COMMUNITY SPIRIT - Citizen of the Year award winners Julia Maksymetz and Michael Dawe take a moment to enjoy their recognition banquet at the Sheraton Hotel last week.

Citizen of the Year honours Dawe and Maksymetz

  • May. 14, 2014 2:59 p.m.

Citizen of the Year Michael Dawe and Young Citizen of the Year Julia Maksymetz were honoured during a banquet last Friday.

“To look at (previous recipients of Citizen of the Year) and think ‘Gee, I might be in that category as some of these incredibly influential and hardworking, community minded people’ is a very humbling experience,” said Dawe.

“Just something I really didn’t expect.”

Maksymetz, 19, was equally grateful.

“It was a huge reminder to me what incredible opportunities I did have. All the opportunities that were awarded to me, not many people have,” said Maksymetz.

“It motivated me to do more, certainly. I’d had an excellence experience.”

Both Dawe and Maksymetz were honoured for making significant impact in Red Deer’s community through volunteer work, public action and immense initiative to serve others.

Dawe’s family has a long history in Red Deer. As a child, he was fascinated by stories told to him directly by Kerry Wood. He grew up among some of the most influential Red Deer names, and was well acquainted with many of the previous Citizen of the Year winners.

“I got to hear firsthand from somebody who’d experienced these things and who knew so much about the natural world, tell me all these things I’d never known,” said Dawe of one of his greatest influences, Kerry Wood.

“That very personal touch – telling me about things he’d overcome, and things that challenged him, and the times where it looked like nothing could turn out right -that’s a good life experience.”

Dawe is an archivist, historian, author, volunteer and a pivotal member of Red Deer’s community. His tireless effort on many City projects, including the salvaging and restoration of the Alberta Ladies’ College (Michener administration building), along with his positive community spirit has earned him the well-deserved title of 2014 Citizen of the Year.

“It’s nice when I hear people are interested, and they’re listening and learning. Even more important is when they pick up a phone and say, ‘Michael, do you know about this?’ and I can say no, and they can tell me about it. And then you learn too and make it a two-way street,” said Dawe.

He also said he was flattered to be receiving an award with Maksymetz, calling her “The promise of a better future.”

She began her volunteering through the leadership program at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School. This allowed her the chance to become part of a project that would build a school in Male, Kenya. She was student chair for the project and worked vigorously to promote and support her cause.

“The rewarding parts come from seeing not only my school, but my community get behind a cause. Also, knowing that the organization we worked with was empowering local people to build this school in Kenya,” she said.

“Knowing people were behind this initiative was incredibly rewarding. We benefitted our own community while assisting a community in another country on the other side of the world.”

Maksymetz said the most memorable parts of her high school career and after were when she was involved with a cause.

She also took part in various community efforts that included volunteering to provide holiday dinners, initiatives to feed the homeless and she earned the Violet Richardson Award, which honours women 14-17 engaged in volunteer activities in schools and communities.

“If you feel like you’re part of your community, and contributing it’s way easier to feel like you’re actually valued and it means something to you,” she said.

“You have the power to make improve someone else’s life by increasing abilities, opportunities and really raise up more people.”

Both Maksymetz and Dawe have shown incredible, positive community spirit and have influenced those around them to the point of earning the honour and pride of a City.

“Overall, what you really want is a community where not everything is perfect, but people are being more tolerant of who’s around us, fix little things that are little things, but can make the future better, and be positive,” said Dawe.

“Sometimes being positive is saying something isn’t appropriate. Whether you’re in private business or public service – the bottom line is that you’re there to be part of a community and to serve your public.”

kmendonsa@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

RCMP Major Crimes South make arrest in Red Deer homicide investigation

Gabriel Juma We Agotic of Red Deer arrested in Calgary

Car fire spreads to house in Eastview

Red Deer fire crews on scene

Ryon Holmedal to take audiences on a rich ‘immersive audio/visual’ experience

Performance runs July 26th at The Krossing with doors opening at 7 p.m.

SUV smashes into deck in Anders

Red Deer RCMP believe driver experienced medical incident

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Group urges Canada to help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany

They’re concerned about Canada’s apparent unwillingness to come to the aid of Monika Schaefer

MGM sues Vegas mass shooting victims, argues it isn’t liable

The company argues it has “no liability of any kind” to survivors or families of slain victims

Usain Bolt to make run at pro soccer in Australia

Olympic sprint great has long expressed his love of the game

Duchess of Sussex wears dress by Calgary’s Nonie to Mandela exhibition

Nonie is believed to be the first Canadian based ready-to-wear designer for the duchess

Amazon’s hopes its Prime Day doesn’t go to the dogs

Shoppers clicking on many Prime Day links after the 3 p.m. ET launch in the U.S. got images of dogs

Most Read