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Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta 6th Woman of Inspiration 2013-2014 Presented by Syncrude Announced

November 2013

(Fort McMurray) Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the 6th nominee for the Women of Inspiration series 2013-2014:

Leanne Patey

In her role as President of the Wood Buffalo Chapter of Kidsport, Leanne Patey has demonstrated the importance of volunteerism and helping out underprivileged youth. She inspires girls and women by role-modelling initiative, passion, and purpose when helping others.

Leanne moved to Fort McMurray in June of 1976 at a very young age. While growing up she attended Brownies and Girl Guides, played soft ball, and was involved in the Waterways Community Center. Leanne graduated from Fort McMurray Composite High School in 1984, and afterwards participated in Katimavik for nine months, which took her across Canada to Quebec, Newfoundland and British Columbia. During her stay with Katimavik, she volunteered at the Verdun Hospital assisting with special needs kids, built a gazebo, assisted with a long term care facility, refinished pews in the United Church, and prepared and served food to the homeless daily for 3 months. Leanne then went on to attend Grant MacEwan Community College in Edmonton and completed her Early Childhood Development Diploma. Coming home to Fort McMurray after graduation, Leanne worked for the Salvation Group home, Cross Construction Ltd., Fort McMurray Catholic School Board and the Fort McMurray Public School Board.

Since then, Leanne has been the driving force in establishing the Wood Buffalo Chapter of KidSport. Six years ago she saw a need in the community where many children were unable to participate in community sports and athletic activities due to a lack of discretionary family income. During her involvement in the community over the years, she saw that there were a lot of talented kids in the community that were not being given the opportunity to blossom due to financial restraint. This led her to get involved with KidSport “So ALL Kids Can Play” in all sports in the community. She encourages and believes that everyone has a special talent and you need to keep trying new things until you find yours, and once you find it, to embrace it and build on it. Leanne is very passionate about the youth of today growing into the best person they can be, and to be a strong team player.

Leanne has worked tirelessly to promote KidSport Wood Buffalo and has been instrumental in raising close to $100,000.00 for the program. She has worked to establish partnerships and relationships with many local corporations, and even secured a sponsorship with Syncrude Canada that established KidSport Wood Buffalo as the designated charity of choice for the Boreal Open Golf Tournament for the past three years. Leanne continues to reach out to the community by promoting this program, and has been an agent for change by removing a barrier that previously existed preventing many children from participating in sports.

Leanne’s mission was to change this barrier into an opportunity, and the money raised and the numbers of children served are a testimony to the change she has made to improve sport opportunities for disadvantaged youth. It was her drive, knowledge, and passion to get kids involved in sports and other athletic pursuits that has enabled her to have this impact.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude will honour Leanne and 11 other nominees, at the Women of Inspiration Celebration which will take place June 14th, 2014 at the Sawridge Hotel..

The Women of Inspiration is a partnership between Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude, with a goal to recognize women throughout the Wood Buffalo region who inspire others, break new ground or old barriers and help create change. The series also aims to show local girls positive role models who live right here.

To nominate a woman of inspiration, please visit our Women of Inspiration Series page or contact the Girls Inc. office at 780-790-9236.

For more information, please contact:

Ann Dort-MacLean
Executive Director
Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
Phone: 780-790-9236
Email: girlsinc@telus.net