Skip to content

2023 recipients of Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal announced

Since its creation, the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal has been awarded to 261 individuals.
government house regina
Government House in Regina, Sask.

REGINA — Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty has announced the recipients of the 2023 Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal. Recipients will be presented with this prestigious medal on April 16 at a ceremony held in their honour at Government House in Regina during National Volunteer Week.

"The 2023 recipients of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal have done exceptional work over the decades," Mirasty said. "This honour is a well-deserved expression of gratitude from the people of Saskatchewan."

The recipients of the 2023 Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal are:

  • Jyotsna (Jo) Custead
  • Suzanne Eisler
  • Major (Ret'd) Brad Hrycyna, C.D.
  • Jim Meikle
  • Douglas Osborn
  • Jeanette Tonita
  • Pat Tymchatyn
  • Hazel Urbanoski
  • Dr. Judy White
  • Helga Wold

The Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal was established in 1995 to recognize the extraordinary work done by volunteers across the province. Since its creation, the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal has been awarded to 261 deserving individuals.

Jyotsna (Jo) Custead, Saskatoon

Jyotsna (Jo) Custead is a devoted volunteer with multiple organizations in Saskatoon and throughout Saskatchewan. Jo has a passion for community development, evidenced by her extensive history of volunteer work. Over the past 40 years, she has served on numerous boards and committees across various sectors such as health, art, music and culture, justice, and women’s issues. Jo has a passion for equality and assisting leaders with removing barriers faced by women in the workplace. She was recognized with the 125th Anniversary of Confederation Medal for her work in the areas of employment equity and women’s issues in the workplace.

Suzanne Eisler, Wawota

Suzanne Eisler spent the duration of her career as a farmer in the Wawota area while contributing to her community as a dedicated board member and fundraiser. In 2014, Suzanne founded Wawota’s “Little Dresses for Africa” which makes clothes for children living in developing countries. To date, they have made over 13,000 articles of clothing for children in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. In addition, they have created pencil cases they fill with donated supplies. Throughout the pandemic, the organization made masks, headbands, scrub caps, and bags for Saskatchewan health care workers. Suzanne has made a significant contribution to volunteerism in her community and across the world.

Major (Ret’d) Brad Hrycyna, C.D., Regina

Major (retired) Brad Hrycyna is a dedicated volunteer and board member who contributes to many organizations in Regina and across Saskatchewan. In addition to serving 37 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, Brad has been an active volunteer and has a passion for honouring Saskatchewan veterans. Brad is the President of the Royal United Services Institute of Regina, which works to promote the cause of remembrance. He has created and led projects such as the creation of a Victoria Cross Wall of Honour exhibit at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. Additionally, Brad researched and raised money to build 28 pedestals around the Cenotaph in Regina to remember veterans’ stories for generations to come.

Jim Meikle, Balcarres

Jim Meikle’s volunteer contributions to preserving Saskatchewan’s agriculture history are significant. He has shared his passion and expertise with the community while working as a mechanic and owner of a machinery business for over 50 years. Jim has hosted an annual threshing bee for 16 years, restoring antique tractors and farm machinery with a strong emphasis on youth engagement, and with the purpose of sharing history. He has accomplished a lifetime of volunteering and helping people within his community of Balcarres. The “Tullymet Uber,” provided by Jim, has given many rides to seniors to Regina for medical appointments. He has served as a Community Hall board member for 25 years and continues to be an active volunteer in his community.

Douglas Osborn, Saskatoon

Douglas Osborn has dedicated his talents to supporting his community of Saskatoon throughout his career as a lawyer. Douglas was a board member of Ronald McDonald House for 18 years, serving as both President and Vice President. He was a co-chair of a campaign that raised $12 million for the organization. In both 1991 and 2010, he was the chair of the committee arranging hosts for teams attending the World Junior Hockey Championships. Douglas shared his expertise as a coach with both of his daughters’ soccer teams. He was a board member of the Royal University Hospital Foundation for seven years, serving as chair. Douglas has been active with several charities and shown an exceptional amount of generosity to make his community a better place.

Jeanette Tonita, Regina

Jeanette Tonita’s volunteerism in the City of Regina has been both inspiring and impactful. Jeanette has been on the board of directors of the Mackenzie Infant Care Centre for 15 years, which provides childcare for the Shirley Schneider Support Centre at Balfour Collegiate. She served six years as the chair and is currently vice-chair, supporting with organizing events such as the RCMP Charity Ball. Jeanette is a 25-year Board member of “Karnevalgesellschaft Harmonie,” an affiliate of the German Club of Regina. She has volunteered for years with many organizations in Regina that support important causes such as the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Cancer Foundation of Saskatchewan.

Pat Tymchatyn, Saskatoon

Pat Tymchatyn has left a positive influence on many organizations in Saskatoon and across Saskatchewan. Pat has shown exemplary leadership and volunteerism spanning over 40 years, contributing to many areas, including arts and culture. She is involved with multiple boards and committees in Saskatoon, including Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, Canadian Association of Festivals and Special Events, and the Meadowgreen Community Association Saskatoon City Advisory Board. Pat is especially active within the Saskatoon Ukrainian community. She was involved with implementing the recognition of Holodomor week, organizing numerous cultural events, and more recently, welcoming an influx of Ukrainian people to Saskatchewan in her current role as President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Saskatoon Branch.

Hazel Urbanoski, Sturgis

Hazel Urbanoski is a creative and passionate volunteer who has positively impacted many people in her community of Sturgis. As a teacher she had a positive impact on children, and she continues to be a valuable community member through active involvement in several volunteer activities. Hazel participated in the Sturgis Communities in Bloom as the project organizer. She is also a board member of multiple organizations and has done extensive and diverse volunteer work in many sectors. Hazel is currently the President of the Grace United Church Women and served as Town Councillor for 15 years, supporting major projects.

Dr. Judy White, Saskatoon

Dr. Judy White has lent her professional social work and education skills to several organizations working towards bettering the lives of others in Saskatchewan. Judy is the former Dean at the University of Regina in the Faculty of Social Work and a former Commissioner at the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. She has served as chair, co-chair and member of organizations contributing to benefit many groups of people. This includes past co-chair and member of the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers Justice Committee; past chair of the Saskatoon Settlement and Integration Coordinating Committee; past President for the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women and International Women of Saskatoon.

Helga Wold, Frontier

Helga Wold began volunteering in her community of Frontier more than six decades ago. Helga is a member of Ladies’ Rink Club where she continues to bake pies for weekly fundraisers. She is also a member of Southline Palliative Care Committee, which fully furnished a palliative care room. Helga has knit prayer shawls and served as treasurer for the Frontier United Church for many years. She is a member of Southline Quilters, the Senior Citizen’s Group, the Fowl Supper Committee, and continues to make a strong impact on the community through her voluntarism. Helga has lived a life of service to her community and given her time and talents to make this province a better place