Community leader Leona Thorogood received two prestigious awards at Stettler’s business and citizenship awards ceremony last Thursday evening.
Thorogood was named the female citizen of the year and she was given the Hal Rogers Fellow award.
A resident of Stettler since 1983, she has been active in the community in multiple ways, but most notably with the Kinettes and as a town councillor for eight years.
Thorogood was instrumental in bringing the “Portraits of Honour” to Stettler and is an advocate of community health-care.
Hal Rogers Fellow, the highest award the Kin Canada Foundation offers, recognizes people “whose leadership and community endeavours demonstrate the high ideals to which the Kin Canada founder was committed.” Rick Hansen, Wayne Gretzky and Celine Dion were among the 2011 recipients.
Kin Canada Foundation president Curtis Kimpton and Kin Canada president Penny Lee Smith presented the award to Thorogood.
“I’ve always loved the spirit of this community,” Thorogood said. “I am so proud of this community and thankful we made Stettler our home.”
Rob Spencer was named Stettler’s male citizen of the year. He played a key role in getting the community gardens project off the ground.
He’s been an integral part of the Heartland Beautification and Communities in Bloom committees.
Spencer has been described as a “dedicated volunteer” and a “wonderful neighbour.” He has been active in his church and a variety of community organizations, including scouts, the food bank, museum and plant swap.
Spencer said he isn’t “the only man” involved in Stettler organizations.
“My parents taught me serving others is a good thing.”
The awards gathering attracted a full house at the Stettler community hall.
“It allows the community to acknowledge with a sense of pride the businesses and people who build our community,” said Town of Stettler Coun. Darcy Bachman.
Maurice Fritze, a Castor native, delivered a motivational speech “to inspire confidence and personal achievement.”
As the business awards were handed out, many of the accolades included common themes — exceptional service, generosity and strong support of community.
“All the businesses keep the community strong and the local economy thriving,” said County of Stettler Coun. Greggory Jackson.
Business of the year — 59 Street Liquor Store.
Small business of the year — Bloke’s Bakery.
Learning in the workplace — Score Projects (Jason Turre).
Customer service — Sears Stettler (honourable mention, Stettler Canada Post staff).
Community service — Wells Furniture Ltd.
Business service — TD Canada Trust.
Marketing award — Auto Xtras Ltd.
Corporate citizen of the year — Tim Hortons.
Restaurant of the year — Stettler Pizza.
Heritage award — Bagshaw Electric Ltd.
Male citizen of the year — Rob Spencer.
Female citizen of the year — Leona Thorogood.