Meet Me at the PMFRC

Meet Me at the PMFRC

Adobe Stock

Introducing Audra Van Horne

Name: Audra Van Horne
Position: Cook/Cleaner


Image Source: PMFRC

Tell us more about your role at the PMFRC and the programs that you are involved in. 
I feed an Army of Lil Troopers (Northside & Southside locations) My main goal is to provide delicious, appetizing and nutritious hot lunches and snacks. It’s also important that I have alternative foods available for children with food allergies and intolerances.
I’m also available to assist with activities and provide support in the program rooms when needed. 

How long have you worked for the PMFRC? 
This is my 5th year at the PMFRC. I started out as a volunteer (I was technically retired but I got bored and I missed working with children too) I’ve been a supply staff, resource support staff and I just completed my first year as the cook.

Tell me about your background (experience, education, etc.) 
I have a background in Culinary Arts. I had 3 years of training in high school and I received top honours. I was trained by a chef, sous chef, butcher and a baker. It was a full-functioning kitchen/cafeteria. We cooked and baked everything from scratch. Nothing left the kitchen without the chef’s approval. I’ve also worked in many restaurants and gained lifelong experiences and knowledge. Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time reading about nutrition, researching recipes, experimenting with recipes and also searching for substitutes for food allergens as my youngest daughter was allergic to eggs, tree nuts and peanuts when she was younger.  I’ve “worn” many hats as a volunteer for quite a few community organizations and MFRC’s. I gained many experiences during these roles as Resource Room Librarian, Toy Lending Librarian, School Librarian, Spark Leader, Cub Leader, Cadet Supply Officer, etc.

What can people expect to see when they first meet you? 
Busy and non-stop, but I always have time for a chat.

What is your favourite part about working for the PMFRC? 
Interacting with the children, parents and staff. I enjoy getting to know them and building
long-lasting relationships.

What is your greatest accomplishment or proudest moment working for the PMFRC?
Satisfaction is seeing a parent or a child smiling and wanting a hug each time they see me: and knowing that I’ve earned a special place in their heart.

Where are you from and what brought you to Petawawa? How long have you lived here? 
I’m originally from Calgary. We’ve been here 6 years and we don’t have any plans to leave anytime soon.

What advice do you have for families transitioning to Petawawa? 
Check out the PMFRC-It has many helpful resources and friendly staff too!

What is your favourite thing about living in the area? What is your favourite thing to do in the winter? The summer?
I’m not a fan of winter, but I love summer. I enjoy touring around and visiting all of the hidden gems in the area. I especially enjoy spending time with my family at our trailer in Cobden.

Leave us with a few words of wisdom -- what is your favourite quote? 
Be true to yourself, it takes courage.