Young community leader is honoured

Kelsey Olsen receives Violet Richardson Award from Soroptimist International

MAKING A DIFFERENCE – Kelsey Olsen

MAKING A DIFFERENCE – Kelsey Olsen

Central Alberta has a plethora of volunteers and outstanding leaders, but few as young as 17-year-old Kelsey Olsen, who has recently been honoured for her efforts within the Lacombe community.

Olsen was presented with the Violet Richardson Award by Soroptimist International, Red Deer Chapter for her volunteer efforts in a locally-based organization as well as her participation in her school and community.

“It was kind of the first major recognition I’ve received, so it just made me feel awesome. It’s so hard to explain. Even when I applied, I wasn’t really thinking that I’d receive the award,” said Olsen.

The Violet Richardson Award is given to a young woman who is between the ages of 14 and 17 who volunteers actively in their community and school. In addition to the recognition of her achievements, the winner receives a financial award for herself as well as a donation to an organization of her choice.

Olsen is a Grade 12 student who works hard to maintain her grades, takes time to participate in school sports and has danced for many years. All of these interests have led Olsen to become involved in community groups that aim to facilitate these interests for others.

Olsen’s love of sports brought her to the Lacombe Parks and Recreation Board two years ago. Since then, she has used her position on the board to provide input about facilities and programs that might benefit people in Lacombe.

“I like playing sports and I have played on my school’s basketball, volleyball, rugby and badminton teams and I have participated in some community running events. I have been dancing since I was about four. In Grade 10, I planned a weeklong summer dance camp for young girls with two friends who are also dancers. We charged a nominal fee to cover t-shirts and food and 14 girls between the ages of six and 10 participated,” she said.

The camp that Olsen offered is one of several community impact projects that she has been involved with. For the past three years she has been involved with her school’s Rotary Interact Club. Through them she has had a hand in projects that include building a school in Haiti, raising money for micro-loans in Guatemala and her current project, which is to provide a well to an orphanage and the surrounding community in Africa.

Olsen has been a part of A Better World for years, and cares passionately for each project she becomes involved in. As her school club attempted to raise money for A Better World’s current well project, there were doubts about being able to achieve their goal of $4,000. They asked the Lacombe Rotary Club if they would match $2,000 if the school club could raise that amount.

Through the Violet Richardson Award, Olsen was able to donate another $500 to the cause, bringing their total over $2,000.

“A Better World needed $4,000 more to get the well built, as they had already raised money for the project. Our club said we would raise the remaining $4,000. That’s a lot of money for us to raise in one school year and we wanted to get the orphans their well as soon as possible, so we asked the Lacombe Rotary if they would match our fundraising efforts,” she explained.

“If we raised $2,000, would they match that to make $4,000? They agreed. With the donation from the Violet Richardson Award, we have now reached our goal. A Better World will be able to build the well. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. There are a lot of things we take for granted in Canada and clean water is one of them. So many people in the world don’t have that basic necessity.”

Olsen was visibly moved as she received her award. She spoke passionately about her cause and made a note to thank the Soroptimist women for their influence and willingness to help her achieve her goals.

“I thought that a lot of the women at the ‘Live Your Dream’ event were just great role models. The speaker that they had there (Sean Liv) was very inspiring. A lot of the Soroptimist women that I spoke to were just really kind and you could tell that they are passionate about helping women and being good role models,” Olsen said.

Olsen said she is excited to be able to play a role in helping A Better World achieve their goal of bringing a well to a deserving community.

“I was really happy about the award because we were aiming to get $2,000 for the well so that we could build it, and we weren’t sure at the time if the Rotary Club would match us, so really we were aiming for the whole $4,000. We didn’t really know if we’d be able to make that but the $500 put us above $2,000. It was exciting.”

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read