Honoured to Serve the Fort Richmond Community
A Note from Sarah
Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers honoured this month!
May 12 is Manitoba Day, and as we again mark this occasion more quietly due to COVID-19, it is still a chance to celebrate our amazing province. Apart from the beautiful, varied landscape, it is the people who make our home so wonderful. Manitobans step up to make differences, big and small.
Peter and Audrey VanderSpek are two such Manitobans. When our community club’s mini-soccer program desperately needed volunteers, they signed up to fill the roles of registrar and equipment manager.
Peter regularly helps with the South Winnipeg Community Centre soccer jamboree barbecue, Audrey has coached and they have both been involved with hockey, as well as volunteering at their church’s outreach programs and at Harvest Manitoba with their daughter, Lara, five, and son, Matthias, who’s eight.
“We were looking for where we were a good fit. We have been given gifts and talents and bear responsibility for those gifts,” Peter says, explaining why they signed up to help with the program that serves families in the Fort Richmond, Richmond West, Waverley Heights, and Waverley West neighbourhoods.
As a busy mom and engineer, Audrey says the registrar position is a good fit for her organizational skills and allows for a flexible input of her time. She is also an avid Jets fan and enjoys playing frisbee.
Peter says his vending machine business gives him flexibility to spend time with his young kids, to volunteer at his parish for groups like Love Lives Here and Kids Spot, as well as to serve in the community. “We hope to model social responsibility and empathy. We also want to help other volunteers so they don’t burn out,” he says.
Peter is proud their son is now a happy volunteer at their church and that he can’t wait to help out with the next SWCC pancake breakfast.
While trying to get the mini-soccer program off the ground this year, there are special challenges. Parents are uncertain about the ongoing changes to restrictions, Audrey says. Registrations come in and out, with new families joining and others cancelling.
“We have been richly blessed in this life, and given the opportunity to make a difference to show love, compassion, and mercy,” Peter says. “It’s hard in the work, but rewarding in the job of serving not just our kids, but kids in the neighbourhood who have not been able to get out and socialize in the last year. We are all happy to get out and have some fun.”
Volunteers like the VanderSpeks are the core of our communities and Manitoba.
If you are interested in volunteering, please visit www.swcc1.ca.
I love to hear from you, so please feel free to reach out to my constituency office at 204-221-8881 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWCC Volunteers Peter and Audrey VanderSpek with their son, Matthias, and daughter, Lara.
About Sarah Guillemard
Sarah is a community activist and long-time Fort Richmond resident.
A graduate of Fort Richmond Collegiate, Sarah has lived in Fort Richmond for over 30 years. She is proudly raising her family in the same vibrant, caring neighbourhood in which she grew up.
Sarah has been a tireless community advocate whose efforts have benefitted families in the community and throughout Winnipeg.
Sarah’s belief that parents should be active participants in decisions that affect their children’s education compelled her to take the lead in working with the Pembina Trails School Division to address timely issues. In recognition of her outstanding achievements, Sarah received the Parent Council Recognition Award from the Manitoba Association of Parent Councils in 2010.
Sarah also believes in welcoming those who are new to Canada. Living overseas with her husband and young family gave her an appreciation for the difficulty facing newcomers with a language barrier. This led Sarah to begin teaching English conversation classes for new Canadians through her church.
In addition to her work in the school system and with newcomers to Canada, Sarah was a long-time soccer coach and enjoyed working with her teams to bring out the best in each player both on and off the field.
Sarah was named Minister of Climate Change and Conservation following the 2019 provincial election.
With four generations of her family living in the area, Sarah is deeply committed to Fort Richmond. She is proud to be serving her second term as MLA for Fort Richmond, especially while navigating such a difficult situation as the global pandemic of COVID-19.