check-In Line Society is a group of seniors working “with and for” seniors in northern rural Alberta communities. Serving an area that encompasses three municipalities, the society was established in response to seniors requesting supports that would contribute to their safety and community connection while allowing them to stay in their homes. The society offers four programs: the daily Seniors Check-In Line, quarterly Educational Wellness Events, a monthly Seniors Community Kitchen, and advocacy.

  • Photo of Lending Cupboard Society of Alberta
    The Lending Cupboard Society of Alberta

    The Lending Cupboard plays a major role in supporting seniors and people with disabilities by providing walking aids, bathroom and bedroom safety equipment and wheel chairs, so that people can live independently at home. The Lending Cupboard does not only provide a service; they also provide rewarding opportunities for volunteers to give back to their community through the many volunteer positions available. The Lending Cupboard plays a major role in maintaining independence and dignity for people in Central Alberta.

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