Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award

2013 Award: Ryan Sparkes

What follows is an excerpt from Ashley Cook’s presentation of the 2013 Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award.

It is a pleasure to present this year’s Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award. This is the thirteenth year that MCIC is recognizing a volunteer that has contributed greatly to MCIC.

Before telling you about this year’s winner, I’d like to provide a brief background to this award. The award is named for Paul LeJeune. Paul was a valued member of MCIC’s Overseas Projects Committee from 1992 until his death in 1997. It was in large part due to Paul’s insight and persistence that MCIC’s guiding principles include a strong commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Paul was a powerful advocate for people with disabilities in Canada and internationally. He maintained a strong vision of what it means to live independently. In addition to his work with MCIC, he volunteered with many other organizations, which you can find listed on the blue sheet in your AGM folder.

This year’s recipient of the Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award is a long serving volunteer to MCIC.

This year’s recipient volunteered with one of MCIC’s member agencies in northern Uganda in 2002-2003.

His involvement with MCIC started in 2005 when he was elected to the MCIC board. He was re-elected two more times, serving on the board until 2011. He served as Vice-President of MCIC’s Board of Directors for three years from 2008-2011. He also served on the Overseas Projects Committee from 2005-2009, and in 2009 when we started a separate committee to review Community Solidarity Fund projects he moved to that committee for two years. In 2012 when we decided to have a separate committee to review Relief and Rehabilitation projects he was a willing volunteer.

This year’s recipient of the Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award is Ryan Sparkes.

Ryan also have a long history with Engineers Without Borders, he was at the University of Waterloo when the idea of starting the organization began. He has been an active volunteer in various capacities ever since. In 2010 he was instrumental in starting up an EWB Professional Chapter in Winnipeg. Ryan has a Computer Engineering degree and has worked extensively in the medical imaging field. He recently joined Standard Aero as a Senior Computer Specialist.

On behalf of the Board of MCIC it is my great honour to present the 2013 Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award to Ryan Sparkes.