RED DEER - To celebrate National Volunteer Week, Hockey Alberta is shining the spotlight on a handful of volunteers who make a huge impact on the sport in Alberta.
More volunteer profiles can be found on Hockey Alberta’s Volunteer Appreciation page.
Lisa Davies - St. Paul
Lisa Davies has done it all as a volunteer over the past 22 years.
Whether it’s being a billet mom, volunteering at the Canada Winter Games or at a provincial championship - both around St. Paul and with Hockey Alberta - Lisa is well-known around the community and the region.
At the provincial level with Hockey Alberta, Lisa serves as the Minor Administration committee member for the Northeast Region. In that role, she assists minor hockey associations with registration processes, completes team and player approvals, and player transfers in HCR.
She also has been involved with junior hockey. Previously, she served as president of the St. Paul Canadiens Junior B team for eight seasons, and now she is the vice president in charge of discipline the North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League (NEAJBHL).
Lisa said the sense of community she gains, and shares through volunteering is what keeps her going.
"You get to meet new people, you get to network, and you get to learn new skills," she said. "It makes me happy.”
Although she couldn’t pin down just one, she said her favourite memories come from events like the Canada Winter Games, World Junior A Challenge, and Hockey Alberta Provincial Championships.
“You know they’re all having fun, they’re excited to be there, and they have reached their goal," she said. "So it always fun to see those happy faces.”
Lisa also volunteers outside of hockey, helping out with minor baseball, Skate Alberta and a variety of school programs.
It is the lifelong connection to the players in the game that keeps Lisa involved.
“I was a billet mom for five years. They still call me mom, they still call if they need anything,” Lisa said.
Tom West - Grande Prairie
A dedicated volunteer, Tom West has served the community of Grande Prairie for more than a decade.
Tom began coaching in Fort St. John in 1999, but, after three years, went on hiatus once he and his wife started a family.
He re-joined the coaching world in 2010 in Grande Prairie at just about every level, and also served as the Manager for the Midget U16 AAA team.
Tom has been on the Board of Directors for Grande Prairie Minor Hockey since 2015, and, on top of his coaching and board positions, Tom also gets some extra ice time in as an official.
He began officiating in 2014, and since then, has worked every level of hockey up to Junior A/B, and Senior in the Grande Prairie area.
Tom said no matter what role he is serving, he makes sure to bring a positive attitude, and dedicate as much of his time and possible to the organization.
"Whether it’s a development team where kids are just learning to skate, or a AA or AAA team that is well on their way, to have the right attitude and kind of re-focus and bring it down to their level whatever age or whatever level that is, and work with them,” he said.
For Tom, volunteering is his favourite way to give back to the community.
"I know a lot of people say that, but for me, I enjoy seeing the operation and opportunity to guide and grow," he said. "Whether it’s someone my own age or in hockey, usually someone younger, watching them grow and develop as a person and a player and expand their knowledge and improve their skill set."