Volunteer Recognition

2022 National Volunteer Week

Meet Brenda Pereira

Interviewer: Sherry Wong, writer, Riverbend community Association volunteer

Interviewee: Brenda Pereira, Traffic, Safety and Crime Prevention Board of Director, Riverbend community Association volunteer

Sherry: Brenda, it's nice meeting you in a virtual way. First, would you please tell me something about yourself, both professionally and personally?

Brenda: I'm born and raised in Calgary, lived in the Richmond area with my family for the first couple of years of my life, then our family moved to Riverbend in the early nineties. I've grown up in Riverbend but moved away for a few years and recently moved back with my family to be closer to my parents.

Sherry: So your parents still live here in Riverbend?

Brenda: Yes. In the same house where I grew up in.

Sherry: That’s nice. What makes Riverbend so special to you?

Brenda: I feel Riverbend is like a little gem. It is the perfect location for a family: all the right stores are nearby. I work downtown so when we were going into the office, the commute was unbelievable, twenty minutes door to door. Another thing is that both my family and I like the outdoors. I love to get out and enjoy the paths around. We go to Carburn Park quite a bit. Carburn Park was a little park but what the city has done and how they have been maintaining it, with the lights and everything, they've made it very beautiful.

Sherry: Absolutely.

Brenda: Professionally, I'm in the supply chain field in the energy industry. When I graduated from university, I started working in the field right away. I've had different roles, from logistics, contracts management, procurement, to materials management. I’ve touched a little bit of everything within the supply chain area. What I love about my job is the interaction with different people and that every day is different.

Sherry: Hopefully we’ll be able to do that soon again. Which university did you graduate from?

Brenda: University of Calgary. I got a degree in international relations.

Sherry: Sounds interesting. How have you gotten into the role of Traffic, Safety and Crime Prevention volunteer position?

Brenda: I always would like to do my part and give back to the community. That is very important to me. We use the pathways a lot and I notice that the traffic was becoming a concern. When there was the call for the position, I decided to step forward. The board has put tremendous work into getting the Community Association back and running again. I appreciate what they have done for the community, and I want to contribute and make a difference as well.

Sherry: Can you explain what is your role about? What does it involve?

Brenda: The traffic, Safety and Crime Prevention portfolio will look at how we can make Riverbend a safe community. We will look to work with our community partners – Calgary Police Services and our city Councillor Kourtney Penner. My goal is to work with these resources and residents to find solutions to the concerns that the residents have been bringing up.

Sherry: How long have you been in this position?

Brenda: Just one month.

Sherry: Are there anything else you want our readers to know?

I want our residents to know that we've heard them about the Traffic, Safety and Crime concerns. I wish you to continue to report these issues and concerns, but collectively. I do feel that we need to work together to be a strong and loud voice, so our representatives can hear us. I welcome our residents to reach out to me if you have any suggestions or any ideas. We want to make sure that Riverbend continues to be a great community, a safe community. I want everyone to enjoy the pathways, the parks, the field. I encourage you to check out our website. We have a lot of resources.

Email: brenda@riverbendcommunity.ca

Sherry: For sure. You will be that liaison between the community and the professionals. On a different note, I haven't asked you about your hobbies or interests.

Brenda: We are outdoors people. We like to enjoy the city’s pathways and parks, or we head out to the mountains. My husband enjoys fishing so we go out fishing as often as we can.

Sherry: I see. Any last words?

I would like to say thank you to all the residents who have been doing their part in keeping our community safe – calling in non-emergency issues and submitting traffic service requests. Your efforts are appreciated!

Sherry: It’s a pleasure talking with you Brenda. Thank you for your time.

2021 National Volunteer Week

Meet Patricia Medhurst


We chose to feature the story of Pat as it fits so well with this year’s theme, The Value of One, The Power of Many.


Pat and her family have enjoyed living in Riverbend for over 20 years. What she loves most about the community is beautiful Carburn Park, proximity to the extensive Bow River bike path system and easy access to all areas of the city. Pat is an HR professional in the energy sector and enjoys gardening, hiking and pottery. Her time on the RCA Board will be focused working with homeowners and the City of Calgary to improve the upkeep and appearance of 18th Street - Riverbend’s “Main Street”.

What prompted you to get involved with RCA?

