MAGAZINE. Paul-André Boisvert is a simple man, organized and deeply involved in his community. De Drummondvillois is one of the 40 winners of the Hommage Voluntaire-Québec Prize awarded by the Government of Quebec.
Presented on the sidelines of Volunteering Week, this trophy rewards Quebecers who stand out for their extraordinary commitment and the richness of their actions. Recognized as a pioneer of cross-country skiing in Drummondville, Paul-André Boisvert wanted to share this honor with the members of his family.
“Often we forget those who are there for us every day, that is, our loved ones. I realize it today. Whenever I got involved in a case, my wife Raymonde and my two children, Claudine and Marc-André, stepped in with me. Often they did the work that I didn’t do at home. They were there from the start, but maybe I didn’t see them in the storm,” the 75-year-old said.
“My current husband, Claire, is also a volunteer. The chemistry quickly developed between the two of us,” added the man who is now the grandfather of eight grandchildren.
Following his father’s example, Paul-André Boisvert discovered the flame of volunteering. “My father worked for the Celanese, but he always found time to help others, whether it was at recreation in St. Charles or at the baseball field. I feel it was also a way for him to develop deep friendships. By volunteering, we receive as much as we give,” says the man who comes from a family of seven children.
Paul-André Boisvert, honored in the “volunteers aged 36 and over” category for the Center-du-Québec region, received his award during a visit to the National Assembly.
“I met people there who are going through the same thing as me. It was very stimulating! There were volunteers from 14 to 94 years old. I saw that there was a good follow-up among the young people. They have ideas that we would not have dared to have at the time,” emphasized the accountant by profession.
A well-filled roadmap
In 1977, Paul-André Boisvert began cycling and cross-country skiing to combat lumbar spasms. The native of Saint-Charles-de-Drummond first became known in the community for his involvement as a patrol and administrator at the defunct cross-country club of the Cité des loisirs.
In 1997, Paul-André Boisvert was one of the founding members of the Saint-François cross-country ski club. Located in the heart of the village of québécois d’antan, the trails of this club are a delight even today for lovers of this discipline.
Paul-André Boisvert, who has the quality of life of seniors at heart, has always wanted cross-country skiing to be accessible to people of all ages and all classes of society. In particular, he acted as a trainer for students who came to learn the basics of this sport.
“Mr. Boisvert is one of the citizens who really make a difference in their community,” said the mayor of Drummondville, Stéphanie Lacoste. The City can always count on its participation in organized activities. Thanks to him, many citizens benefit every year from a cozy cross-country club. His good humor, his dynamism and his kindness make the whole team a great pleasure to work with him.
Paul-André Boisvert’s contribution does not stop there since he was the man behind the creation of the Vélotour de l’Amitié in 1992, after a disease diagnosis with his first wife. In 13 editions, this fundraiser has raised more than $50,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
Over the years, Paul-André Boisvert has also been involved as a director in various neighborhood and sports organizations. As an ambassador of Réseaux plein air Drummond, the cycling enthusiast contributes to the fame of the region’s cycle paths.
As a mentor at the Drummondville Economic Development Corporation, Paul-André Boisvert also shares his experience with young local entrepreneurs. “I remind them that it is not only the know-how that counts, but also the people. When you start a business, you have to guide your boat, but don’t forget that you have a family,” said the dedicated volunteer.
In 2012, Paul-André Boisvert was named 34th Grand du sport de Drummondville in recognition of his commitment to the world of sport. “Paul-André stopped his time and then declared the president of the Great Sport, Manon Salvas. He gave hope to hundreds of people who wanted to turn their free time into an opportunity to exercise, surpass themselves and improve their quality of life by maintaining their health.
This year, the selection committee for the Tribute to Quebec Awards had to choose from nearly 200 candidates in four different categories.
“The winners and the organizations honored are role models for the entire population,” said André Lamontagne, Minister responsible for Centre-du-Québec. Their altruism is certainly the noblest expression of the concept of social solidarity. They make a big difference in the lives of their fellow citizens. It enriches our community.”