Our Featured Volunteer of the Month is Gwen Boudreau!
Gwen has been volunteering at Lancers for the past three years. Her daughter, Bella Gardin, attended our summer camp in 2016 and was instantly hooked. She completed our Junior Beginner Course and then entered into our membership and is now in ride 7. Gwen recognised that volunteering was a great way to give back to the community that her child loved so much. Gwen has therefore been volunteering for three years and has helped with various activities and events. Her volunteer activities show that parents have a lot to contribute to the community even if interacting directly with the horses (or stables) isn’t really their thing. Although this isn’t the case with Gwen, some parents who don’t have previous horse experience can find horses daunting. We don’t blame them because horses are rather large animals but equally, one of the great things about Lancers is that there are plenty of non-horse/barn ways to help out.
During her time as a Lancer parent, Gwen has volunteered to work several Junior Executive canteens and BBQs and Pony Club events. She has been on the committee for the Downtown Horse Show and helped out with our Wine & Cheese fundraising event. The first year we held our wine and cheese event we weren’t sure what to expect for silent auction donations, but one day Gwen showed up having secured amazing donations from more than a dozen local businesses, so we knew we would have a successful fundraiser! One day she would like to join our Board of Directors. Until then, she notes, she will keep watching and learning more and more about Lancers and volunteer her time when and where she is able.
Gwen likes to be involved at Lancers because her daughter Bella likes her time here so much. She explained, “there is never a day that Bella isn't excited to get to the barn. She often spends her Saturdays there, after her lesson, just for fun and to help out where she can. To see her face light up day in and day out brings me so much joy in knowing she's found her passion”. According to Gwen, the best part about Lancers is “how much love the community has for their beloved horses and through this love forms everlasting friendships and camaraderie”. When asked to compare her volunteering experience at Lancers with other volunteer experiences in her life, Gwen explained: “It's the Lancer spirit and community, which all of HRM and beyond witnessed last summer during the strangles outbreak that touches my heart”. She added, “I've never seen anything like it before. The level of commitment from everyone was outstanding! I am very proud to spend some of my time volunteering for this wonderful organization”.
Even though Gwen isn’t a rider herself when asked who her favorite horse is she said she has a soft spot for Ben (we can’t blame her there)! We are always thankful for our volunteers’ time and Gwen is a busy mother of three. When she isn’t working on her projects and volunteering, Gwen practices hot yoga and goes to the gym regularly to keep physically and mentally fit. She explained the importance of this as she noted, “this allows me to keep a positive mindset even through challenging times, and to be able to give my children the very best version of me”. The Lancer community is fortunate to also benefit from the best version of Gwen and we are excited to see all the great new ways she finds to contribute to the Lancer community! #featurefriday