Riverbend is a wonderful community and it’s great to see the beautiful exterior renovations on many homes and the upgrade to the pathways. I’ve been concerned for a few years that the 18th Street corridor needs some attention. As we know, the City allowed the developers to build the 18th Street fence on the residents’ property so the homeowner is responsible for maintenance and upkeep. I think Riverbend residents have known for many years that it will be challenging to keep the fences looking healthy and uniform as time goes on. I noticed the success that the Board had in getting many playgrounds rebuilt around the community (headed by Jason Morton, Playground Director) and it motivated me to get involved and see if there is anything I can do to help make some headway on the 18th Street issue.


What do you hope to accomplish?

We are hoping the RCA can play the role of encourager, supporter and potentially coordinator. Perhaps we can connect interested 18th Street residents to help them organize a group discount on rebuilding or painting the fences. We will give some attention to the medians and landscaping over the next year or two as well. We are also hoping to hear from a few Riverbend residents who have some energy around this issue and are interested in volunteering or helping out in any way.


What do you enjoy about being on the RCA team?

There is lots of energy and good ideas. There are always more ideas than there are volunteers so we are prioritizing. I’m enjoying the teams’ commitment to making Riverbend an even better place to live with good programs and opportunities to connect with each other.


What does the theme The Value of One, the Power of Many means to you?

The value of one person taking initiative

The power of many people coming together to make Riverbend an even better place to live


2019 National Volunteer Week

Celina Greer

Celina is a chair of the Riverbend School Council and co-lead of the Riverbend School Playgrounds Committee. If you haven't heard yet, the Riverbend School Playground will be removed as early as Spring of 2020. Playgrounds aren't covered by school funding so it's up to the parent council and dedicated volunteers to fundraise for a new playground. At about $300,000 for a standard playground, you're talking a LOT of cookie sales and bottle drives. Celina has been instrumental in sourcing quotes, meeting with funding bodies and applying for grants. Her efforts are already bearing fruit as Riverbend got selected as one of the finalists for the Energizing Spaces award.

Celina maintains school council website www.riverbendraccoons.ca and Facebook page while working full time and raising a young family -she has a son and a daughter.

Doug Chambers

Doug had been in our community a long time with his children having attended Riverbend School in its early years. Doug is an avid Casino volunteer, prepared to do double shifts, and willing to take on any role needed. Last year Doug volunteered for both our Riverbend Community Casino and the Riverbend School Casino. He’s also lent support to our partners in other communities including Bridgeland, Douglas Quarry, Killarney/Glengarry and the Federation of Calgary Communities.

If you’ve ever worked or organized a casino before, you know what a great help this is. If you haven’t, let me tell you: casino shifts are long and the shift times are highly inconvenient, often requiring a loss of sleep, missed work or interrupted sleep patterns. For people who work full-time, or have young children at home, it’s often hard to commit to casino volunteerism, so when you find a guy like Doug, you hold onto him!

Walter Janzen

Walter first started volunteering in Riverbend in the ’90s and has been on the Board since 2014.

Over that time, Walter has supported his community in many ways including flipping pancakes, handing out free plants, helping with audio and music, leading the rink flooding team and serving as a dedicated Treasurer for Riverbend Community Association. Walter supports the Board to understand RCA’s financial position and is bringing efficiencies to RCA through online banking and financial processes.

As our longest-serving Board member and active volunteer, Walter also has a strong knowledge of RCA’s history, which is extremely valuable to support the team! Walter works full-time and has 4 grown children.

2019 Faces of the Community

Federation of Calgary Communities launched Faces of Community in 2017 as part of our March Community Association Awareness campaign, to highlight the many different faces of community volunteers making a difference in our city’s communities. We often hear that Calgarians don’t realize that their community organization is run by volunteers from the community, so Faces of Community helps tell the story of just some of the more than 20,000 community volunteers in Calgary who are donating their time each and every day to help improve neighbourhood life in Calgary.

Olga Maciejewski

Most locals know of Olga through her online presence and keen desire to make sure Riverbend residents are aware of what's going on in our community through the RCA Facebook page. What they might no know is that Olga has grown the RCA Facebook page to a whopping 1000 followers in just over a year.

She was also recently recognized as one of Calgary's 2019 Faces of the Community. With her strong project management background,

Olga is integral in the development and implementation of the RCA strategic plan to ensure the growth and sustainability of our community association.

Olga is our volunteer VP Communications and also works full time and has 3 young children.