Sandra Duchak Awarded 4-H Canada National Volunteer Leader of the Year

Ottawa, ON, Feb. 14, 2022 – Sandra Duchak of Portage la Prairie, MB has been named the 4-H Canada National Volunteer Leader of the Year for 2021 in light of her remarkable 42 years as a 4-H leader, currently within Manitoba’s Gainsborough Combined 4-H Club.

The National Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by Co-operators, will be presented to Duchak at the 2022 4-H Canada Leadership Awards, to be held virtually on Feb. 23, 2022, with host Peter Mansbridge. To attend this landmark event and celebrate the accomplishments of the 4-H community, purchase your tickets today.

“We are proud to recognize Sandra Duchak as 4-H Canada’s National Volunteer of the Year,” said 4-H Canada CEO, Shannon Benner. “Sandra’s passion and commitment to the 4-H community is exceptional. It is inspiring to see the positive impact she has had at all levels of the 4-H movement over the last four decades, and we couldn’t be happier to honour her hard work and dedication.”

Duchak is a testament to the Award’s aim to recognize the critical role volunteer leaders play in guiding, supporting, and empowering 4-H members to become responsible and contributing leaders themselves. She is known for always being the first person to sign up to lend her time, energy, and expertise with 4-H club communications, fundraising initiatives, and activities of all kinds, from camps to crafts to sports.

However, her involvement doesn’t stop at the club level. Duchak has volunteered on the Portage District/Central Plains 4-H Area Council for over 20 years. She has also served as Area Council Treasurer for 10 years and has been in her current role of Portage 4-H Bursary Fund Treasurer for 17 years. Plus, she is currently in her fourth year serving on the Manitoba 4-H Council Board of Directors.

A true role model for 4-H members, Duchak is well-known for her compassion and generosity to her community. To name just a few examples from a very long list, her continual contributions include donating hand-knitted blankets, sweaters, and mittens to Central Plains Cancer Services, annual participation in 4-H Manitoba’s Highway Clean-Up Campaign, and serving on the Board of Directors for the Portage Women’s Shelter.

Duchak is joining the list of deserving 4-H Canada National Volunteer Leader of the Year Award recipients, and will receive a prize package that includes a $1,000 and registration for the 2022 Leadership Summit, set for April 22-24 in Halifax, NS.

“We are thrilled to support these Awards and recognize dedicated volunteers like Sandra, and all of the provincial winners, who are making such an important impact in their communities,” said Carla Hirsch, Co-operators District Manager in the Prairie Region. “As a long-time sponsor, we are inspired every year by 4-H and all the volunteers who, like all of us at Co-operators, are committed to improving the well-being and resiliency of young Canadians.”

In addition to the National award, Co-operators supports the Provincial Volunteer Leader of the Year Awards. 4-H Canada is pleased to announce the following recipients for 2021:

  • Angela Letendre, SK – Boreal Rangers Outdoor Adventure 4-H Club
  • Caitlin MacDougall, QC – Ormstown 4-H Club
  • Carol Pollock, ON – Wellington County 4-H Club
  • Ross Stafford, BC – Spring House 4-H Club

The National Volunteer Leader of the Year is one of four prestigious awards presented annually at the Leadership Awards, which showcase the achievements of leadership at every level of 4-H in Canada, while helping to raise important funds for the Canadian 4-H Foundation. Stay tuned as we continue to unveil award recipients in the coming weeks. To buy tickets and get full details, visit

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About 4-H Canada

For over 100 years, 4-H Canada has been one of the most highly respected positive youth development organizations in Canada. 4-H in Canada has close to 17,000 members and more than 8,100 volunteer leaders. Our goal is to help young Canadians “Learn To Do By Doing” in a safe, inclusive and fun environment. We believe in nurturing responsible, caring and contributing youth leaders who are committed to positively impacting their communities across Canada and around the world. To learn more about 4-H Canada, please visit and follow our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages.

About Co-operators

Co-operators is a leading Canadian financial services co-operative, offering multi-line insurance and investment products, services, and personalized advice to help Canadians build their financial strength and security. The company has more than $61.5 billion in assets under administration. Co-operators has been providing trusted guidance to Canadians for the past 76 years. The organization is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. Achieving carbon neutral equivalency in 2020, the organization is committed to net-zero emissions in its operations and investments by 2040, and 2050, respectively. Co-operators is also ranked as a Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada and is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Kincentric. For more information, please visit:

For more information, media may contact:

Jessie Christie
Marketing and Communications Director
4-H Canada