Two Prince Albert women have been named as 2018 recipients of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal.
Teena Polle and Myrna Nagy were included in the list, which was released Wednesday. The volunteers will be honoured in a ceremony at the legislature on April 9.
The Saskatchewan Volunteer Medalis awarded each year to honour the work done by volunteers across the province. It has been awarded to 204 people since its establishment in 1995/
“It’s amazing to have two people from P.A.,” Polle said.
“This s an absolutely enormous honour because it involves the whole province. To get this, I feel extremely humbled and tremendously excited at the same time.”
Polle said she received her congratulatory letter from the premier Wednesday, embossed in gold print. She found out she was one of the winners a few weeks ago from a phone call she received at home.
“They said, ‘Teena, this is the protocol office calling from Regina.’ My heart kind of stopped,” she said, as she knew a call from the protocol office is a big deal.
“They said I had been selected as a Saskatchewan volunteer and gave me the details.”
Like Polle, Nagy was caught off guard. She was vacationing in Mexico when she received the news.
She received a message to contact the protocol office. She had worked with the office in the past when inviting the lieutenant governor to events. She thought that maybe, the office had the impression that she was organizing something and inviting the lieutenant governor.
They were calling to tell her she would receive the volunteer medal.
“I was shocked,” Nagy said, “I really was. It was a pretty nice feeling when it hit as to what had happened.”
Both Nagy and Polle have been honoured locally for their work giving back to the community. Nagy was the 1994 Citizen of the Year, and in 2015 received the Waskesiu Volunteer of the Year Award from the Friends of the Park.
Polle, meanwhile, was inducted into the Prince Albert Arts Hall of Fame in 2017 for her work as a volunteer in the arts community.
Both women spoke about the importance of recognizing the work of volunteers.
“There would be a lot less for people to enjoy if it wasn’t for volunteers,” Nagy said, thanking everyone who had helped her over the years with many events and organizations.
“(Volunteers) have to know they’re appreciated. It’s important for them to know that they’re wanted and needed, but I don’t think anybody volunteers with the idea of getting something out of it. What you get out of it is the satisfaction of being involved in a successful event.”
“it shows you are valued,” she said.
‘Organizations and the government value people who give a lot of their free time and a lot of their talents without any pay. Just a ‘thank you.’ I think that’s beautiful.”
Who is Myrna Nagy?
Nagy moved to Prince Albert at age 5 and first got involved in her community in ninth grade at Wesley United Church by serving as the Sunday school teacher’s assistant. She later got involve teaching Sunday school.
As an adult, one of the first organizations she joined was Beta Sigma Phi, where she’s been a member for over 50 years. After her husband joined the Kinsmen club, she got involved with the Kinettes.
‘I think that’s really the organization that taught me all about volunteerism, because it was very busy,m” she said.
Nagy started as a member, but eventually became president, moving up to district coordinator for Saskatchewan and serving as a Kinette representative on the Kinsmen Foundation, which runs Telemiracle.
As a local business owner of Tu Bac O Square in Prince Albert and Outrigger in Waskesiu, she got involved with the Chamber of commerce, serving as board president.
She has also contributed as a past president of Prince Albert Crime stoppers, past executive director of the Prince Albert Winter Festival, executive member of the Downtown Business Association, executive member of the Festival Association of Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange, past director of TISASK provincial tourism board, board member of Prince Albert Tourism, member of IODE, past board member of the Career Develop,ent Centre [ast ,member of the Performing Arts Committee, board member for the 1992 Saskatchewan Summer Games, past board member of the Council on Aging, past board member for the United Way, YWCA and Victoria Hosptial Foundation. She has been involved with the Waskesiu Recreation Association, Waskesiu Foundation, Waskesiu Library and Reel Rave International Film Festival.
She currently serves as a board member of the Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation.
“It was easy to get involved,” Nagy said. “I’ve never been the type of person who could just sit still and not do anything.”
She made sure to highlight the work of everyone who has volunteered with her over the years.
“I don’t work alone. I have an appreciation for the people who have volunteered with me,” she said.
“Anything I’ve done, I haven’t done by myself.”
Who is Teena Polle?
Teena Polle is an active volunteer whose motto is “I do what I love and I love what I do.”
She volunteers with the Victoria Hospital at the information des and with the Ronald McDonald Family Room, at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre ushering and serving as the front of house captain, with the Royal Canadian Legion visiting schools and promoting the legion, with the Red Cross, the music competition at the First Nations Fine Arts Festival and with assisting with food service for the homeless.
Polle was also helpful in the construction of the Rawlinson Centre. Her contributions have not gone unnoticed.
“She’s everywhere,” said then-Arts Board chair Roxanne Dicke during the 2017 Arts Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“It doesn’t matter where you go. There’s Teena. I’ve seen her manage incredible crowds and not even break a sweat. She doesn’t do it because she wants to be recognized, which is exactly why we should be recognizing her. She is a true gift to our city. Volunteers make the world go round. Volunteers like Teena are hard to find.”
Mitch Holash also spoke about Polle’s contributions.
“She has volunteered at every level of artistic performance in this community. Teena, you embody the very best of the spirit of the arts and the community of Prince Albert we embrace and cherish here.”