She has set out to prove one person can make a difference.
© Herald photo by Jodi Schellenberg
Vickie LaRose was nominated for the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism Lifetime Achievement award this fall for all her volunteer service in Prince Albert.
Vicki LaRose was the sole Prince Albert resident nominated for a Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism award and attended to celebration in Regina on Oct. 6.
“I got into the lifetime achievement award because of all my volunteerism over the years,” LaRose said.
The awards celebrate contributions seniors make to society and provide an opportunity for residents of the province to learn about the contributions the seniors make in all aspects of life and work in Saskatchewan, according to the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism.
It was an amazing event, LaRose said, with many dignitaries, including the Lieutenant Governor, many MLAs, MPs and mayors. She even had the chance to speak with guest speaker Lloyd Robertson.
“It was a very prestigious event so I felt honoured to be there,” LaRose said.
Throughout her life LaRose has volunteered for many organizations, including the Prince Albert Foster Parents Association for 17 years, where she and her husband fostered 49 newborns.
Currently LaRose spends her time between five organizations -- Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Canadian Cancer Society, Meals on Wheels, the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region and the P.A. Community Clinic.
Since she is such an active volunteer in Prince Albert, in the past LaRose has received other awards including the Mr. and Mrs. Winter Festival in 2005, the YWCA award for lifetime achievement in 2006 and the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region’s volunteer award a couple years ago.
LaRose said she has been volunteering since she was 15 -- she would volunteer at committee rooms and to babysit for families in her community.
“It was a way of life in my family -- my dad did painting, wiring carpentry and he never charged a nickel,” LaRose said. “My brothers do the same and so did my sister.”
Many people may think it is unusual to volunteer with so many different organizations, but LaRose said she considers it her contribution to society.
“I want to make this world a better place in which to live than I found it,” LaRose said. “I want to make it a good place to life for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
Last December, LaRose’s husband passed away and it was his wish that she continued to life her life to the fullest.
“I find (volunteering) an excellent distraction from the grief,” LaRose said. “When I volunteer at the hospital, as long as I am rocking that baby and feeding it and so on, I’m not dwelling on my grief -- I’m dwelling on this very sick baby.”
Her dedication to whatever LaRose puts her mind to makes a difference in many people’s lives.
“I once picked up a child who was so ice cold and he was at death’s door,” LaRose said. “After rocking him for three hours he revived and the nurses were very surprised that he made it.”
LaRose also had a child with cerebral palsy and seizures, but helped him life a full, happy life through her dedication to his physiotherapy.
“You make a difference -- one person can make a difference,” LaRose said. “However small or insignificant (it may seem) it makes a difference in other people’s lives.”
Although she does not actively encourage others to volunteer, LaRose is an inspiration to many other volunteers in the community.
“It is by example that you teach,” LaRose said. “Volunteering is a positive thing to do as opposed to sitting and doing nothing and criticizing.”
Although she felt honoured to be nominated for a prestigious award, LaRose said that it was even an honour just to be in the same category as the other nominees.
“I realize all these people who were nominated they do some really good work which really says a lot about Saskatchewan people who really know how to co-operate and work together to make a better society.”