Volunteer Highlight: Merle Gadsby

It’s difficult to separate the Eastman Region from Merle Gadsby; the two are inextricably intertwined. From coaching cross-country ski, golf, athletics, and snowshoeing, to volunteering at events, running fundraisers, and leading the charge as a member of the regional leadership team, for over 35 years Merle has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Eastman Region and its athletes thrive.

Originally told they just needed someone to run some warm-ups at one of the weekly programs in Steinbach, she figured it was a great way to get involved and still make it home to take care of her 3 children.

“Needless to say, I never got home and within 3 weeks of joining, the person In charge [of that program] was transferred and the rest is Eastman history!” said Merle. “I have been humbled and honoured to work with Special Olympic athletes, coaches, and staff. They have taught me many things over the years.” We hope your kids didn’t mind too much, Merle! 

he says some of the highlights of her years with SOM include travelling to multiple Provincial and National Games, as well as the Special Olympics World Games in Greece. 

“[The best parts are] celebrating our athletes’ accomplishments and connecting with other coaches and staff,” says Merle. “I had looked forward to stepping back but I am still involved with coaching and events.” Merle proves that once your life is touched by our athletes, you’ll never want to leave! The Eastman Region wouldn't be as successful as it is today without her hard work and dedication.  

Our organization is only as strong as our people, and we're very glad Merle is part of our community!


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