Highschool teacher, Marc Hazlewood saw first-hand what building his community through volunteering looks like while growing up watching his parents, Brent and Jill Hazlewood devote their time and energy to their community of Boissevain-Morton. 

Last week, Marc was awarded the Community Leader Award for the Prairie Provinces on the national stage in Ottawa at Canada's 10th Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony.   Hazlewood selected McCreary Recreation Commission to receive the award grant of $5,000.

"I got to sit and chat with some people who are doing some incredible things all around the world!" says Hazlewood about attending this prestigious banquet while surrounded by outstanding Canadians from across the country.

"I mentioned to one of the gentlemen who was sitting at my table that I'm just a youth coach and organizer in youth sports, so it's pretty daunting to sit at the table and listen to the people who are literally saving millions of lives around the world!  It was a pretty neat experience, and I got to meet some really neat people!" 

The Science-Math teacher at St. Rose High School has been instructing students in the classroom for 15 years, but he also mentors young people in the sports field and on the ice!

Hazlewood coaches hockey in McCreary and is head of the McCreary rink board.  He coaches 3 basketball teams during the school year, and then high school baseball and a mitt-full of McCreary ball teams.  And he is president of the McCreary-Marlin Minor Ball Association. A recent grant for $150,000 has helped to build two new baseball diamonds in McCreary.  

"Six-seven years ago there was no baseball in McCreary at all," he says. "This year we had 57 kids sign up to play with us!"

The high school teacher-coach says it was incredible to receive the award, but he recognizes the team effort it takes as a whole to provide sports programs, both in the school setting and out in the community.

"There are so many people in our small town who do a pile of work to provide the opportunities for youth.  I know Boissevain, my hometown is the same way," adds Hazlewood. "Both of my parents volunteered lots of their time when I was younger growing up. I know there are all kinds of people in McCreary who could probably have won this award.  We have wonderful people in Manitoba who do a pile of work beyond what they're getting paid for.  That's really nice to see!"

Please listen to more with Marc Hazlewood below!

"It's been quite the ride," adds Hazlewood. "And it was really neat to win the award to be given the opportunity.  But I'm already thinking about who I can nominate so that now I can pay it forward to somebody else.  Hopefully I'll have that opportunity!"

To see the entire lineup of the 10th Canada's Volunteer Awards visit their website HERE!

Photo below submitted by Marc Hazlewood: Marc with his sons Calder (left) and Kayden (right)