As part of the Lac La Biche Firefighter’s Society annual Santa’s Helpers campaign, the Junior Citizen of the Year award, sponsored by Canadian Natural Resources Limited, has been handed out. The second ever recipient, Leagan Ponicappo has been chosen for his volunteer work in the community and at his school.
The Grade 11 student from J.A. Williams High School does many things around the school, most notably raising money to buy students Christmas presents in the special needs class and providing tours to future students.
In addition, he is also a Big Brother in the In-School Mentoring Program with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) for the last 2 years. This program pairs teens with you in the schools for a commitment of one year. Kristen Shewchuk-White with BBBS, who nominated Leagan, says he has had one match that he has continued to be matched with for a second year.
“What makes Leagan different from the other teen mentors though is his big heart and empathy for others,” Shewchuk-White wrote in the nomination form. “Since the beginning of his time volunteering with BBBS, he has always been the Big that every little hopes to get. Whenever we have large events with all the matches, he makes sure that every little feels special and that they matter.” Leagan also helps at the Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement helping at any community event, and helping the younger children.
As Junior Citizen of the Year, on December 1st, Leagan will get to ride with Santa in the parade at 6:30pm, receive recognition from Lac La Biche County Mayor Omer Moghrabi, receive a profile in both the Lac La Biche Post and on boom 103.5, and he’ll light the giant Christmas tree in front of the Northern Lights Public Schools’ office on Main Street.
Santa’s Helpers is part of the Lac La Biche Firefighter’s Society and raises money and collects toys each Christmas. Toy and food hampers are then given out to families in need. A radiothon will happen on boom 103.5 on December 1st from 6am to 4pm, followed by the Light up the Night event. Saturday, December 2nd, Santa is at the Fire Hall for an all-ages family event from 11am to 2pm.