To volunteer is to share your gifts with the community. The beautiful thing is that you get as much as you give! It’s important that leaders recognize the skill and value that volunteers bring, and acknowledge them for their contribution to the organization(s) and people they serve.

JoAnne Formanek Gustafson, 2021

Rainy Lake Nordic Ski Club

Run entirely by volunteers, this club maintains a system of groomed classic and skate-ski trails and walking/snowshoe trails. There are approximately 15km of ski trails and 10+ km of snowshoe trails.

Between 2014 – 17 JoAnne assisted the club in fundraising activities including coordinating a sign sponsorship drive as well as preparing a grant application. The application was successful; the club received $43,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for new grooming equipment and ski equipment.

JoAnne was elected to the role of club president in 2017. JoAnne works with the executive and an extensive group of volunteers to coordinate trail work, maintain club records, and ensure that the club is in compliance with guidelines governing its operations. The most recent challenge has been following COVID19 restrictions to ensure that the club’s facility and equipment are available to the community. JoAnne continues to successfully lead the organization, focusing on supporting others to follow their own passions and acknowledging the leadership that knowledgeable volunteers bring. She acknowledges and celebrates the role of the club’s many volunteers in maintaining this facility as a place a diverse local community feels welcome to enjoy the outdoors.