Our Featured Volunteer of the month is Andrea Andriopoulos!
Andrea Andriopoulos has been involved at Lancers since 2008 when her daughter Sophia started riding here. In the early years, Andrea would volunteer for canteen and night hay, and would help out whenever she was asked! In more recent years, she has taken a more active role. She has taken a lead role in the Christmas Party/Silent Auction, the Wine and Cheese event, and most recently, as the Treasurer for the Lancers Pony Club. While some people might know Andrea as Sophia’s mum, she often works behind the scenes with her contributions so it is the due time she had the recognition that she deserves!
Even though Andrea isn’t a rider, her favourite Lancers horses are Bud and Rupert! When asked what Andrea enjoys most about Lancers, she replied, “it is a family. We all come together for the horses. When you look at Lancers you see community”. Andrea highlighted some of the ways that Lancers relies on volunteer work: “we have volunteers who work, come in to feed the cats, who repair the barn, who feed the horses night hay (including all major holidays), who cheer for all riders, who set up and tear down events, sell at canteens, fundraise, and whatever needs to be done when asked. All of this is done with a sense of Lancer pride. We know that we are here for the horses and it is an honour and a privilege to be a part of such a caring and loving group of people”.
While she has many fond memories from Lancers, one that stands out for her was this year’s Musical Ride performance on the Garrison Grounds. Of course, she was proud of the accomplishment of Lancers being the opening act for the RCMP Musical Ride but for Andrea, that wasn’t the treasured memory. Rather, her favourite memory of Lancers happened just before the riders were about to perform. A large group of volunteers worked tirelessly to put the finishing touches on by brushing and painting the hooves of each horse. She even witnessed mothers stop the traffic on Bell road with a glance and a raised arm to allow the horses and riders to safely cross the street. This act, which could seem like a small part of the Musical Ride, really illustrated all the hard work that volunteers, including Andrea, give to Lancers.
We are very fortunate that Andrea offers her time to us here at Lancers. The horses and riding programs certainly benefit from it. While not volunteering at Lancers, Andrea is a yoga teacher and an active mother to two girls, Alexa and Sophia. The experience of being a mother has taught her to be open to whatever life has to offer!