SELFLESS- From left

Volunteers celebrated at Extendicare Michener Hill luncheon

Canada’s largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism, and civic participation has kicked off the 69th annual National Volunteer Week and Red Deer is joining in the festivities.

This year National Volunteer Week runs from April 15 through April 21.

More than 1.4 million Albertans volunteer in communities across the province every year and this includes many hard-working Red Deerians.

Robert Orben has been quoted as saying “Here’s to all volunteers, those dedicated people who believe in all work and no pay.”

Extendicare Michener Hill in Red Deer recently held their Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon to honour those who live up to this quote.

While all volunteers were recognized with a gift of a hand-painted flower pot with the items needed to grow sunflowers, one lady, Eunice Noete and her achievements were highlighted and celebrated.

Noete was given a certificate to celebrate that she had donated more than 200 hours of her time to Extendicare Michener Hill. However, she was also given a golden volunteer pin to commemorate that she, in the past two years, has worked more than 500 hours with Extendicare.

Noete does not have a set station within Michener Hill, she simply goes where she is needed. She looks after the library, helps patients down to dances and musical events and sometimes even helps feed patients when such help is required.

She said that her favourite part of volunteering is “Seeing patients happy and glowing when you walk into their room and they are excited to see you.

“I think they enjoy you coming in because you give them a smile and can shake their hand or even walk in there and give them a big hug.”

Noete said that she started volunteering after her husband, Raymond, passed away four years ago.

Noete started her career in volunteering at Valley Park Manor but when Extendicare Michener Hill opened she switched to the new location.

Having worked for more than 500 hours since Extendicare Michener Hill has opened its doors in the fall of 2010, Noete is the volunteer who has put in the most hours.

Throughout this week volunteers from many organizations across Red Deer, and all of Alberta, will be celebrated and recognized. Volunteer Alberta recognizes how important volunteers are to the province. They are aiming to measure the valuable contribution of volunteers by conducting what they are calling Volunteers Count!

Volunteers Count!, supported by TransCanada Corporation, is designed to put some fun into the very serious goal of generating a profile of who volunteers and how they make a contribution in their communities everyday.

During National Volunteer Week they would like to know how many hours people are putting into volunteer work. To entice people to participate in Volunteers Count! the organization will be holding a draw.

They are offering cash prizes for the non-profit organization of the choice of the first two draw winners and free registration to Vitalize 2012 in Calgary for the third place draw winner.

For more information, check out www.volunteer.ca.

treid@reddeerexpress.com