Luke Groeneveld Wins 2021 Gino Ferri Community Service Award
Luke Groeneveld is the first recipient of the Gino Ferri Community Service Award. The award was presented virtually on May 29th, 2021.
RJC’s newly established Gino Ferri Community Service Award recognizes an individual's distinguished contribution to their community. Gino, a former RJC Principal , was a defining part of RJC for more than 50 years. His passion for people and community shone through in everything he did, generously giving his time to numerous boards and foundations, always making time for causes close to his heart.
In recognition of Gino’s impact and the value RJC places on altruism, the Gino Ferri Award Community Service Award recognizes and celebrates those within RJC that are exemplary leaders in contributing to their communities.
“Luke’s ongoing commitment to charitable work is extraordinary. It isn’t an activity for him, it’s a way of life and an ethos. He sees giving back to his community as a requisite part of living. His approach to our work with the Sonshine Centre involves thinking beyond the help they’re asking for toward needs they haven’t even identified. His commitment is relentless and his generosity is boundless” says Geoff Kallweit.
Luke is a past Deacon in his church, has supported numerous refugees in their journey to Canada, and is a generous friend of the Calgary Zoo. Most notable though, is his work with the Sonshine Centre.
The Sonshine Centre provides shelter and counseling for women and children fleeing violence. It provides a safe home where they can heal from abuse and achieve personal goals. Luke is a past board member and was the Project Manager for delivery of a specialized centre for children affected by domestic violence. Under Luke’s leadership, the new Sonshine Children’s Centre was built. It is the first childcare centre in Canada geared towards meeting the unique needs of children who have experienced domestic violence and other forms of emotional trauma. Luke’s commitment to the Sonshine Centre, combined with his understanding of construction requirements, were key in making this valuable resource a reality.
Recently, Luke has been delivering fresh seasonal produce from local growers to the Sonshine Centre. He formed a connection with a grower that sells produce at the Calgary farmer’s markets and arranged to receive donations from her end-of-day inventory. He is also in the midst of setting up a freezer so he can store frozen produce and deliver that.
Luke’s passion and commitment to the Sonsine Centre continues to inspire his colleagues. Others within RJC now volunteer their time to deliver food and donate items for the Centre’s pantry. RJC is also a sponsor of a suite, providing funds to help outfit a suite for the arrival of each new family. RJC volunteers also help get the suite ready: cleaning, painting and decorating.
Thank you Luke for inspiring us, and for your contributions to an organization that improves the lives of many.