Volunteer Appreciation 2020 Virtual Event

Our original Volunteer Appreciation Dinner was scheduled for the end March…. and well we all know how that went! 

In a normal year, volunteers would have enjoyed an evening hosted by the charming and illustrious Daryl Ferguson, a delicious meal, and a fantastic awards presentation followed by jaw dropping entertainment, but 2020 has been anything but normal!  So, we adapted and rolled with it!  We didn’t want 2020 to go by without celebrating and acknowledging  our community’s selfless volunteers. 

For this year's volunteer appreciation,  we arranged for a combined virtual and pre-recorded event. We pre-recorded the recipients receiving their awards and delivered a brief biography, followed by the pre-recorded award presentation on Facebook.  The Live recordings and pre-recorded awards can be found on our Facebook Page!


In 2012, the Outstanding Youth Award was created to acknowledge the contributions youth add to volunteerism in our community and their school. The Crowsnest Pass Outstanding Youth Award recognizes youth between the ages of 12 and 18 years who make positive contributions to the community and their school on a volunteer basis.  We recognize the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the achievement and involvement of our youth throughout the year. The recipient of this award receives a $1,000 scholarship

Aiden Douglas

2020 marks our 8th year to recognize an outstanding youth volunteer by presentation of the Crowsnest Pass Outstanding Youth Award. 

The recipient of this year’s Outstanding Youth Award has been described as, dependable, helpful and trustworthy.   

 Aiden’s Volunteer Contributions include:

  • Moderating the Chamber of Commerce Federal Election debate for the Foothills Riding
  • Volunteering at the Crowsnest Pass Annual Teddy Bear Picnic
  • Participated in the running of both the 2019 Provincial election of the UPC Party - Roger Reid and the 2019 Federal election, canvassing with the conservative incumbent MP John Barlow.
  • Aiden is also a member of the Red Ravens performing arts society and a carrying member of both the UPC Alberta Provincial Party and Conservative Party of Canada.

One exceptional act of volunteerism was in 2019 when Aiden spearheaded a project where he raised over $5500 to purchase local gift certificates for students who needed help over the Christmas Holidays. Aiden approached citizens, community council and businesses to support our most vulnerable students for the holidays.   Aiden is not only a great leader, he is altruistic and always promotes the common good of his community, his school and his peers. 

Aiden graduated from Crowsnest Consolidated High School in 2020 and is now attending the University of Lethbridge studying Bio Medical Engineering.

Thank you Aiden for your amazing contributions to our community and helping to make the Crowsnest Pass the great Place to live that it is.


The Order of the Crowsnest Pass has been presented annually to an individual who exemplifies outstanding dedication to volunteerism in our community.  The purpose of this award is to formally thank and honor such people who tirelessly “give back”.

Cliff White

Cliff White has been a member of the Hillcrest Fire Department, and later Crowsnest Pass Fire Rescue (CNPFR) since 1973, where his selflessness and commitment to the community is virtually immeasurable.  He participates in every community function for our various community groups and inspires other to serve as well.  He is the first to volunteer for first aid support, BBQ’s, ticket sales and raffles, and giving assistance to younger members.  Mr. White actively tries to encourage younger members to give back to the community in which they live.  Cliff has contributed thousands of hours to the community which continues to inspire everyone around him.  Cliff volunteers because he truly cares about the well-being of the community and embodies the spirit of volunteerism. 

A lifelong resident, Cliff White’s name has been synonymous with Hillcrest and now the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.  A carpenter, Cliff has donated his skills and countless hours to residents that could not afford needed repair work to their homes and garages.  In 2003, he was instrumental in fighting the Lost Creek wildfires and helped save the community and was recognized by the Premier and MLA.  At 75 years of age, with over 47 years contributed to the protection of the Municipality, Cliff still answers emergency calls without hesitation in the day or in the middle of the night.  He is lovingly known as “One in Hillcrest” as he answers the alarm.  Day or night he is there to respond and help others.

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Cliff White on receiving this very momentous award.

Leone Stacheruk

In 1976 Leone Stacheruk moved to the Crowsnest Pass with her husband and three daughters and has called the Pass home ever since!  As her daughters were growing up,  Leone was actively involved in whatever sport or activity they were involved in and was always willing to lend a helping hand.  

