2016 Volunteer Awards

In 2016, the Edmonton Section was privileged to see over 50 volunteers giving back to the club by leading trips and volunteering on the increasingly popular introductory courses put on by the section. Collectively, this group of passionate mountain enthusiasts was responsible for over 90 trips and course weekends, offering about 450 opportunities to pursue mountain activities and benefit from peer mentorship. What an amazing achievement!

At this year’s annual Photo Contest and Awards Night, I had the honour of recognizing just a few of this cadre of volunteers that stood out for their unique contributions and incredible commitment to the section. Those mentioned included John Booth, Thomas McElroy, Foster Karcha, Ann Revill, Jeremiah Aherne, Steven Rockarts, Lil Lezarre, Donna McColl, Marion Mayerhofer, Craig Hartmetz, Liz Bolt, Reinhold Mayerhofer, and Rob Denson. Each of these volunteers will receive an ACC Throwback T-shirt as a small token of our appreciation for their efforts this year.

Among those recognized, there are three volunteers that stand out for their extraordinary contributions to the section this year: Paul-Emile Trudeau, Rick Checkland, and David Zemrau. Each of these guys committed over 15 weekends to trips and course instruction, and together were responsible for (or volunteered on) over 25% of all the weekends enjoyed by the membership here in Edmonton.  Incredible!

Says Jeremiah of these top volunteers: “All three exemplify many key aspects of what it takes to make the ACC successful, chief amongst them are volunteerism and mentorship. Rick's dedication to the WIM/SIM, and WOI courses has brought countless people into the club and provided them safe access to the mountains that would have either been otherwise unavailable or prohibitively expensive. David's dedication over the years to helping with courses and leading high quality trips sets a standard all of us newer trip coordinators should aspire to. And finally, Paul's continued enthusiasm and dedication to all aspects of Edmonton section activities is inspirational and ensures the club's vitality moving forward. All three have had a significant impact on the Edmonton outdoor community and are truly deserving of our thanks.”

Next time you see Paul, Rick, David, or one of our many other Trip Coordinators, please take a moment to thank them and let them know how their efforts have made a difference for you!

Paul-Emile Trudeau, offering one possible reaction to a severed finger. With his unique brand of humour and quick wit, Paul has quickly become a fixture of the section in his 3-year tenure. Paul is “always stoked to get to the mountains, and most importantly, share his experience and knowledge with those just starting”.

Rick Checkland, member for 40+ years, modelling complete sun protection high in the Rockies. Since meeting Rick and learning of the depth of his involvement, I have been obliged to re-calibrate my definition of what it means to be a volunteer! It is said that Rick’s prodigious volunteerism is matched only by the size of his backpack: “if you forgot something, Rick is sure to have a spare!”

David Zemrau, ever-jubilant and optimistic, high above Abraham Lake in David Thompson country. David has been an instructor and mentor for many in the section. It is said that “if you can get on a trip with David, do not pass it up! He is someone with true leadership skills and is an excellent mentor”. Lacking the burden of ageing, David is sure to be an active member for decades to come.

By: Dustin McLachlan, Volunteer Coordinator