Stan has lived his whole life in Grande Prairie and takes great pride in saying so. Helen, on the other hand, is an import from Cape Breton who asserts that she is very content to bloom in the beautiful Peace Country where she is planted. Both have long and storied histories with the Grande Prairie Public School District retiring from teaching in 2003.
It is, in part, this deep connection with Grande Prairie’s young people that prompted the Neufelds to connect with the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta with the intent of leaving a lasting legacy.
Growing up in the ’50s, they experienced and benefited from the many teachers and community members who volunteered their time coaching, mentoring, refereeing and running clubs for the young people in their communities. Being raised in a time and place when volunteering was the way that communities built their strength left a long and lasting impression.
“My husband Stan and I have both had the good fortune of growing up in very supportive communities. Growing up on opposite ends of the country, we both reaped the benefits of the time sacrificed by countless volunteer coaches, church and youth group leaders, and community service groups,” explains Helen.
“As a family that has enjoyed the benefits of spending most of our working lives in Grande Prairie, we both feel that it is our turn to give back for the betterment of the community where we live. We both share a passion for the education of young people and for the environment that sustains both them and us, and so our fund with the Foundation will have that focus. We do this because, for us, it is simply the right thing to do.”
The Neufelds continue to be very active in the community with Stan volunteering with seniors and serving as chair of the Grande Prairie Legends of Hockey Project, while Helen volunteers her time on various community, professional and provincial boards and committees. She has been fortunate to be able to foster her love of education through her work as Principal and Dean of Students at Grade 3 Reading University, GPRC Campus, a project of the local not-for-profit Grade 3 Reading Academy Society.
Awed by the kind and caring people from across the Peace Country, the Neufelds say they strongly believe that the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta is the best way for them to support local charities and community needs for the long term.
“The reason I give back to community is that it is the way I was raised, just part of the package, I don’t know how to do it any other way. We choose to give back because we really believe it is the right thing to do,” says Helen.
You can make a difference in our community – not only for today but forever. When you make a donation to the Stan and Helen Neufeld Environmental Fund, we invest that gift into a permanent endowment fund and the original gift is never spent. Earnings from your gift is distributed to projects in our community focused on preservation of natural spaces and protection of wildlife and their natural habit, as well as an educational focus to achieve this. Donations can be made online here – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/39333 or by calling the Community Foundation at (780) 538-2820.