Leone has served on the Community Swimming Pool Society Board since its formation in 1998 and before that as a member of the organizing pool committee for several years.  Most recently serving as Board chair for the last 15 years. 

Leone has witnessed many successes and challenges for with the Pass Pool through the years.  From hiring staff to facility renovations to presentations to Council, Leone has truly served for the benefit of the people of the Crowsnest Pass.   Leone Strongly believed that “the Pool”  should be a welcoming place for fitness and recreation accessible to all residents and visitors as well.  She was instrumental in many design and operation discussions for the more recent renovations of 2017 that has seen the Pass Pool expanded to become a popular Southern Alberta summer destination for families. 

Leone has also:

  • served for 30 years on the local chapter of the Canadian Royal Purple Lodge # 159
  • member of the Crowsnest Pass Cancer Support Group,
  • Executive member on the Swim Alberta Region “F”
  • Volunteer with Pass Track
  • Volunteer with the Foodbank
  • and she is possibly best known as a pianist accompanist for many community social gatherings, school events and especially every year playing the Graduation March at the kindergarten graduations! 

Being a grade 1 teacher with the Crowsnest Pass and then the Livingstone Range School Division has endeared her to many families and has been a great source of pride for her and her own family. 

Leone has truly given so much of herself to make our community a great place to be! 

Thank you Leone for your years of service to our Community! 

Pat Rypien

Pat moved to Blairmore at young age where she fell in love with husband Allan and started a family and has been the rock to the Rypien family since day one.

Patricia Rypien (Pat) is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother and affectionately known as GRAMMY,   she has 3  Sons, 6 grand kids, 4 great grand kids with one on the way.

Pat has dedicated her life to raising a loving, compassionate and caring family. Not only has she shared her wisdom and her enthusiasm with her family, but she has been an active and energetic volunteer in the Crowsnest Pass for many years. Some of her volunteering includes:

  • Historical Society
  • Crowsnest Museum
  • Crowsnest Pass Health foundation
  • Member of the Royal Purple
  • Catholic Women’s League,
  • Member of Coleman/Bellevue legions
  • “Mom Hours” with Lundbreck Boxing Club and Coleman Minor Hockey
  • Red Ravens Theatre Group
  • Ryp Foundation

Pat was extremely and passionately involved with fundraising for the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church “Raining the Roof” Project for the re-construction of the Catholic Church.  Pat is also heavily involved with the Crowsnest Museum, working hard to preserve the history of our community. 

She has been a tremendous inspiration to all whose lives she has touched in our small community and continues to do so always wearing a smile.

Pat’s compassion led her to a successful career as a registered nurse where she put in over 35 years as an employee and Manager.

She is an amazing speaker and actress when she performs. In her free time, Pat loves to cook, read, bake, hang out with her grandchildren, and play with her great grandchildren. 

While there are many volunteers within the Community, Pat is just one of those special volunteers who can always be counted on to get the work done, both quickly and efficiently.  Pat’s warm personality makes it impossible for anyone to say “No”  when she asks them to help…she is very kind, generous and never hesitates to lend a helping hand. 

Pat is  truly deserving of the Order of the Crowsnest Pass.

Congratulation’s Pat!


To conclude our 2020 Virtual Volunteer Appreciation Event we would like to shine a “Spotlight” on a very special community volunteer.

Sandi Knight

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sandi Knight has created and distributed in excess of 3600 face masks, contributing to the well-being and safety of our Community.

Sandi and her husband moved to the Crowsnest Pass in the summer of 2019.  After having  lived in Ontario, Manitoba and most recently Yellowknife, North West Territories, Sandi says that she loves living in the  Crowsnest Pass and she is never moving again!   Sandi is semi-retired and virtually teaches English as a second language. 

Sandi’s Mask making endeavor started out of need for masks for herself and her husband.  Not a seamstress, but a crafter, Sandi found and modified a pattern that she liked, and the rest is history.  Sandi at first thought she would make maybe 100 masks to help-out others in the community, little did she know how successful this venture would become.   Sandi is thankful for the support and donations of fabric, elastic and money to help her continue.

During the last several months, Sandi’s name was brought forward to us on multiple occasions as someone who should be recognized for her volunteer service. 

Thank you Sandi for your dedication, generosity and time spent.