Published on December 31, 2013
Parkland Ambulance Care public affairs director Lyle Karasiuk (centre) shakes hands with Kinsmen Club of Prince Albert president Jared Devers (right) after being named Prince Albert’s citizen of the year, as Parkland Ambulance chief operating officer George Bolduc looks on.
Herald photo by Matt Gardner
Published on December 31, 2013
Parkland Ambulance Care public affairs director Lyle Karasiuk has been named Prince Albert’s citizen of the year for 2013.
Herald photo by Perry Bergson
The tireless volunteer work of Parkland Ambulance Care public affairs director Lyle Karasiuk was recognized on Monday as he was named Prince Albert’s Citizen of the Year for 2013.
The award came as a surprise to Karasiuk, who first learned of his new status upon entering an unexpected gathering held in his honour at Parkland Ambulance’s Second Avenue West location.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” he said. “I’m truly, very grateful. I’m surprised … This is something I totally wasn’t expecting.
“Certainly that there are other people -- if there was a list of other candidates, and I’m sure there was, in the Kinsmen Club list, I’m sure there are people that are equally deserving or certainly more deserving than I am for that opportunity. But certainly I’m overjoyed.”
The city’s annual Citizen of the Year award is a joint venture between the Prince Albert Daily Herald and the Kinsmen Club of Prince Albert.
Supporters at Monday’s gathering cited Karasiuk’s volunteer efforts, presence on numerous committees and community work as instrumental in the choice.
“Lyle has been a very, very active member in the community for the last six to eight years … In 2013 he was on the board who brought the Pineview Terrace (furnishings) campaign together, where they raised over a million dollars in a month,” Kinsmen Club president Jared Devers noted.
Devers added that Karasiuk served on numerous safety committees over the year, as well as the 2014 Saskatchewan Winter Games committee.
“I think there’s about six or seven committees he’s on,” Devers said. “So he’s just donating all of his time when he’s not at work to helping Prince Albert.”
Retired P.A. resident Marbis Wilm, who nominated Karasiuk for the award, described him as “probably one of the most deserving people I know of to get Citizen of the Year.”
Wilm worked regularly with Karasiuk in her years with disaster services at the Red Cross and noted his record as the Relay for Life chairman with the Canadian Cancer Society, as well as work volunteering at events such as the Festival of Trees and Jail N’ Bail.
“You name it, Lyle’s there,” she said.
Parkland Ambulance Care chief operating officer George Bolduc helped compile the information that was submitted to the Citizen of the Year nominating committee.
I think there’s about six or seven committees he’s on ... He’s just donating all of his time when he’s not at work to helping Prince Albert. Jared Devers
He noted Karasiuk’s heavy involvement with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and various volunteer-based organizations in the city, praising Karasiuk’s talent for encouraging volunteerism.
“We’re very proud that Lyle’s won the Citizen of the Year … It’s well-deserved,” Bolduc said.
“He works hard. He does his eight hours a day at work, but then after he does his volunteer time, so he does both of them very well.”
“Nothing is lacking,” Bolduc added. “He does a good job at Parkland and he does a good job as a volunteer, so he’s an all-around volunteer and that’s why we’re so proud of him.”
Karasiuk was born and raised in Prince Albert and has served with Parkland Ambulance for more than 24 years. In his current leadership role at Parkland, he is responsible for media and public relations, corporate and support services and all external training programs.
During his time with the organization, Karasiuk has earned a range of prestigious awards including the Governor General of Canada Emergency Medical Services Exemplary Service medal, Queen’s Jubilee medal, Saskatchewan Centennial Medal and Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal of Honour.
Asked about his strong record of volunteer work, Karasiuk said he simply enjoys being involved with the community.
“I do juggle lots of projects … but it’s enjoyable,” he said. “I enjoy being involved certainly with (the) Pineview campaign and I just enjoy being involved with all of the projects from the Canadian Cancer Society to the Red Cross and a whole list of accomplishments that I certainly enjoy being part of.”
He described being named Citizen of the Year as a humbling experience that had left him “speechless.”
“To be recognized this way is just phenomenal,” he said. “I don’t know what to say.”
Karasiuk will officially accept his Citizen of the Year award at a special recognition ceremony to be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Prince Albert Inn.