Gord and Denise Nitschke receive the Stettler Dodge Community Service Award from Ila Lunevich on Friday.

County salutes volunteers

The surprise element caught the County of Stettler’s top award recipients off guard.

The surprise element caught the County of Stettler’s top award recipients off guard.

“We didn’t see this one coming,” said Denise Nitschke, as she and husband Gord accepted the Stettler Dodge Community Service Award on Friday evening in Red Willow.

“I don’t know how you managed to keep this a secret,” said a surprised Rae Munden, to her Erskine School colleagues.

Munden was presented with the ATCO Electric Arts, Culture and Heritage Award.

Gord and Denise Nitschke were honoured with the county’s top volunteer award for their dedicated and longtime service to the Linda Hall community.

Presenter Ila Lunevich said the busy couple can always be counted on to “quietly get the job done.”

Often times, they used their own equipment to maintain the Linda Hall grounds and spearheaded many projects for the community, she said.

Munden’s passion for drama, and her willingness to share it with the Erskine community, earned her the arts and culture award.

The Erskine teacher touched many young lives in youth groups, drama classes and youth justice, said Debra Spiller, the Erskine School principal.

“Rae is a leader who dedicates her time and effort to what she sets as a priority — our children and the community in which they reside.”

Munden said she has lived in the county for 30 years and “can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Recognition of contributions by youth in the county has another community on board.

The Endmoor Cultural and Recreation Society named Byemoor’s Deanne Walker as its first youth award winner.

Presenter Doreen Nixon said Walker is actively involved in community and school activities, sports and dance.

The Botha community was credited with taking the initiative to establish the youth award in that community a few years ago.

This year’s recipient of the Botha youth award was 13-year-old Jessie Brinson.

Along with her contributions to the community and school, Brinson also volunteers at the Stettler hospital, said Botha’s Lorraine Hankins.

Phil Holton, the director of recreation for the county, said he was pleased to see the youth component of the awards program grow.

“It’s a great initiative to encourage and recognize the young people — a little recognition goes a long way,” Holton said.

Phyllis Starling was honoured with the Botha community lifetime achievement award.

Starling used her talent in art to serve and enhance the community for almost 60 years, Hankins said in making the presentation.

Each of the agricultural societies in the county acknowledged their dedicated volunteers with community service awards.

Presenters listed many acts of volunteerism of the unsung heroes who keep rural communities vibrant. Among those volunteers were:

Donalda and District Agricultural Society — Jodi Lee Blouin is considered an “entity extraordinaire” in the Donalda community. She’s active with the agricultural society, the curling club and parent school association.

Big Valley Agricultural Society — Chris Hennel is an “integral part” of the agricultural society, sports events and the Friends of the McKenzie Crossing River Society.

Sullivan Lake West Agricultural Society — Doris Schilling, the Endiang-Byemoor volunteer, is said to be “the first to arrive and the last to leave” at any event she helps with.

Stettler Agricultural Society — Michelle Rangen was a driving force behind the improvements to the agricultural society before her move to Innisfail.

Red Willow Agricultural Society — Harold and Betty Bell are “tireless workers” with the Red Willow community, keeping the hamlet pristine and the agricultural society running smoothly.

The Red Willow Agricultural Society hosted the county’s annual community service awards. The master of ceremonies was Janet Fletcher, a former county councillor.

The evening included a meal and entertainment by The Jazz Guys and Gracenotes Choir singers Dacia Gramlick and Carly Armstrong.

Stettler is scheduled to host next year’s county awards night.

Just Posted

Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officers ask for the public’s help with unsolved poaching cases

Officers are seeking tips on five separate incidents in the Stettler & Camrose areas in November 2017

Stettler Hospital to host a pregnancy nutrition class later this month

Registered Dieticians will discuss strategies and tips for new and expecting mothers

Stettler Town Council lays out 2018 Strategic Plan

Five priorities identified for the Town to tackle this year

A Look Back – Stettler Independent Archive Files

Originally Submitted By: Margaret Connon and Mary-Jane Jackson Updated By: Landin Chambers

Town of Stettler joins AUMA’s call for more equitable police funding

Letter will be written to local MLA supporting a new police funding model

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

Porch lights turn on for Canadian teen behind #BeccaToldMeTo movement

New Brunswick’s Rebecca Schofield had asked her Facebook followers to perform random acts of kindness

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.