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Volunteer humbled by her new title

Lori Penner
Altona's Volunteer of the Year Sharon Friesen is humbled by her new title, saying that helping others is just something she does because she loves doing it.

Altona's Volunteer of the Year Sharon Friesen is humbled by her new title, saying that helping others is just something she does because she loves doing it.

Altona's Volunteer of the Year is a woman of many talents.

Sharon Friesen was nominated by Angelika Stoesz, who thinks the Altona & District Chamber of Commerce couldn't have picked a better candidate. Many will remember Friesen as the patient business education teacher at W.C. Miller. Friesen says her 35 years of teaching really developed her volunteering spirit.

"So much about teaching is above and beyond your job description. It just becomes second nature." Friesen's teaching extended outside the classroom, helping many young adults write resumes.

She left the classroom in 2002, and has worked for a succession of MLAs: Vic Toews, Jack Penner, and currently, Cliff Graydon. All the while, you'll still find someone in her mall office seeking her help in writing a letter or applying for a job.

Her efficiency and willingness to help also shine outside the office. Friesen is the natural choice as recording secretary for almost every organization she has been involved in.

Those organizations include the Rhineland Area Food Bank, where she's responsible for the paperwork and helps with food drives, and the Altona United Way, where she recruits new volunteers.

Friesen also puts her heart into her church, serving on committees and functions, and singing in the choir.

There's a creative side to Altona's outstanding volunteer. She's also an artist and quilter.

"Sharon has made sure that many babies here and around the world are snuggled under a warm quilt," Stoesz said.

Friesen is actively involved with Altona's Heirloom Quilters, coordinating fundraisers and helping with the annual Sunflower Festival Quilt Show.

She was shocked to find out she'd been named Volunteer of the Year.

"You don't do things for others and expect to get rewarded for it. You do it simply because you want to," she says. "But I am incredibly honoured to receive this award. It was very unexpected, but still very appreciated."