Hundreds of local citizens who give so generously to the community were honoured during the Mayor’s Recognition Awards held Thursday at the Sheraton.
“The Mayor’s Recognition Awards are just one opportunity we have each year to acknowledge the citizens who contribute their skills, knowledge and talents to strive for excellence, demonstrate leadership and build our community,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “On behalf of City Council and all Red Deerians, it is a privilege to honour those who have made, and continue to make, Red Deer proud,” she said.
Citizens were recognized in categories including Athletics, Community Builder, Distinguished Volunteer Service, Fine & Performing Arts and the Mayor’s Special Award.
Landing the Special Award – the highest honour given by the City – was Dayle Clampitt for her act of heroism and bravery.
She led a troop of Boy Scouts to safety, after being caught in a terrible storm while hiking on a Scottish mountain top.
Clampitt was unable to attend the ceremony, but her father accepted the award on her behalf.
Veer said Clampitt’s act was lauded internationally.
“She resolutely prevented tragedy by leading nine young, Boy Scouts to safety through inclement conditions,” explained Veer. The boys had been on the site overnight, and were unprepared for the drastic change in weather.
“They were also hopelessly lost and therefore unable to find their way to safety,” said Veer. “They were fatigued and physically deteriorating from exposure.”
The Red Deer Royals also landed the Mayor’s Special Award this year. Director Michael Mann accepted the award on behalf of the internationally-acclaimed group.
“This award not only recognizes achievement of the past year, but five years of achievements that have significantly enhanced our community’s influence and contribution at a provincial, national and international level,” said Veer.
Mann thanked the Mayor and the City for the honours. “The young people you see tonight are some of the hardest working young musicians I have had the pleasure to work with,” he said.
“I believe the members of the Red Deer Royals are truly extraordinary and once again, I’m proud to accept this award on their behalf. Thank you Mayor Veer and the City of Red Deer for this great honour.”
Other winners during the evening included – in the Athletics category – the 2017 Sutter Fund Chiefs midget elite female hockey team, the Notre Dame Bantam Cougars football team, the Red Deer College Kings volleyball team and the Red Deer College Queens curling team.
Several landed a Community Builder Award including Haylen Astalos, Janice Gerdts, William Heinsen, Shawn Moore, Dr. Bill Stuebing, Ross Towers and the Red Deer Hospice Society.
Young Haylen Astalos has been noted for his generous support of the Ronald McDonald House.
“It all started when he learned of the Ronald McDonald House and all they do for our community, and half of his birthday money quickly was on its way to them,” said City Manager Craig Curtis. He has since explored ways to further raise funds for the organization, including selling ice cream and hot chocolate.
To date, he’s raised $22,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, said Curtis.
“The Community Builder Award recognizes outstanding individuals or groups who have demonstrated special qualities and who have made a difference in our community with long-term benefits through leadership, innovation or creativity,” said Curtis.
Under the Distinguished Voluntary Service category, awards went to the Asplund Lodge Sons of Norway #571, Books on the Bus (COSMOS volunteer team) and a number of individuals for their outstanding work in the community as well.
Finally, the Fine & Performing Arts award went to Izel Pienaar.
The Mayor’s Recognition Awards were established in the fall of 1989, with the first ceremony held the following year.