Jeannette Eddolls doesn’t see anything she’s done as particularly unique.
The long-time Prince Albert volunteer, instrumental in the success of Catholic Family Services, and heavily involved in other not-for-profit groups, was honoured March 10 at Travelodge during her induction into the Prince Albert Women’s Hall of Fame.
Eddolls family was on hand to help celebrate her special day. Her kids said she was humble to the point where it’s almost a fault. Eddolls’ humble generosity became immediately clear.
She said the ceremony was a “humbling” experience, and thanked the many other women who contribute to improving the lives of those living in Prince Albert.
“I don’t view this as being unique,” Eddolls said. “I now you all put in so much energy, so much time and so much commitment. Our collective actions make our community better in terms of nature, good health, stability and a good place to be. I want to accept this award on behalf of all of you present, and everyone else who contributes so much to make life good for all.”
She thanked not only the women present, but also the unsung heroes stuck at home; the grandmothers raising nine children, or the single mothers raising their kids and taking classes at the same time.
But while Eddolls was hesitant to talk about her accomplishments, other guests in attendance had no such qualms.
“A leader and a powerhouse in our community, Jeannette Eddolls is the example of the shining potential of all women who give so unselfishly for the good of others, and does so with passion, grit and grace,” said Saskatchewan Rivers MLA Nadine Wilson.
“For those who know Jeannette, she is our hope. Hope for those in need of education, hope for those in need of faith and spirituality and hope for those in need of a listening ear. Jeanette’s passion and commitment contribute much to our community. I am honoured Jeanette lives in the Province of Saskatchewan, and I am honoured to be her MLA.”
Eddolls was also recognized for her work with Catholic Family Services (CFS), a not-for-profit in the city that assists all people of all faith backgrounds with counselling and other services. She was a founding member of the organization.
While working for CFS, Eddolls met Louise Zurowski, who ultimately nominated Eddolls for the hall of fame award.
Eddolls has done much for the organization since it was formed in 1984, including serving as board chair. She has also lobbied the government, assisted in policy-making, coordinated fundraising efforts, represented the organization, managed the building, hired and even made lunches for staff.
“One of the many things she has done is help us procure our building,” Zurowski said.
“That is an important landmark and it should be called the Jeannette Eddolls building. She hasn’t helped just with security that building, but also with the maintenance. A few years ago we gave her the golden paintbrush award. Every time a new tenant comes in there’s work to be done. Who do you think does that work? She moves walls, paints – she has saved the agency so much money.”
The only reason CFS is so successful, Zurowski said, is because of the contributions of Jeannette Eddolls.
“CFS would not be the success it is today without the dedication and commitment of Jeanette Eddolls. She has been with us during the good times and the hard time. She has been someone we can always rely on with any endeavour we undertake,” Zurowski said.
“She has hugely contributed to making the City of Prince Albert a better place. She is truly an amazing woman and is holly deserving to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
Eddolls, for her part, compared getting involved to walking past a series of doors, and checking out the door that holds an individual’s passion and commitment.
“It’s up to us to see what’s behind that door. If we have the level of health required to commit to something, if we have the capacity, the time, the interest, then we can say here I am, I’m available, let’s see what I can do,” she said.
‘We don’t do it alone. We do it in concert with other people exploring behind that particular door. You make new friendships, build new interest, and fulfill lifelong learning. It makes life vibrant. It is through a combined effort that we strive to make our communities stronger, healthier, more vibrant places to be.”