The community of Kleefeld has said thank you to two of its volunteers.
Dave Dueck and Mike Peladeau run the soccer program in Kleefeld and this last weekend were presented community volunteer awards through the Rural Municipality of Hanover.
"This was just a pretty easy decision," says municipal Councillor Gord Meneer. "Because they're still continuing twenty-one years later, putting on a program and volunteering their time to benefit the kids and the children in the community."
Dueck says after moving to Kleefeld 21 years ago, he wanted to get his kids involved. There was no soccer program at the time and so Dueck put out a notice, inviting all interested soccer players to meet at school after supper. More than 50 children showed up. This year, about 240 children signed up for the spring program.
"It's really nice to know that on top of the pleasure you get seeing kids have fun, that someone else is standing on the sidelines watching and saying, 'I think we have to recognize him for something,'" says Dueck, reacting to winning the award. Dueck thanks his wife Janet for the countless hours of behind the scenes work she has put in over the years.
Both Dueck and Peladeau admit being surprised to win the award. Peladeau has been working with the soccer program about 13 years and says his greatest joy in running the soccer program comes when families pull up with their minivans filled with children and then the kids of all ages come pouring out of the vehicle and scatter to all corners of the park.
Peladeau says without volunteers, there would be no soccer program in Kleefeld. He says the volunteer spirit has been growing in that community the last number of years. Meneer backs up that observation, noting more and more people are getting excited about Kleefeld and are putting time and effort into making their community better.
"It's really a pleasure to see the members of the community stepping up, taking a hold of something and running with it," says Meneer. "Just as Mike and Dave have for the last twenty-one years, it's really, really a good thing."