Introducing the 2019 SARC Award Recipients
By Amy Janzen, SARC Communications Coordinator
From Shaunavon to North Battleford (and a few places in between), we travelled across the province to spend some full and fantastic days with many incredible people.
The SARC Awards are an opportunity for our Members to acknowledge people from their community whose commitment to community building, volunteer efforts, personal journey, special talent, and inclusive employment prove why this province and, particularly this sector, is comprised of some of the best people.
Throughout the summer, employees of SARC get to travel across the province and meet the recipients, to document their incredible stories.
Meet the 2019 SARC Award Recipients!
The Great Work Award—Charity Jess
Charity Jess is an incredibly hard-working and dedicated long-term employee of the Delta Bessborough in Saskatoon. Having just entered her 21st year of working at the castle on the river, Charity certainly displays a great work ethic both while at work and in her various volunteer roles. Not only does Charity work full-time at the Bessborough, but she also loves to volunteer at Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Santa Claus Parade, and any other event that gets her involved in Saskatoon’s vibrant community.
Charity’s incredible work ethic makes her truly deserving of The Great Work Award. Congratulations, Charity!
The Good Neighbour Award—Terry Saretsky
There isn’t a lot that Terry Saretsky doesn’t do in order to help people out in the Humboldt community. Born and raised in Humboldt, Terry has been helping out in the community longer than anyone can remember. Throughout the day that we spent with Terry, we followed him to Misty Gardens, where his love of gardening and working with people go hand-in-hand. Next, we headed to the Humboldt Museum where he gave us a tour of the historic building. After lunch, we met him at Futuristic Industries where he helps out other people at the agency by cleaning up the kitchen after lunch or taking on their paper route if they aren’t able to. At the end of the day, we went to his home where he introduced us to his family, friends, and showed us around his personal garden.
When asked how it makes him feel after he’s helped someone out, he humbly shrugs and says “happy!”
Terry’s willingness to help others is more than simple acts of kindness; it’s his way of life. Congratulations on your award!
The Journey Award—Aaron Brubaker
Aaron’s remarkable journey with Cypress Hills Ability Centres, Inc (CHACI) started when he was transitioning out of high school. Aaron shared with us that after he moved to Shaunavon, he typically kept to himself and didn’t want to be involved in the community or to go to work. Now, four years later, Aaron is a dependable, integral part of the CHACI family and the first person that any of the staff turn to when they need extra help.
Aaron’s fun and laid back personality made it incredibly easy to spend the day following him around Shaunavon as he showed us the few homes he’s lived in, while describing his journey through the different level of supports he received before moving out on his own. Aaron’s strong work ethic was apparent while he described the many jobs that he maintains throughout the week, allowing him to be more independent each year. Living independently motivates him to take on more challenges, more employment opportunities, and encourages and enables him to live the life he wants.
When we asked Aaron how it made him feel to be recognized for his journey he responded, “really happy inside, and proud of myself.”Congratulations, Aaron! We can’t wait to see how your journey continues.
The Spotlight Award—Catherine Berntson
This year’s recipient of the Spotlight Award, Catherine, is an accomplished Opera and Choir singer. Upon meeting Catherine, we were greeted by a bright, positive, and somewhat shy person whose remarkable talent in singing could be witnessed while she moved throughout the SaskAbilities Saskatoon cafeteria while baking cookies, making coffee, and helping customers on the till. While getting to know Catherine and speaking with her family, coaches, and mentor, we learned that this is very common of Catherine; she has used singing as a way to communicate or express herself her whole life while navigating through new experiences, environments, and social settings. While performing for us at her family home, Catherine’s steady but powerful voice gave us all the chills.
Congratulations, Catherine! It’s so well deserved!
The Inclusive Advantage Award—Juliana Pizza
This year’s recipient of The Inclusive Advantage Award goes to a restaurant in Regina who employs four people supported through Partners in Employment – Regina. The welcoming environment at Juliana Pizza, their fantastic food, and commitment to their community are just part of what makes Juliana Pizza a great business; but it’s how they treat all of their employees as members of their extended family that make them true inclusive employers.
Throughout the day in Regina, we were told many stories about how owners Paul Howie and Peter Yannitsos won’t hesitate to make certain accommodations or help out any of their employees; whether offering them a ride home, buying a bicycle for them, or adjusting work hours to fit their needs, Peter and Paul expressed how accommodating the environment to fit the employees’ needs is just good business.
Great job, Juliana Pizza! You’re truly an inclusive employer.
The Community Builder Award—Rongve, Gabruch, Schell and Weikle Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities
While spending the day with ‘the guys from RBC’, plus Mona Leece, Ronda Johnson, and Donald Salie from Battlefords Trade & Education Centre Inc (BTEC), we could see why community is so important to these residents of North Battleford. Throughout the day, the groups from BTEC and RBC shared stories about the different community initiatives each were involved in and how they are all working collectively to make the community they all love a better place to be.
The group from RBC Dominion Securities’ involvement in The Battlefords community ranges from raising funds for the new BTEC building, ongoing fundraisers to help BTEC purchase new equipment for the people supported by BTEC, offering safe rides home during the holidays, adopting a class of Kindergarteners that will see them through to graduation in 2030, or raising funds for a world-class Arts and Leisure Centre in the heart of the city—to name a few.
As BTEC Executive Director, Mona Leece, expresses when asked why ‘the guys from RBC’ are so well-deserving of The Community Builder Award, she emphatically says, “They Are the Community Builders of the Battlefords!”
Congratulations to everyone at Rongve, Gabruch, Schell and Weikle Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities!
To view all of the 2019 SARC Awards recipients stories, visit https://www.sarcsarcan.ca/awards!