2019 Red Cross Humanitarians of the Year announced

Topics: Saskatchewan
February 08, 2019

The Canadian Red Cross is pleased to announce that Elaine and Peter Zakreski have been selected as the 2019 Saskatoon Humanitarians of the Year and Kayla Brien has been selected as the 2019 Saskatoon Young Humanitarian of the Year.

Elaine and Peter Zakreski and Kayla Brien will be celebrated at the annual Power of Humanity Awards Luncheon in Saskatoon on April 17, 2019.


“Elaine and Peter Zakreski and Kayla Brien work tirelessly to make our world a better place while encouraging others to do the same,” said Tammy Doerksen, Manager of Corporate and Community Engagement for the Canadian Red Cross. “The Red Cross is excited to recognize them as our humanitarians of the year.” 

Quick Facts:

  • Elaine and Peter Zakreski have been selected as the 2019 Saskatoon Humanitarians of the Year for their persistent work to build capacity in the Mtogola region of southern Malawi. Following a vacation to five countries in Africa and a miraculous meeting of a person from Malawi the Zakreski’s felt a strong calling to help the people they met. Since then Elaine and Peter have worked tirelessly to empower villagers in impoverished area by building a strong, self-sustaining community. Starting with a much-needed medical clinic the Zakreski’s have now worked closely with locals and partner organizations to set up an educational scholarship fund, early childhood centres, boreholes, maize mills, piped water lines, a funeral insurance program for villagers and so much more. They have engaged their Canadian community in their efforts thru many speaking engagements and hosting awareness and fundraising events. Peter and Elaine are inspiring examples of what can happen if a family cares and decides to take action.
  • Kayla Brien has been selected as the 2019 Saskatoon Young Humanitarian of the Year for working to build a respectful, peaceful and thriving culturally diverse community in Saskatoon. Kayla has volunteered extensively with the Princess Shop to help young women celebrate their accomplishments and to provide further mentorship, support and tools to pursue success after graduation. Kayla is also a leadership volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross where she provides support to people affected by disasters and promotes the work of the Red Cross. Through other volunteer roles Kayla has supported organizations like READ Saskatoon, United Way, among many others. Every day in her Employer Relations job at Quint Development, Kayla is an advocate for marginalized job seekers and their inclusivity in the local labour market. Kayla is endlessly championing people to pursue humanitarian goals and to make our community and the global community a better place to live, for all.

Event details:

  • The Luncheon will be held at the Delta Saskatoon Downtown on April 17, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Individual tickets are $75.
  • A table of eight is $600.
  • Tickets can be purchased online at redcross.ca/sklunch2019 or by calling 306-668-0720.
  • Proceeds from the event will fund Red Cross programs and services across Saskatchewan.
  • The Power of Humanity Awards Gala is sponsored by Saskatoon Media Group, Houghton Boston, Freeman, and Delta Saskatoon Downtown.

About the Canadian Red Cross:

Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster. As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – which is made up of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 190 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies – the Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and throughout the world.
Media contact:
Canadian Red Cross Media Line – Saskatchewan
@RedCrossSK on Twitter
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