Janet Fairless honoured as DUC’s Volunteer of the Year for Alberta
“Volunteering always makes me feel good, especially when I see it is making a difference helping out other people -- or in the case of Ducks Unlimited Canada, the environment,” says Janet Fairless, DUC’s Volunteer of the Year for Alberta. “When I see another DUC project in our area, I know we have made a difference.”
Fairless joined the DUC volunteer family when a friend asked her to help out with the Grimshaw committee as a treasurer. Fairless continues to volunteer with the committee as their treasurer and also as a liaison with DUC’s Managers of Events and Volunteer Relations. She joined the Alberta Provincial Council in 2014.
“I am quite enjoying the things I have learned and the people I have met while on council,” says Fairless. “Both are very rewarding. I enjoy working at our local dinners and have had opportunities to go to other chapters and help with their dinners. I always enjoy meeting other people and seeing how they do things.”
Fairless is proud to have been selected as Alberta Volunteer of the Year. “There were some great people nominated, so I felt really honoured to be chosen.”
Fairless’ future goals as a DUC volunteer are to help her current events manager, Doug Eglinski, support promotional ventures like sportsman shows or volunteer recruitment events. She also hopes to help Eglinski resurrect some of the committees in her region that have folded in the past. In fact, Fairless’ daughter, Amanda, is helping re-establish the Grande Prairie committee, which dissolved last year. Amanda has been by Fairless’ side for most of the years she has been with the Grimshaw committee. Fairless encourages more Canadians to get get involved with DUC, just as her daughter has.
“Our environment is important and we have to preserve it,” she says. “We want our children, grandchildren and future generations to be able to enjoy the outdoors and nature like we were able to.”
Fairless thinks a good volunteer is outgoing, friendly, helpful, open to suggestions, willing to compromise, flexible and has a sense of humour. She also believes DUC volunteers must have a strong personal connection with the outdoors — a quality Fairless shares with many of her peers.
“I love to camp, quad, and spend time outdoors with my family and friends. I grew up on a farm and now continue to farm with my son and brother. My parents taught us to love nature and animals. They saved every little bluff on our property so the birds and animals had some place to make their nests and homes. They fought against clearing all of the land and ditches. This instilled a love of nature in myself, which I have passed onto my children.”
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