The equestrian community lost one of its greatest advocates and passionate volunteer with the recent, untimely passing of Marie- Helen Lessard, lovingly known by her nickname MH.
In recognition of the enormous volunteer contribution and to honour the values of volunteering that the late Marie- Helen Lessard brought to the Canadian equestrian community, in particular to Dressage Canada, the Dressage Canada Board unanimously agreed to re-dedicate our existing annual ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’ as the ‘MH Lessard Volunteer of the Year Award’.
MH was passionate about sharing her love of horses whether as a competitor, coach, steward, judge, bilingual announcer or show organizer. Her cheerfulness and zest for life was infectious and carried through to her involvement as a member of the Equine Canada Competitions Committee, Chair of Dressage Canada Competitions Committee, Sport Council Competitions Committee, member of the Dressage Canada Board as well as being an Equine Canada Learning Facilitator.
The Dressage Canada Board, also by unanimous agreement, decided that as a volunteer driven organization it was important to recognize a worthy volunteer on a monthly basis starting in January 2015. Each month, any DC member may nominate a volunteer who has contributed to the growth of dressage whether as an organizer, committee member, entry secretary, scribe, scorer, grounds-person or in any other volunteering capacity that has made a difference to the sport. The volunteering can have occurred at a competition, clinic, fun day, seminar, meeting or any function related to dressage.
In recognition of the many family members and friends who support dressage, the volunteer does not need to be a DC member. The volunteer will be recognized with a handsome certificate and recognition on the official Dressage Canada website.
The annual MH Lessard Volunteer of the Year Award winner will be selected from those recognized as monthly volunteer of the month award winners for each year, plus the other nominations received from DC members. The nominated volunteers need not be DC members, but all must be nominated by a DC member.
Download the nomination form here: Volunteer of the Month Nomination Form
*Please Note: Google Chrome and Firefox users will need to download the file and open with Adobe Acrobat in order to directly submit the form by email (green button). The form is also available in the 'Downloads' section under 'Awards'.
Past recipients of the Volunteer of the Year Award include:
- Ali Buchanan