HyLife’s mission statement is at the heart of what we do – “We take care of communities.” Our employees embody this value through different initiatives where they live and work. Each year, we select people from across our company and award them with the prestigious HyLife Volunteer of the Year title.
The winners get an opportunity to pay it forward, by selecting a local cause to receive a $1,000 donation. This year’s champions are Cecilia Cajurao, Debra Kasprick, and Kelly Nelson Here is a look at how and why they give their time and energy.
Meet Cecilia Cajurao, Accounting Manager, and La Broquerie’s HyLife Volunteer of the Year.
Cecilia was raised to always support those in need. “My parents were involved with missionary work. My mom was a nurse and was able to help people. So I saw that in them. And I said, ‘I want to follow that path and inspired to do more,” shares Cecilia Cajurao, HyLife Accounting Manager.
Since moving to Canada in 2009, she has brought these values to her new home.
“I feel volunteering makes a big impact because you’re giving your time, being compassionate and generous to other people without expecting anything. It’s a selfless act.”
– Cecilia Cajurao, HyLife Accounting Manager
As a mother of three, it was second nature for Cecilia to make room in her busy schedule to become a board member at a local artist group. “SAC (Steinbach Arts Council) supports people of all ages. What I noticed was their different programs for young kids… My niece has attended, and I have seen her development. What makes SAC stand out is its instructors. They are really good and accommodating, from arts and crafts to all the different teachings – arts, music, theatre, and other programs.”
For Cecilia, selecting SAC to receive the $1,000 donation was easy. David Klassen, Steinbach Arts Council Executive Director, shares how the surprise gift will be put to good use. “This extra funding will help us continue our work, investing in community recreational opportunities. Every arts and culture program we run is subsidized, keeping our programming accessible to everyone, so every contribution helps,” shares David Klassen, Steinbach Arts Council Executive Director.
Debra Kasprick, Office Manager, is Neepawa’s HyLife Volunteer of the Year.
Growing up in the small community of Birnie, Manitoba, Debra understands firsthand the big difference it makes to give back.
“Sometimes, things don’t happen if people don’t volunteer. We’ve seen it here and in other committees. We run the risk of no longer have fairs and other community events because we don’t have volunteers to support them. Volunteering your time is important to keep things going,” said Debra Kasprick, HyLife Office Manager.
She has spent a significant amount of time rink side, so it was second nature for Debra to support something close to her heart.
“I got into the Titans because I love hockey. My kids all played the sport, we are a hockey family. I billeted at first, then I got on the board and continued with it. I’ve been involved with the organization for over ten years now.”
– Debra Kasprick, HyLife Office Manager
Naturally, Debra selected her local hockey team as the recipients of a $1,000 HyLife donation.
“The Neepawa Titans are huge for the community, and we want them to do well. What makes them stand out is what they do for the community. They volunteer for all kinds of things. Which I think is great. Because it’s good for them as young men – to give back to communities, even though, to a lot of them, this is not their home community. When they’re in the schools, the younger kids aspire to be like the players, and the older community members at care homes enjoy their visits.”
Ken Pearson, Head Coach/General Manager, Neepawa Titans, values the ongoing support from HyLife. “We appreciate all that HyLife does for our team. We have strong relationships, and it is all about community. We all want to make sure our communities are successful, healthy, and fun places to live,” shares Ken Pearson, Head Coach/General Manager, Neepawa Titans.
Kelly Nelson, Sourcing Manager, is Windom’s HyLife Volunteer of the Year.
Kelly’s plate is full, yet she always makes time to lend a hand. As a mother of three, she finds a way to balance it all.
“You just have to prioritize it. I work full time, my husband works full time, we farm with my parents, and I’ve got three kids at home… And I think it’s just making that commitment and to yourself that you want to do it and find the time.”
– Kelly Nelson, HyLife Sourcing Manager.
Being born and raised in Southwest Minnesota, Kelly has been able to see the value when giving your time to different organizations. “I think we have a really unique opportunity in these rural communities to help them grow and be sustainable. But to do that, we have to be involved. If we want our rural communities to thrive… You have to be involved. You have to be part of the solution. And you have to work with it together.”
The St. Ann Catholic Church, located in Slayton, Minnesota, is an organization involved in the community. The group hosts a free annual free Christmas dinner, gives gifts to children over the holidays and collects backpacks for schools.
Kelly has graciously selected the Church to receive a $1,000 HyLife donation. The gift will be used towards a restoration project to repair and refurbish seating and flooring.
“I just thought this was awesome. I didn’t realize HyLife as a company did this. I have heard the company name over the years, and now to see you reach out and give an employee this opportunity. Kelly is a very active member and puts her community first,” shares Dana Clark, Parish Administrator, St. Ann Catholic Church.
Congratulations to all three of our volunteers who are truly committed to their communities.