HyLife’s Volunteers of the Year for 2021

February 3, 2022
Read time: 4 min

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HyLife is committed to giving back to the communities where we live and work. As a company, we aim to support local projects, organizations, and initiatives that make life better for our neighbours, families, and friends.

We encourage our employees to also get involved. Each year, we select people on our team from across the company who live these values and award them Volunteer of the Year status. HyLife also asks the recipient to select a local cause of their choice to receive a $1,000 donation. This year’s winners are Lyane Cypres, Chris Stelmack and Cheri Maras.



Lyane Cypress, Director of Operations, is HyLife Neepawa’s Volunteer of Year.

Cypress makes a real difference in her community. She arrived in Neepawa 13 years ago from the Philippines and quickly began to volunteer as a way to make connections while navigating her new home. She has given her time supporting newcomers and countless organizations including the Roxy Theater and St. Dominic’s Church.


“Volunteering is about service, giving your time and talent. I think it is one of the best way to keep your mind and body busy. One of the best realizations I have with giving back to the community is the fulfillment and happiness that I feel at the end. You feel good about yourself, you feel good to see the impact that you have made to the people around you. It gives your life more purpose,”
– Lyane Cypress, Director of Operations

Cypres choose the Roxy Theater as her recipient of HyLife’s $1,000 donation. The Roxy Theatre is in a heritage building that provides a venue for performing arts, community events and movies.

“Neepawa is one of the small towns in Manitoba that have a theatre, and we are lucky to have one here. We hope to see Roxy Theatre continue to become a place for everybody to use and enjoy even with the future generations. I also would like to invite people to come, there are weekly movie showings for everybody to enjoy. It will be great to see more people support Roxy while having fun.”

Neepawa Theater Chair, Kate Jackman- Atkinson, was thrilled to accept the donation.

“We feel really fortunate. Volunteerism is at the heart of what we do. We are run by our community, we are volunteers and that is why this donation is so fitting,” shared Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Chair Neepawa Theater Centre Inc.



Chris Stelmack, Maintenance Planner, is HyLife La Broquerie’s Volunteer of the Year.

Stelmack has been volunteering since he was young. “I started by beautifying our community park – building outdoor structures for community events, skating rink maintenance, just little things whenever I could,” said Stelmach.

In June of 2018, Stelmack and his wife created a nonprofit organization called See A Need Fill A Need (SANFA) “My community rallied together to help my family in a time of need. So to pay it forward, my wife and I decided to start our own nonprofit organization that focus’ on others in a time of need. As a way, give them a hand up,” shares Stelmack.

See a Need Fill A Need has created new programs that help improve health, well-being and quality of life for anyone who is nominated at zero cost to the recipient.

Stelmack happily selected Agape House in Steinbach for the $1,000 donation. Agape House provides a safe shelter, counselling and support to women and children affected by family violence.


“During COVID every agency is struggling. This donation will help us help our clients, many who are the most vulnerable in our community. Every dollar makes a difference. Thank you so much.”
– Tracy Whitby, Executive Director, Agape House



Cheri Maras, Logistics Coordinator, is HyLife Windom’s Volunteer of Year.

Cheri is a devoted member of her community and has taken an interest in volunteering at multiple organizations and groups in Windom since moving there from Mountain Lake 28 years ago.

“It is just part of how we were raised in my family and in my close-knit small town,” said Maras “Doing kind things for others with nothing expected in return is more of a way of life than anything for me. When we were younger helping the elderly from our church or neighbors on the farm was just normal and I feel blessed to have been raised that way, continue to volunteer and also to pass that spirit of a giving heart on to my children and hopefully others as well.”

Maras was honored to find out in addition to winning the volunteer of the year, she was awarded $1000 to donate to a charity of her choice. She chose a cause that is close to her heart, the Cottonwood County 4-H. This organization offers various accessible classes to elementary and middle and high school youths, enabling them to meet and work on service projects for their communities.

Maras reminds us to find an organization or cause that we are passionate about.


“Volunteerism is a wonderful thing for your soul and spirit and can have a positive influence on so many. It can be contagious. I encourage you all to take a moment to find an organization that speaks to your heart and take some time to volunteer to help your friends, neighbors or community.”
– Cheri Maras, Logistics Coordinator

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